Today we will talk to
— Your graceful girls are very memorable and peculiar works. Please tell us how these things are born? Do your characters have stories, prototypes?
— Thank you! I really think over my girls before modeling. It's like playing with dolls in childhood :) Do you remember how we cut out paper dolls and dressed them? We also sewed outfits for them from mother's scraps. I was very fascinated by this activity! So now some images are born quickly as a lightning, while others are created in no hurry and are not capricious.
But there is always one thing: every girl should be unique, I try to come up with her own character, name, and add some detail that will finish the look. More often, of course, I make thoughtfully-dreamy, languid, romantic person. Female half of our modern life usually lacks this inner peace, femininity... I try to fill it with my work :)
Of course there are real models, I see them everywhere: on the street, on the Internet. Sometimes only once seen detail is enough: the color of the scarf or purse is unusual, or some gesture.
— Is there a brooch girl among your works, with whom you associate yourself? Maybe it's the mood or style of clothing?
— Perhaps that's me. Sitting somewhere in grass, watching insects and dreaming :)
I spent a lot of time in the village with my grandmother in summer. Then people had cows and sheep, we went to their pastures, nearby we collected wood strawberry. Helped adults in the hayfield. From milk we made homemade cheese and cream, baked in the Russian oven the most delicious cakes! My best and warmest memories are from there.
— There are so many beautiful flowers in your work! Do you like to grow flowers, or do you just create them?
— I've been a keen gardener for the last three years! I loved flowers before, but after moving to my house, I had the opportunity to grow them for my own pleasure — they are completely different. For now I can not boast of a beautiful garden, but I will definitely make my dream come true. Spring flowers are especially touching: tenderness, light warm whisper of nature after a long cold winter. Snowdrops, tulips, hyacinths, crocuses, scilla, lilies, daffodils — they always appear in my work in February.
— Your Livemaster page says that it all started with New Year souvenirs. Can you tell us what those souvenirs were?
— They were souvenir magnets. At that time, my eldest child was 1.5 years old, and I needed educational games. I wanted to make the simplest magnets in the form of animal figures and the simplest magnets-puzzles. I already had modeling experience. I learned about baked polymer clay, looked on the Internet, what you can make from it, and decided to try. I really liked the result! It looked like this:
So, when I got my hand in it, I made New Year magnets. I did not know about Livemaster then, therefore, I participated in local handicraft fairs. My magnets quickly found their audience, and earning the first money from sales, I realized that I opened a new path, the path of free creativity!
This is what my fridge looked like before the fair:
— Did you study sculpting yourself, instinctively, or did you attend workshops, watch video tutorials?
— Of course, at the very beginning, in 2012, I watched video tutorials. It was terribly interesting, and I rushed at everything. But then it was mostly the theme of miniature sweets, and I was looking for something else. In the end, I realized that I had to find something of my own. I already had experience of modeling, and the material itself told me what to do. I am an experimenter, I like to invent my own techniques. The main rule for me: to see the finished work, not the material from which it is made.
— Are you asked to make brooches-girls upon order, which would depict specific people — for example, as a gift for a friend?
— Yes, there were such orders, and it's very interesting! On the other hand, it is responsibility – what if a person will not like it or it will not look alike... In general, I always worry about every work, despite the fact that I have a lot of experience.
— Among your works there is one thing completely different — the panel "Father's House", which you did as a gift for your grandma. Did you like to create in a larger form?
— In fact, it is just now that I`m a brooch-artisan :) But before I worked with completely different materials and volumes. Fortunately, I had a chance to work in the creative workshop of Karim Mukhamadeev, I consider him my teacher and spiritual mentor. Thanks a lot! I came there absolutely crushed and confused. At that moment I left my job in a recruitment agency and lost long-awaited child... Life has lost its meaning, that emptiness had to be filled with some light, hope! Without experience, but with a great thirst for creative activity, I began to look for a completely different job, I remembered that I sculpted well as a child. With that only skill and burning eyes I worked as an ice, sand, plaster and concrete sculptor. I'd say that was the main school of my life. In general, spending five days at -35 in the wind, sharpening an ice sculpture for the competition is my thing. Did you know that even your eyes freeze at this temperature? I'm not talking about hands! It was possible to work in the office, but my soul demanded all that :)
Ice is a magic material. The result exceeds all your expectations. This crystal palace was built by my team at the ice sculpture competition in 2009 right on Lake Baikal ice, we took the first place. I am proud of it and admire it to this day!
I also participated in the creating "Miners" sculpture in Cheremkhovo. Severe creativity was in all its manifestations: heavy material, monumental statues — how else can you show life of Siberian miners? The most difficult thing was to convey character and facial expression.
