portrait: j. nisbet-hoyle

In handmade, interview on 01/22/2010 at 1:21 pm

This morning, I am honored to sit down for a chat with the very talented J. Nisbet-Hoyle.  If you enjoyed last week’s visit with Emma, you’re certainly in for a treat.

J, let’s begin with your home. Tell us a bit about your family and where you live.
My husband Will, and I, along with our two boys, Luke and Liam, live in Laramie, Wyoming. I am originally from Redondo Beach, California and he  is from Charleston, South Carolina. A year ago we sold our house in Charleston and moved to the simple and quiet town of Laramie where my Will is finishing his education at the University. Our second son, Liam, just turned a year old.

As a mother of two, you must be incredibly busy. How do you juggle motherhood and your creative pursuits?
My first career is motherhood. At one time, as a single mom, amidst the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, I had to put so much time and focus into my career as a make-up artist that I lost out on some of the important growing up moments with my first son, Luke. It really hurt that I had to skip out on doing a birthday party for him some of those years. Now I treasure being able to work from home, watching the boys grow and participating in their lives. I am so blessed to do something that I love to generate a little income while at home with my family. It can get difficult to create around the schedule of a one-year-old but my husband is always there to help and so full of love for our family life.

Have you been painting for a long time or is this a new venture? 
My parents were the ones to discover my artistic ability at a very young age. I would color on everything from paper to tabletops and walls. It must have driven them crazy. I can remember my dad washing walls with Clorox and water before the invention of magic erasers. They were very understanding about it though, and encouraged my art (as long as it was on paper). I have always felt my best when I have something in my hands with which to paint, draw, or write. Now that my hands are full with the baby, I have paintbrushes sticking out from behind my ears.

There are  a lot of hand painted goods on Etsy but yours truly stand out. Your designs are unmistakably your own. Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in so many places. I love the jumble of colors and flourished designs seen on old Gypsy wagons scattered around Europe. Jeanne Bayol has a great book called Reve de Roulottes that features her restorations of these old wagons and her interior design work. I love turn of the twentieth century design like Edwardian ephemera. It’s full of romanticism that one can rarely find today. 1920’s boudoir style and fashion is another inspiration, believe it or not. Also, French antiques and decor. Most recently the ornamental and flourishing designs on the bindings of vintage children’s books, and of course all the pretty things nature has to offer.

How long have you been selling on Etsy? Has that been a positive experience so far?
I simply adore Etsy! It has been so much fun. I opened my Etsy shop in August of last year and it was slow going at first. I am still slowly gaining a solid following. I have been so appreciative of Etsy as a company for providing such a wonderful place for a stay-at-home mom like myself to use for her small business.

If you asked me to choose a favorite item in your shop, I don’t think I could pick just one, but I’m curious. What is your favorite item at the moment?
You know, I love the Large Pitcher with Monarchs and Blackberries. It took a week to paint such a large piece of bisque and I enjoyed painting each and every blackberry with the variations of pink, deep violet, and green. I remember the joy I feel while I paint a piece, and that is what makes it a favorite. My next favorite is the Dogwood Blossom and Bird with Ribbon Plate. Something about painting those dogwood blossoms made me very happy.

Do you enjoy any other crafts or hobbies?
I have always been a painter. That’s my penchant. I painted faces as a make-up artist to bring in the bacon for many years. I enjoy painting on canvas as well. Working with paper is great fun for me. I can waste days away scrapbooking and ATC making. Crochet is another craft I enjoy and I find so much relaxation in it.  I am very interested in sewing and I’m working on that skill when I find the time. I want to incorporate other decor items into the Amongst Lovely Things brand, so soon you may see place mats, table runners and pillows. If the craft involves working with my hands, I want to do it!

You also have a beautiful blog that’s brimming with eye candy. How has blogging influenced your creative process?
Ah, sensitive subject. I love to blog but I am so lazy with it. Every time I start a post I wonder why I don’t do it more often. I get such an artistic release by blogging. I started my blog, Oh Look Thats Lovely, during my pregnancy last year when I wasn’t allowed to do much, simply sharing photos of interior design and fashion…pretty and lovely things that appealed to me. The blog is about things that inspire me every day. It is the release I seek when I want to express what makes me warm and fuzzy inside. I have a link to Amongst Lovely Things in the corner of the blog that Etsy has provided so followers of my blog can view my work. It isn’t a diary, per se, so I don’t post too many articles about my ceramic work. Just the things that make me want to work!

