Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Store Spotlight is Green Tuxedo!

Chris Zeller is the artist who brings us Green Tuxedo.  He lives in Boise, Idaho and creates very exquisite art using oils and glass.
Infused Designs- How did you come up with the name for your store?

Green Tuxedo- Greentuxedo and the recently evolved Greentuxudio was concocted many years ago as a gamer tag for playing xbox online - I wanted to convey the idea of a james bond feeling matched with the ideas of growth of skill/knowledge with a color.

ID- That's interesting and certainly not something I would have thought of.  How long have you been crafting, and who taught you?

GT- Most of my motivation comes from support from my friends and family. I developed a great connection with my art teachers during my senior year in high school that lead me to decide to teach art and not just create it. I started painting for extra money in 2006, my freshmen year at BSU, through commissions with friends and fellow BSU students via myspace as a way to spend at least some of my free time on painting and drawing in the beginning. From there I've been under the wings and working with professional sculptors, painters, illustrators, drawers, printmakers - you name the tools and I've been molded by them in some sort of way regardless of whether I've continued the process of using them.

ID- That's awesome and must have been a great experience for you. Do you have any formal training in any craft/art subject?

GT- Education as an art education major at BSU required I take the entry level to just about every art discipline. I came to feel best about painting with oils and decided to get an emphasis in painting with my B.F.A. Wanting to continue my artistic endeavors I decided to start flame working at a local studio here in Boise, ID. The private lessons were expensive but so worth it. At the moment my glass jewelry averages more views than my paintings but the two work for each other on my store as both bring in a different crowd of viewers.

ID- When did you open your Etsy store?

GT- Just this summer after pretty much an explosion in production that hit me after a two year hiatus with painting opaque paint. I went from doing one painting to about 30 a month this summer. A family friend who came to my studio pointed out I should set up an Etsy account and it all went awesome from there after opening in July of this year. I had no idea what Etsy was until just this summer which is a bummer deal but I pass the word on to my friends and students.

ID- Do you have other venues you sell at, like craft shows or other online stores?

GT- Etsy is, other than word-of-mouth, my only avenue for selling my work. Though I plan on selling work locally at events this upcoming Spring.

ID- I'm sure you'll do well.  People really like to get a closer look at art and yours is beautiful. What is one of your favorite items in your store?

GT- Yamacity definitely. I'll miss it when it sells as it's on my own wall at the moment.

ID- It is very cool.  If only I had $225 dollars to take it off your hands.  ;-) Where do you gain inspiration for your items?

GT- Nature remains the most influential in finding things that challenge me and evoke a great sense of accomplishment when completed so I'm very accepting of the inspiration I feel from browsing these images.

ID- Do you feel like you have found a niche for the items you sell?

GT- Multiple niches most definitely. There's a big group of gaming fans out there looking for things they couldn't find anywhere else and I love catering to that demographic. Everything seems to sell at about the same rate other than gaming related paintings.

ID- Gaming certainly is  surreal world in itself, probably providing a lot of inspiration as well. Where do you see your shop in 5 years?

GT- I have two pending grants to expand my studio to include extra artists who provide unique qualities to greentuxudio. The studio would offer one-on-one lessons in painting/flameworking/
scupture/photography as well as respective work spaces for a collaborative environment.

ID- Oh, wow!  That's my dream come true!  Wanna move down to UT to do it?  :-D  What advice can you give your fellow team members?

GT- Accessing the wealth of current Etsy knowledge through team message boards is critical. There are many individuals looking to help any artist become an excellent seller, all you need to do is ask politely with consideration. A few of the most helpful things I've found about selling on Etsy or just selling art in general:

I - Always create an accessible way to approach your art by describing the types of feelings your work will invoke on it's viewers as they include this item in their day to day activities. Where it takes them as a viewer is enticing to hear. I've read some of the best prose here on Etsy, and if done right, doesn't have a marketing tone to it.

II - Browsing other seller's work and style of presenting their work also can be very demonstrative of what works.

III - Thinking about trading is a fantastic idea to get started and advance your skill. If you can produce and maintain at least seven or eight items in your store that vary enough in style you most likely have a good shot at trading them for some equal or lesser value item. Many sellers aren't comfortable to trade so making the situation work to their advantage is critical. The contract you form with another seller grants you guaranteed payment that is hand-crafted goodness in return for your supplies and effort. 
Thank you, Chris, that's excellent advice!  It's been a pleasure finding out more about you and your art.  Go check out his surreal paintings here and be sure to leave a comment and him to your circle.


  1. Great to get to know Chris and his fantastic art style.
    P.S. Belated Happy Birthday on the 7th!!



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