L. N. Holmes: “Where is your hometown?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “Originally I’m from Oak Grove, KY. It’s a super small city near an Air Force Base.”
L. N. Holmes: “What is your chosen artistic profession?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “I’m actually trying to start my own business selling hand-sculpted jewelry and art. So basically, I’m a self-employed artist at this point. I’ve found I’m much happier working for myself because I know what I want, you know?”
L. N. Holmes: “Why did you choose to become a self-employed artist?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “I chose to become a self-employed artist versus anything else because I’m happier this way. Even though things are tough right now I know what I want out of life, myself, and my art. I feel more fulfilled than I did, even though I haven’t reached me goal yet, and when I’m working I am furthering myself instead of someone else. It might sound a little selfish, but I want to reap the rewards of my own hard work. I am also working up to a larger goal of bringing art to communities, but that’s another story.”
L. N. Holmes: “What messages do you try to communicate through your work?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “I’m trying to convey a sense of playfulness and imagination. Growing up I read. I read a lot. (Seriously. I have boxes and boxes of books waiting for me to unpack them right now. ) I was, and still am, really into science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, etc. So my free time was spent in worlds where other authors spun their amazing stories of lady knights, dragons, and impossible journeys. I want to tell a tale. I want to tell a tale of myself or another character and how we traverse through our worlds. Sometimes, though, I just want to be silly.”
L. N. Holmes: “What are your favorite materials to work with?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “Honestly? Everything. Right now I’m into sculpting with polymer clay. It’s this oven bake clay that I can do really cool stuff with. Right now I’m building up my sculpting skills because I never thought in a million years that I’d be sculpting anything. I’m building up to do something big one of these days.
“Other than that, another new medium for me is gouache. I’m totally in love with painting with gouache. I seriously wish I had it in collage. I mean it’s opaque but has the properties and can be thinned out like watercolor! It’s the best of both worlds if you ask me.
“Oh and watercolor I love, but I’m still learning. India ink is amazing, rice paper is my love, acrylic paint is a gift, and I’m learning to love oil paint a lot more these days. As you can see I like working with almost anything.”
L. N. Holmes: “What art medium do you use the most? How do you balance the different mediums?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “Right now I’m using a lot of polymer clay, but that’s because I’m trying to get ready for a flea market in November. Hopefully I’ll get a table! I use the polymer clay mostly for jewelry and figurines right now. In December, I plan on getting down to business and begin working on my next art show.
“Otherwise, when I’m not sculpting, I do a lot of digital painting. Mostly because I don’t have to keep buying supplies and mostly because it’s a fun new medium to explore. It’s easier to share my drawings and such with the world too.
“Right now there isn’t a lot of juggling between me sculpting, digital painting, and painting with traditional media. I must admit I dropped the ball in drawing and painting. I haven’t done either in a bit, but I’m actively trying to finish some projects for my shop so I can have some painting/drawing time.”
L. N. Holmes: “How does technology affect your art?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “Technology is a big part of my art because it is how I make some of my pieces and the internet is where I can share it. The internet is where my shop is right now, where I share my art and my process, and it is where I can view and connect with other artists.”
L. N. Holmes: “Where do you sell your art?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “I sell my art on Etsy. I am also on Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram. You can follow me on these social media sites and see all the behind the scenes work I’m up to. If you are interested in talking to me or commissioning work, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, but I can be contacted through social media also!”
L. N. Holmes: “How do you support other artists?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “Right now I can’t afford any of my favorite artists’ work so I follow them on social media (mostly tumblr). I “like,” “favorite,” and comment on posts that I also share with people I know. I try to support them in that way.”
L. N. Holmes: “What’s your biggest complaint about the graphic design/visual art/sculpting industry?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “My biggest complaint (pet peeve) is one that probably anyone in different businesses can attest to. Not everyone can understand the hard work, research, education, and dedication that goes behind a body of work. Thus, sometimes you find those who don’t understand the price of whatever service you provide or artwork that you make.”
L. N. Holmes: “What/who inspires you?”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “Books, comic books, other artists. My inspiration comes from everywhere really. I spend hours looking through blogs, reading stories, etc. to get my imagination going. Though sometimes I can sit and doodle for a long time and find inspiration in that.”
L. N. Holmes: “What would you recommend to others attempting to become self-employed artists?”
“1) Do a lot of research. Seriously. Read everything. Blogs, books, articles. Do it now before you decide to do what you want. Read. Read now.
“2) The starving artist stereotype is real… sometimes. It depends on how you want to hack it. Some people have second jobs and do their art on their off time. Some people go into their art full-time. It depends.
“3) It’s going to be hard. Really hard. You probably will doubt yourself and the validity of what you are doing. Accept that, but press on. Don’t let self doubt cripple you or you’ll be in for an even harder time.
“4) Did I mention research? You’re reading right? Go! Read!”
L. N. Holmes: “Name a few of your favorite books and why they are your favorites.”
Yenthlyn Harmon: “A few? LeeAnn, that’s impossible! I can tell you my favorite authors, though.
“Kim Harrison and her Rachel Morgan series have been a mainstay since my childhood also. Her world of witches, pixies, and vampires is itself a work of magic. She keeps you intrested in her fleshed-out characters and her settings. She probably has post-it notes everywhere.
“There’s a long list but these authors are at the top.”
L. N. Holmes: “Is there anything else you’d like to tell the readers?”
“1) Hi! I love you!
“2) Never give up on your dreams! Seriously. Don’t. You’re never too old and it is almost never too late. Life is too short to be filled with regret.”
To contact Yenthlyn Harmon to purchase works of art — or for questions, comments, or praise — please click here.