Oh Look That's Lovely

Just for fun, tell us what are you’re watching, reading, and listening to these days.
I am an avid movie watcher. I love historical films with lavish costumes and quick-witted dialogue. Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette ranks very high, and I adored two recent films, Cheri and Easy Virtue.

I read a lot as well. The last book I read, The Thirteenth Tale , by Diane Setterfield, was recommended by one of my best friends and I had a great time escaping with it. I’m a huge Anne Rice fan so her latest, Angel Time , is next.

I’ve been told that I have unique musical tastes. The shuffle is always on and there are times when I must have music in the background when I create. I enjoy Jeff Buckley, New Order, Yann Tiersen, and The Bird and The Bee.

As a blogger, I’m sure you have some favorite online reads as well. If you had only fifteen minutes to blog hop today, what would you read?
I’d squeeze in a few minutes on Etsy’s blog, The Storque. Then I’d do some quick hopping to the blogs of my best friends, some of whom I have known since highschool. If I had time after that I’d look at A Gift Wrapped Life, Boudoir Queen’s Poor Little Rich Girl and Paris Hotel Boutique Journal.

J, thank you so much for allowing us this inspiring glimpse into your creative life. It’s been such a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to seeing where this adventure takes you!

Visit J:

Thank you for all of the support on Facebook. Unfortunately, this morning it came to my attention that I’ve got a bit of a privacy issue there so until I get that worked out, the page is hiding. With a little one to think about, I try to be very careful about that sort of thing. I’ll let you know when it’s back up and running. I’m terribly sorry! I’ll be publishing a new craft tutorial here next week and I have a special announcement lined up for Monday. If you’re a shutterbug, get your cameras ready. I need you!

  1. Oh My Goodness! I live in Laramie, WY too! I had to reread that sentence two times to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. It is so cool to find out that we have such an inspiring, talented artist here! Super cool!

    J. Nisbet-Hoyle feel free to email me. Maybe we could get together for coffee or something. I love all things craft related and would love a crochet buddy.

  2. This was lovely to read!

  3. I love the butterfly images that j. highlights in her work…and appreciate her sharing some of her creative inspiration. thanks for the introduction!

  4. This is a great interview! Thank you so much for sharing, her work is really beautiful

  5. Beautiful. Eye candy is right.

  6. Thank you so much for all of these wonderful comments! I am so thrilled to have been interviewed by Gina. Bright and Blithe is a great blog! I feel so blessed.

  7. Enjoyed the interview!! You’re so talented…your work is beautiful!

  8. What an artist. This post is so full of wonderful links and color. I love it.

    Thanks for such goodness this morning.

  9. Wow!! What amazing artwork! I think that pink and red tea cup and saucer are stunning. Thanks for sharing.


  10. What a very, very talented artist. Thank you for sharing this interview. It is always nice to read about how other moms incorporate their talents with motherhood.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  11. What a talent. Thank you for sharing this special interview. I adore the tea cup. Happy weekend.

  12. This interview was great – thanks for introducing us.

  13. Great interview! I loved reading it and discovering new creative folks!

  14. What a talented artist! Thanks for the interview, I enjoyed reading it. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.
    (p.s. did you get my email? I’ve sent many emails lately that haven’t been received, so I’m just checking.)

  15. Thank you for this lengthy, inspiring post. A lot of work involved from both of you. So nice to have a look behind the scenes, and learn about artists’ lives. I too love gypsy caravans. beautiful work!

  16. Good Day! I just had to let you know that I just started a blog and I have put your gorgeous plates on my blogsite. I was coveting the Alice in Wonderland plates and just as I went to get the web address so people could go there, I saw they were sold!

    I hope you don’t mind …I couldn’t resist to share. Your work is LOVELY and Inspirational! Your blog is also awesome as well.

    Good to meet you, stop in an see me sometime.

    have a wonderful day!

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