Professional Crafter Interview & GIVEAWAY! – Mark Montano

Reported By: Simone Collins

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Today we have an interview with the author, artist, home decor master, and all around nice guy, Mark Montano. Mark has years of experience in the Craft Industry and hearing some of his insights and thoughts might help other crafters and artists in their own business.

Name: Mark Montano

Where can we find you online? My website, blog, Facebook Group, and Twitter

When did your business begin and why did you start it? I opened my first boutique in the East Village in 1989 where I made clothes and accessories for the hip and trendy east village New Yorkers and tons of Japanese tourists. In 2002 I published my first book called Super Suite: The Ultimate Bedroom Makeover Guide for Girls which had tons of craft projects that could help you transform your bedroom.

Tell us about your business today. Now it’s basically writing books and supporting it with TV appearances.

Describe your typical day. Up at 7 a.m. FB updates, answering e-mails from the left coast, making phone calls and then a work-out followed by creating for the rest of the day. Margaritas at 6 or 7 pm are a must.

What keeps you motivated? Something Nelson Madela said in a speech once. “It’s our responsibility to share our gifts with the world” “It doesn’t do the world any good if you keep them to yourself because it’s what will make the world a better place.”

What keeps you on track with your business? Tools? Tricks? Being creative every day and doing things that I personally enjoy. If I don’t enjoy it, then I don’t think others will.

Any websites or programs you use to help with your business? Which ones and how do they assist you. It’s an area where I lack for sure. Fortunately I have agents that keep me on track.

What is the biggest challenge in your business? Making sure I have enough time in the day to invent and be creative. I feel most days are filled with details that have nothing to do with creativity and it drives me batty.

Any advice you would give to someone just starting a crafty business? Yes, create because you love to create, not because you want to make money from it. Otherwise you’ll end up unhappy. The money will come later, I promise.

What do you love most about owning your own crafty business? Getting to be creative every day of my life.

Besides crafting, what do you love doing? I love to read, run, and floss my teeth with those floss picks. They rock my world.

Where does your inspiration come from? I am totally inspired by Picasso and Andy Warhol and by repetition.

Who are your favorite crafters? Margo Potter and Crafty Chica

Mark and Kathy Cano-Murillo, the Crafty Chica

Tell us about your crafting space. I love it. It’s a miniature version of my 1914 Craftsman house that I had built to look like it had been there for 100 years. It’s magical.

If you lose your crafty mojo, how do you find it again? I work through it. It’s been lost at times but I think we all need a break from creativity. It’s an energy that can be exhausted at times and we need to walk away from it.

What trends are you noticing in Craft? I try not to notice trends too much. I prefer to invent my own things. Recycling will always be popular with me and so will using things from the 99c store.

Where do you see your business in 10 years? My own brands of certain things that I personally use all of the time.

A big thanks to Mark for his candid answers and great info! Be sure to keep up to date with all of Mark’s great adventures on his website and Facebook.

Mark has generously agreed to give away a copy of his book, The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor, to one lucky reader and it is so easy to enter to win. To enter please answer any of the following questions below in the Comments section of this article. One entry per person, please.

Do you own any of Mark’s books yet? Which ones? What home decor project would you like to start or are you working on?

**Giveaway is closed. Thanks for entering!**

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23 Responses to Professional Crafter Interview & GIVEAWAY! – Mark Montano

  1. Avatar
    boysplusmom May 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    i do not own any of his books but now i want to after the interview! My husband has been on a painting binge lately and i need to fill the walls with smeting wonderful

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    Robyn L. Coburn May 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I don’t own any of the books, but I so like the look of that side flower side table, that I’m now very interested in exploring his aesthetic. I’m currently working on launching my custom scrapbook business and my next article for Natural Life Magazine – which is wall art how-to’s with recycled materials. So I’m very interested in his recycled stuff.

