Todd Selby Opens Up Etsy's Creative Community
Etsy is more than a website to buy handmade products and vintage finds. It's a marketplace that inspires artists and has built the foundation for a creative community that encourages each other. Todd Selby fits squarely within that community. As a creative person who is always searching his world for the next coolest inspiration, he's a very active user of Etsy. "I’ve been a long time Etsy fan and Etsy buyer because I love colorful and handmade stuff, and craftsmanship and vintage things. And that’s what Etsy is all about,” Todd says. “It’s like an endless rabbit hole of kookie, crazy, interesting things on there." So when they invited him to shoot their latest campaign it was a natural fit.
Todd linked up with a handful of real Etsy buyers and sellers, meeting them in their own spaces in and around London to create a series of environmental portraits that would hit the heart of what Etsy is about. He dug deep into thier homes, their shops, and their workshops, accessing the root of their creativity. "It was a perfect fit,” Todd says. “We shot the colorful characters of people who sell stuff through Etsy but also people who collect things through Etsy. And a lot of those people do both. It was a fun mix.” Todd met a handful of people on the shoot and couldn't pick just one or two who were the most remarkable to him. The whole community ended up making an impression. “You get a lot of different type of people, even from the small selection we shot. It was pretty neat." Whether it's sharing a cup of tea with a bearded man in a dress, or helping to pack up some fuzzy keyrings, it was more than just a photographic experience.
Part of what makes Todd's aesthetic unique is that he allows himself to be inspired by what he's shooting and in turn create watercolor illustrations that he incorporates into the final imagery. Whether it's a bear in briefs or a massive tarantula, he uses whatever makes an impression on him. "I like doing illustrations and animations so I’m always looking for little details that I can incorporate into the film," explains Todd. "So there’s a great photo of the spider on the wall and then I try to paint it too."
Check out the resulting short film that Todd created for Etsy below.