Saturday, October 27, 2012

For my first Interview on Etsy in forever I talked to professional designer and part time comic artist Monica Gallagher about her site, her derby webcomic Bonnie N. Collide, and Etsy

Monica: I've gotten a lot more involved with Etsy since I started back in 2007. As the site has grown, I've started to view it more seriously as a business tool. I really appreciate all of their articles, groups, teams, and information encouraging sellers to do more with their work. And although I don't always have time to read their articles on how to improve your shop, every time I do I find something worthwhile. For example, after participating in last year's holiday bootcamp, I changed the way I presented all of my books to try to make them appear more consistent. I know Etsy has hammered this home on its sellers, but for newbies, it bears repeating - photos are so important!

Above, an actual image from her shop. Even in cases of art, and comics its great to see scale and printing style and binding all in a clear and even clever photo. Bellow, a detail photo, also from Gallagher's etsy account. 

If you put effort into nothing else but that, I think you'll find tremendous value. I'll spend hours on Etsy just navigating through gorgeous photographs of work, because it presents a world to me that I want to live in.

Question: Why Derby? 

I love roller derby. I was only in it for a short time (1 year learning how to skate + 1 1/2 years on a league), but it was a really magical experience. I mean, really hard work and one of the scariest things I've ever done, but magical too! For me, roller derby was the perfect blend of everything I was looking for - sport, female friends, exercise, community, action, drama, and costuming. 


Once I was involved though, I saw behind the glitz of the bouts and the sweat of the practices and discovered the reality of juggling a real life and a derby life. Every rollergirl I knew wasn't just a rollergirl and a teacher or a rollergirl and a nurse - they were usually multiple "somethings" - mothers, students, etc. And they juggled everything just for the sake of being in derby. They found it that important, and that sacrifice in itself reminded me of superheroes, more than just the duality of rollergirl names and costuming.

I actually created my Bonnie N. Collide, Nine to Five comic before I was in derby, just looking from the outside in. But after I got more interested in derby, I found SO many things I wanted to talk about in the comic - especially how it related to my day job and the day jobs of other rollergirls I knew. The idea that Bonnie could stay chipper and positive at a boring, soul-sucking job BECAUSE she got to hit people in her free time was my main impetus for writing her story.

 To read Bonnie's story or find out more visit or Monica Gallagher's Etsy account at

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