By Christine Olick, Web designer for slygirlstudios.com
Maureen: I am so incredibly honored and flattered to be your first featured FotoFuzer! Thank you so very much.My name is Maureen Kirchdoerfer, and I live in Fort Worth TX. I have a Great Dane named Mango, a Pomeranian named Dax, and a wonderful husband; they make me happy beyond words. When I'm not crafting new pieces, or using FotoFuze to enhance my newly crafted pieces, I am at my Tae Kwon Do school where I work and play. I am a Purple Belt in American Tae Kwon Do, a White Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and have been doing Muay Thai Kickboxing for about 2 years. I absolutely love the martial arts, and everything it involves. Besides making my creations, it is my favorite meditative outlet. Fotofuze: How did you first hear about FotoFuze, and when was that?
Maureen: I heard about Fotofuze about two months ago while browsing through the Etsy Apps. It has has changed my life by helping to make the picture taking process of my products incredibly easy and user friendly. I used to have to edit for hours on end to try to get my products properly highlighted and accented. With FotoFuze I am done in a few clicks! I am left with incredibly professional looking photos that make my products look incredible! Fotofuze: How has FotoFuze changed your life?
Maureen: I love that FotoFuze links up to my Etsy, so that I can post new items directly from the FotoFuze site. After I finishing highlighting my photographs, I simply click 'Post to Etsy' and within minutes I have new items posted with incredible pictures! Fotofuze: What do you like the most about FotoFuze at the moment? Maureen: Right now, I have to say that I love the ease of use of the program, as well as the customer service. I was having trouble posting an item to my Etsy the other day, and I popped a message onto the live chat, and within seconds I had a response and someone was helping me. The problem was solved in minutes, and I was in awe!
Maureen: My artistic style sprang from the depths of my silly creative mind. Sometimes even I don't know where I come up with ideas, they sort of just pop into my brain and I just roll with it. I am inspired by the juxtaposition of soft elements mixed with unexpected harder lines. I love taking something that is typically thought of as dark, morbid, or even ugly, and making it into something that is unexpectedly beautiful.
Fotofuze: What do you use to shoot your photos with?
Maureen: I use a Pentax SR Optio A40 to take my pictures. Nothing fancy, but it always gets the job done. I always adjust my white balance, and the zoom level, I use a homemade light box to take the pictures, but then I let FotoFuze do the rest.
Maureen: When I am designing, I will sometimes sit down with an idea in mind of what I want to do, but I always find that when I finish, it is never what I expected it to be. I let my pieces sort of create themselves. I'm never ever rigid in what I am creating, and might start with an idea, but halfway through if I think something else might look cool I'll go with it. It is an incredible creative process, and a freeing feeling to be able to just let something happen like that. I really treat it like a meditative process. In meditation, you let your thoughts come and go, but never focus on one single thing. That's really what happens when I sit down to create.
Fotofuze: When you are designing a piece of jewelry, do you spend a while working on the concept, or do you run with your first idea and revel in that spontaneity?
Maureen: In April of 2009, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer. Eight months later, on January 2, 2010, he passed away after an incredibly brave and difficult battle with the disease. His loss to me was, and is still a crushing blow to my heart. He was a pillar of strength in my life. But from his ordeal, I learned how important it is to take advantage of every minute we have here on this earth. It made me realize the value of appreciating everything, and everyone I have, and how fleeting our time is here. Perhaps most importantly, I realized the importance of doing in those minutes the things that make your heart happy. I began crafting jewelry in November of 2009, while I was staying with my parents during my father's last months of life. In my down time I needed something to channel my energies in a positive way. I needed a distraction, and a release. I suddenly felt the urge to begin crafting jewelry. Call it chance, call it coincidence, or call it fate. All I know is that creating jewelry for me has become my meditation, my peace. I put so much of myself into each and every piece, that it creates an incredible release for my heart, mind, and soul. Thus, the birth of Release Me Creations. Fotofuze: Are you involved in any other art such as music or painting, etc?
Maureen: I am involved in the martial arts, and yes, I do consider this an art. The meditative aspects, the focus, and the beauty that can occur through the movement of the body are so incredibly inspiring to me. I also enjoy occasionally sitting down to draw using graphite and charcoal. I love creating black and white portraits.
Fotofuze: What is one new feature you wish FotoFuze could have?
Maureen: A new feature that I'd love to see on FotoFuze would be different folders that I could place my pieces in so that I wouldn't have to search through pages upon pages to find a piece I did in the past. I'd love to be able to separate my fuzes into necklaces, rings, earrings, or even just separated into folders by months. Just so that I could browse through past fuzes more easily.
Fotofuze: What do you love about Etsy?
Maureen: I absolutely love the community of Etsy, and how incredibly diverse and unique it is. I love that it is like a treasure chest full of things just waiting for you to find them. I also love the idea that there is someone out there who is meant to have one of my creations. I truly believe that my pieces always end up in the hands of who they are supposed to, almost like my pieces are pre-destined to find their place in the world.
Maureen: They can visit http://www.releasemecreations.com
or find me on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/zen25.
Fotofuze: Thank you so much for sharing with us!