Welcome to Tell Us Tuesday! Each week, I’ll have a guest artist answer a few questions and wow, I have a fantastic lineup for you! I hope that by hearing from such a diverse pool of creative people, we will take away interesting and different perspectives. This may help in your own endeavors, be it painting furniture for fun, working on your home and creating your own style, or starting a blog or business for profit. The questions range from the artistic to running a successful creative business.
I consider all of the participants to be my true friends. We may not have met face to face (yet) but I know that we all support and inspire each other.
This week we have the extremely talented Denise from Salvaged Inspirations. I am a big fan of Denise’s work and her site. Her blog is organized and easy to read with both beautiful makeovers and fantastic tips and tricks for your own furniture flip. If you are looking for Inspiration, this is the gal!
Interspersed in the questions are pictures of Denise’s amazing work. Click on the picture for a link back to her original blog post on the piece. Links also at end of post.
Thank you for inviting me to be in your Tell Us Tuesday series Suzanne. I’m so flattered to be included with all these other like-minded and talented furniture painters!
Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Denise. I share my salvaged furniture restyles on my blog SalvagedInspirations.com.
I’m a Canadian Blogger/Furniture Painter living in Burlington, Ontario. Burlington is 30 minutes west of Toronto and 40 minutes north of the Niagara Falls/US Border. Super convenient! This makes for a lot of fun cross border shopping trips to Hobby Lobby!
When did you begin to paint furniture and/or create projects for the home?
I created Salvaged Inspirations 3 years ago, but I started painting furniture for myself when I purchased my first home. And I’d rather not say how many years ago that was…[laughing]. Rather then spend a small fortune decorating, I transformed thrift or salvaged finds to form my own unique style. If you had told me back then that I would actually have a furniture painting business, I never would have believed you. Everyday, I’m grateful that I get to do something I love and make a living of it.
When and how did you start your website/page/blog?
My blog was created 3 years ago when I started my furniture painting business. I wasn’t a total stranger to web design as I had been photoshooting local boutiques and then using the images to design their websites on Wix. But I’m the first to admit, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing with my blog the first year. All I knew was I wanted an online presence to help and inspire other furniture painters and diy’ers with their projects. Blogging is a lot more time consuming and hard work than I ever imagined, but I absolutely love it!
What would you consider to be your unique style and what inspires you?
My style leans towards antique and vintage, but I must admit it can be eclectic. My decor preferences are a mish-mash of vintage, french country, farmhouse, shabby and cottage style. However, I truly love and appreciate all styles. If a client wants me to paint a MCM piece, I’m more than happy to do it. I like having the opportunity to spray pieces as well as use my brush to create beautiful finishes. What inspires me? – EVERYTHING!!! I take my inspiration from nature walks with my fur-kid, travelling, reading, going to museums, photography, live music, and of course other furniture painters and artists. I’m a firm believer that if you’re in your present moment and aware of your surroundings, inspiration is everywhere!
How do you decide which paint or technique to apply?
My goal is to pick colors and finishes that enhance and showcase the piece’s history and character in the best manner. So this may sound out-there, but I wait for the piece to ‘talk’ to me. Often a piece’s history and character dictate what paint and/or finish to use. I consider the furniture’s size, purpose, condition, and detailing. This helps me decide whether it will lend itself to milk paint, chalk paint, acrylic/enamel or stain…a hand painted finish or a sprayed finish. Then ultimately, I go with my gut feeling.
Do you consider both writing your blog and working on a project to each be a creative process? Which do you prefer?
Writing the SI Blog and painting/restyling furniture both challenge and satisfy me creatively. I can’t say I prefer one over the other. It’s funny though, because growing up, I always dreamed of being a famous artist or author. Aside from the famous part, my dream has come true. I get to paint, and publish what I write. Some days wild horses couldn’t drag me from my paint studio, other days I’m glued to my iMac. Ideally, it’s a combination of the two. I feel very blessed and fortunate to have a business that allows me all this creative diversity. I get to hunt for great pieces, paint and restyle, write and photograph all while meeting amazing clients and people along the way.
What is your favorite part of the creative process? The initial brainstorming/inspiration, working on the piece, the finishing touches (staging/photography) or writing and publishing the blog post? Least favorite?
Part of my tag line is “Lovin’ Every Minute of the Hunt, the Find and the Transformation!”. It’s ALL fun! I thoroughly enjoy searching for furniture, the initial creative brainstorming, getting saw dust in my hair and paint on my hands! Photographing my finished piece and writing my blog… all amazing! However, the part that often challenges me is the staging/styling of my finished pieces. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it just takes me forever! I’m so envious of furniture painters who can style a piece in 10 minutes and have it look magazine worthy. I’m not exaggerating when I say I can spend half a day arranging 3 plants and a frame. Having said this, it seems to all come together in the end.
What do you believe to be the reason for the success of your blog and business?
I have no idea…[laughing]. I’m not the most eloquent writer. I’m not the best photographer or furniture painter out there. I guess where I do excel is focusing on my SI readers and clients – which is what business is all about…people. I’m blessed to have clients that want my restyled creations and a loyal following on the SI Blog. Success is a funny concept though, isn’t it? It can mean so many different things to different people… but I do think it’s always a moving target. The moment we start feeling successful, we may not strive to improve, learn and grow. I believe the success of any blog or business is to focus on your clients and readers all the while being true to yourself. Hard work and loving what you do will make all the difference.
What advice do you give other creative people wishing to follow in your footsteps?
Hmmm…first, I would say follow your heart and work your craft… whatever your talent or interest may be. When you do what you love, it’s easy to put in the required time and effort to build a business or master your craft. You’ll know you’re on the right path because it will energize you rather than feel like a chore. And when you’re happy and energized, you’re more apt to stick with it… even if challenges arise. Secondly, whatever you define as success – it doesn’t happen overnight. Success requires patience and persistence, so be kind to yourself. And lastly, which may be the most important of all, I love this quote from Canada’s very own Wayne Gretzky “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” … so go take your shot! 🙂
Thanks again Suzanne, this was fun!
Up next week… wait till you hear from Mary from Orphans With Makeup! I cannot wait share her work and hear her story. I am very honored that so many of my amazing blogging friends have agreed to take part in Tell Us Tuesday!