Another awesome artist I came across on Etsy. Artist and Freelance Graphic Designer Seth Carter runs Seth Carter Designs. I fell in love with his watercolours- particularly “Geometric Cut-off” and the untitled piece featured at the bottom of the interview. Keep up the great work Seth. Read on to find out more about the Perth artist or head to his Website, Design Page, Facebook, Etsy or Vintage Posters Art Etsy.
Where did the name Inspiration, Seth Carter Art come from?
No where in particular…its my name and it describes what I do (or aim to do). I’m pretty useless at thinking up names.
When did you first get into graphic design, in particular watercolour?
About 5 years ago I finished up my training as a graphic designer, but I’ve always been a painter since I was a young kid. I adapted skills and techniques I learned while I was studying and started working on my art a couple years ago. It started as just my hobby that I would do after work each day, but slowly it began to build until I decided to try and start selling some of my pieces.
The use of watercolour for my portraits firstly came from necessity (paper and watercolour paints were the cheapest for a student at the time) but it quickly grew into my favourite medium.
How did you get Seth Carter Art up and running?
As I said, my artwork started as a hobby and side project from my design work, but I decided to register my own website and sell directly to whoever wanted my work rather than try and go through a third party. Thankfully my graphic design background made it easy for me to design and start the website myself with very little hassle. I cruised around the web a lot looking for others that had done the same and found a bit of useful advice which helped me greatly.
What does a typical day at Seth Carter Art look like?
Right now, Seth Carter Art is still taking second place to my full time work, so sometimes its hard to find a spare moment to work on new pieces. But usually I can get around to something on my weekends. But I’m also always on the look out for photographs and portraits, different ideas and artwork that inspires me to try some of it out myself. So in a way I’m always doing something for my art.
What’s the longest a watercolour has ever taken you?
I did a custom job for an old friend, it was an A3 watercolour portrait of her parents. She wanted something unique and individual to give them for their anniversary, so I was happy to help. However this piece required me to work closely off of an old photo of her parents and trying to keep it looking reasonably close to the original. All in all, it took me about 2 weeks to get it looking how I wanted it, and to have my friend happy with it too.
I seriously love your Geometric Cut-off piece. What’s your favourite watercolour piece and why?
That’s probably one of my personal favourites too. I did a small series of those with different portraits cut-off with various shapes. So I enjoyed working on those, but I have to say, one piece I have always liked is on my website still – ‘Head Tilt’ (im not so great with names for art haha). I’ve just always been fond of that piece, I’m not sure why, but it was hard to part with when I sold it!
Also loving your old-school prints! Where did the idea for this style of thing come from?
Haha, those are just some random ideas I had one day when I was at work, so I created them in some down time I had.
Tell us about your Repros.
I’ve always loved vintage art and graphic design, vintage travel posters in particular! Some of those posters I have I found while on my travels through America last year. So I share my love of this design work by reproducing the posters at high resolution as prints, and I also reproduce others that I have found online. What’s on my website is only a small fraction of all the posters I have as reproductions, I mostly sell those on another Etsy store that I run.
Can you remember selling your first print?
Yes, because it was quite satisfying! But to explain why there’s a little story behind it. My first sale wasn’t actually a print, it was the original artwork for one of my paintings. This was when I first started my website and selling online. The reason I say it was satisfying was because, unbelievably, I received a kind of ‘hate mail’ abuse about it. This “person” emailed me to express their impression of my art and how much they disliked it (this one piece in particular) and basically to cut their rant short, said that no one would ever buy want to but anything from me! So, feeling pretty upset and annoyed at this, my first experience of trying to sell my art, I was ready to just take it all down. However the very next day I sold that exact piece and 2 others! Needless to say, I emailed that “person” back and informed them of my sale (quite happily) and I never heard from them again.
What inspires you to create?
Many things. But I think other artists in particular. The internet is an amazing tool, it exposes us to so much incredible art all over the globe. I look at some of my favourite artists that I have found in the back corners of instagram or art blogs and they inspire me through their work and make me want to try and create something for myself that can be just as original.
What advice would you give to young artists looking to create and sell their work online?
I don’t know if I have much useful advice, but maybe something cliché like “never give up” haha. It can take a long time to try and get your art out there and for people to start to recognise it, but there are so many options, easy options to get it out there. Facebook can do this for free and even Etsy is cheap and painless to set up and can give you a wide exposure online.