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    Dollie May 26, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    I don’t own any of his books, but would love this! My husband and I recently purchase a house, so we could use some decorating tips 🙂

  4. Avatar
    chatdumpgirl May 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    I do not own any of his books, but am aware of and love his work! he holds a prominent place on my amazon wish list!

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    Diane S. May 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    I don’t own any of Mark’s books, but they all look so interesting! I would love to read them-so much information and inspiration! Right now I am trying to get my craft room set up and decorated;I am sure he has some great ideas.

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    AShu93 May 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    I have never heard of Mark before. Thanks for the great introduction. It looks like a lot of great crafts in the book. I’d love to get some great ideas for the craftroom I’m re-organizing. Thanks for the chance!

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    kim May 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    I dont own any of Marks books. love the idea of decorating from the .99 cent store. working on my craft space to make it insire me. not sure what to do with the vaulted ceilings. I do enjoy recycling in my craft projects. Thank you so much for the chance to win.

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    jenny May 26, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I own the big ass book and love it. I really want to try the duck tape chair (keeping my eyes open for that perfect chair)! I also love the paper doll window decoration:)

  9. Avatar
    Alaina May 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    I do not own any of the books. As for my projects, I would like to create new covers for the couch pillows and re-do the kitchen chairs. The chairs are a black canvas and have gotten food on them and it won’t wash off. Plus I tried to clean them once and it made it worse.

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    susie May 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    i own his “big ass book of crafts” and i love it – read it cover to cover in one night! i’d love this one too; i’m currently working on revamping some of our tired furniture, and mark’s just the man for inspiration!

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    Digital Misfit May 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Mark’s books are all on my wish list. I love his use of dollar store and recycled materials. Right now I am hoping to work on some kind of faux headboard for the guest room.

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    Sandy #1781 May 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Great interview with Mark! I’m sad to say, owning one of Mark’s books is still just a listing on my wish list, but boy would it be great to have some of his fun ideas right now! I am converting an old wood shop into a studio that has french doors out onto a brick patio! I could really use some help making this the fun place I imagine.

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    Betsy May 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    I love Mark! The only book I don’t have of his is Home decor! Thanks for the faublous interview

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    Nitasha May 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Thank you for this fantastic interview! So nice to get to know more about Mark and I would love to own a copy of this latest book! Right now I’m in the ‘planning’ phase of refinishing a sidetable.

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    Lori May 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    I don’t own any yet, but I love his energy and can’t wait to peruse the ideas in the book.

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    zees5 May 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Right after we finish our remodel I want to work on antique couch restoration and window treatments.

  17. Avatar
    Carmen May 27, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    I don’t own any of the books and am so sorry to say I hadn’t heard of Mark before reading this article (what can I say? i obviously walk around with my eyes shut!) but I just love what I see – that soldier wall hanging is fantastic 😀 Thanks for the chance to win!

  18. Avatar
    Anonymous May 27, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    I do not own any of Mark’s books, but definitely NEED to!! We are in the process of remodeling our main living area, laundry, kitchen and dining room -huge project to say the least.

  19. Avatar
    Iris May 27, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    I do not own any of Mark’s books but after reading the interview, I am adding them to my wish list. Love, the”boom” project and the beautiful Spring Flower side table. Iris
    isoscia at aol dot com

  20. Avatar
    j*e*n May 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    I’m always up for some tips on crafting. My kiddos rooms could use an update, so plenty of projects await some inspiration. Thanks for the chance to win!

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    Katie_Bolinger May 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    I don’t have any of his books but would love to use a few of his ideas. I am trying to find a good window covering for a boy’s room that is inhabited by someone who doesn’t want a covered window but wants to shut the light out.

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    Melinda AKA medialady May 29, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    I do not have any of his books but after reading about him, I would love to have them!

  23. Avatar
    LisaAnn May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I don’t own any of his books yet and I’m working on my youngest girls’ room right now- I am going to make a quilt to cover the obsolete window next 🙂