Tuesday, April 22, 2008

EFA Interview - Jane Diamond Designs

Gretchen Kitty Angel

Here is another installment of my monthly EFA (Etsy for Animals) interviews. This interview is with Jane of Jane Diamond Designs. It is a wonderful interview that reveals Jane's love of her cat Abbey, her love of cats and all animals and how that shines through in her artwork. I do hope that you'll read on and get to know Jane. I've added a couple of pieces of Jane's wonderful artwork that are available in her Etsy shop.

1. Tell us your name and a little about you?

Greetings! I'm Jane Diamond. I am a huge animal lover and am passionate about supporting animals rights. I've been a vegetarian for 18 years, and have currently been converting to becoming a vegan. I love all animals, but cats are my favorite! My own cat, Ms. Abbey, being my favorite cat of course! I am a self taught artist and crafter. I love all creative forms of self expression - from painting, to dying my hair bold and fun colors, to dancing. Some of my favorite hobbies are photography, hula hooping, and playing piano. I like to collect old postcards of cats, vinyl records, and books. I'm a quiet person by nature, and spend my free time at libraries, museums, conservatories, watching silent films and early talkies, and spending time with my cat. But when I go out, I like to go to clubs to dance, or attend concerts of my favorite bands.

2) Where can we find your Etsy shop?

You can check out my Etsy shop at: www.janediamond.etsy.com. And I have a blog at: www.janediamond.blogspot.com and you can find my personal website at: www.geocities.com/janediamondsart/

3) What do you create (if multiple things, what is your favorite)?

I create fabulous and fun items for people and their feline friends. My arts and crafts range from cat painting prints, handmade and hand sewn catnip toys and sachets, as well as other cat themed items like magnets, greeting cards, jewelry, and more! I have recently been making ACEO prints of my cat paintings too. Of all the things I create, my favorites are my cat paintings and catnip toys. I also create collages, decorative paper mache' boxes and cigar boxes purses, and people portrait paintings as well.

4) Who or what inspires you?

My cat of 18 years, Ms. Abbey, inspires me the most. I fondly refer to her as my 'mews' (muse). Because of the strong and loving bond we have, and her very expressive and sweet personality, Abbey inspires a lot of my personal cat art. My other main inspiration comes from my favorite artist, Louis Wain. Louis Wain was a English Victorian cat artist who was very popular in his time. His artwork and life story has had a great impact on my own cat art. Our cat art styles are very different, but the intention of our cat art is the same - to spread and share the happiness cats fill our lives with, to other people. I am also inspired by other Victorian/Edwardian cat artists, as well as other different types of art such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Pop Art, and much more!

5) How many pets do you have and what are their names (any interesting stories about how they came to be your pet)?

I have one cat, my 'golden girl', Ms. Abbey. Although I've had other cats and other various pets growing up though the years. Ms. Abbey came into my life when I was a Veterinary Assistant working at the animal hospital in the small town where I grew up. Abbey's original owner had become allergic to her, and brought her to the animal hospital for us to keep her there to be adopted out. But she didn't stay at the hospital for long. It was "Kitty Love" at first sight, Abbey and I had an instant bond from the start, and I soon took her home, and she's been with me ever since! :)

6) How do you give back to our animal friends? What charities do you hold near and dear to your heart?

I give back to animals in a couple different ways. At Etsy, I am a proud member of "Etsy For Animals", and I give 10% of my sales from my items tagged with 'efa' to the Etsy For Animals charity of the month. EFA always selects amazing charities each month that I'm so happy to help out and be a part of. Also via Etsy, I help animals by buying items from the Etsy For Animals shop, as well as from other people's shops who are Etsy For Animals members too. In addition, I also work with a no-kill cageless cat shelter in Chicago called "Harmony House". I do commissioned cat artwork to help promote their special events - such as their annual Walkathon and many of their different Holiday Fest events, and more. I have donated my commissioned cat artwork, money, and attend their events at Harmony House to help support and raise money for the shelter. Also, anything I sell at my Etsy shop that I created for Harmony House, I donate 20% of sales from those items to Harmony House Cat Shelter. I also donate money to Farm Sanctuary, another one of my favorite animal charities. Etsy For Animals, Harmony House Cat Shelter and Farm Sanctuary are the animal charities I hold closest to my heart and feel the most passionate about.

I really love helping animals through my art. Painting and making crafts are so much fun for me, and it's extra special when I know the people buying my cat creations for themselves and/or for their kitties, love and enjoy what I make, but I feel that helping our animal friends in need in the process of my work is especially rewarding to me. As an animal lover, making changes to improve the welfare of animals can sometimes feel overwhelming, since are so many animals in dire need all over the world, but I am a firm believer in that every little bit counts. Because all those 'little bits' actually add up to make for big and wonderful changes in the lives of our precious and beautiful animal friends.
Kitten Dreams Magnet

1 comment:

Mishkat said...

I just saw this - what a nice interview! Great to learn more about the lovely Ms. Jane and her wonderful artwork.

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