There were many interesting projects, you can not list them all. I'm so glad I was able to follow a creative way in life. It's like a step into the abyss, you do not know what to do next: break or grow wings. The main thing is when there are people who will support and believe in you. Then you start to believe in yourself :) Do not think that the path was so easy and smooth. There were calluses on my hands, and overworked shoulder from concrete, and freezing limbs, and sleepless nights when I did not have time to finish the work, and just backache... But I have such a character, without difficulty and pain I don't feel like living, you know? Someone can lie on the beach, but someone wants to climb the mountain all the time :)
Returning to the question about "Father's House" panel, I want to say that recreating old houses of our grandparents in miniature is very important. Many have their parents' houses only in photos, and someone has it only in memory. Can you imagine how nice it is for an elderly person to receive such a panel as a gift? It is even more pleasant to give :) I plan to develop this direction in my work.
— How often do you come up with a story or an idea of a new brooch that serves as a source of inspiration?
— Since childhood, I have been watching nature for hours: trees, grass, flowers, insects, all this is recorded in my subcortex and it comes up periodically, images emerge, sometimes even in a stream that you cannot stop. How beautiful, graceful and perfect our nature is! Every spikelet, every twig, every flower tells us: human, I am here, next to you, you do not need anything else for happiness! All my works somehow glorify the beauty of the area where we live. I feel myself a part of land and forests. Therefore, we built a house in the village, here I am in my place, here I feel good and have something to be inspired of.
— We read your blog — in winter you had almost no free time. How do you allocate resources during the year? Is it possible to take a "weekend" from creativity?
— I do not know how to allocate resources and plan. When I have a lot of orders, I mobilize, they give me strength. Sometimes I have more free time, and I can think about new works and dream. Creativity is a lifestyle, you do not need to rest. Except that sometimes you want to change the direction, for example, to sew. So I diluted modeling and started making fabric conifer trees a couple of years ago. My customers liked them very much! It became clear that if I stop making brooches, I can make textile miniatures. I will open a second store on Livemaster :)
— You have so many seasonal brooches, you may even guess the time of action. What time of year do you like best?
— My eldest son always asks it :) I always answerthat all seasons are beautiful in their own way, and we have the opportunity to observe changes in nature from one season to another. But deep down I still love autumn more. For its calm, majestic beauty, colors and warm sun is not burning. I love to walk in the autumn forest, watch leaves fall, breathe in humid forest air. My birthday is in October.
— Some of your works are dedicated to moomins. Do you like these stories? Tell us about your favorite books — in childhood and now.
— Of course, reading stories by Tove Jansson is very exciting. Moomins, despite their fabulousness, share their worldly wisdom with us and teach us the good. All books can literally be divided into quotes:
"We must keep our eyes open and see when we stand at a crossroads, because there are so many roads on our way: paths, side paths, different opportunities''.
"I believe that every painting, still life, landscape, anything is a self-portrait deep inside".
"To tell you the truth, I never believed compasses. Those who feel the right way, they only distract them".
"Even the saddest things stop being the saddest if you treat them right".
Now I have so little free time that I try to spend it with children. If we read, then we do it together, so I can not boast of new interesting books. But I can recite "Stolen Sun" or "Smart mouse" :) As a child I loved Vitaly Bianchi!
— From jewellery you create just brooches. What kind of jewellery do you prefer wearing yourself?
— I love rings, bracelets, beads. I remember I bought Jasper bracelet by one artisan (unfortunately, I forgot the name) on Livemaster, I love it for calm beige and gray shades, they are my favorite. This purchase inspired me to make a necklace myself for a set. Well, I really wanted it! So, now I have a favorite set for all occasions.
I also love brooches on scarves and jackets, wear my own, when I have them.
— What would you advise those who want to be professionally engaged in handmade and be an artisan in demand? What qualities should they possess, what should they develop in themselves?
— Probably, it does not matter whether it is handmade or another occupation, profession. The most important thing is the desire to do what you want to do with your life, a great desire. I am sure that a person is born with abilities and talents. Someone sews, someone sculpts and paints, while someone is a talented leader, these is not an accident! We often hear "you should, you have to" throughout life, and so rarely ask ourselves a question: what do I really want? What can I do best? But behind this is the whole idea of human life. It is important that success and money do not become more important than the process of creation. I have never had a goal to become a successful artist, I just wanted to accept myself as I am, and that people see in me what I can and love. You have no idea how happy it is to be yourself! I am grateful to all my customers, clients and developers of handmade resources for this opportunity! Thanks immensely! :)
When you love something, then you recall previously forgotten things: dedication, inquisitiveness of the mind, the ability to bring it to the end, character, will, and self-confidence. You begin to LIVE with creativity, you no longer need to look for the purpose and meaning of life, you just live, and the universe hears you and understands. Here comes acceptance. You accept who you are, and people accept you for who you are. By the way, do you know how to know if you love your job or not easily? Measure your love for Mondays :)
Yes, with the development of online platforms for handmade products, beaing an artist in demand is not easy. The competition is very high. This is not five or six years ago, when I started making brooches from polymer clay, and literally a few were doing the same. I had a queue for three or four months in advance! Here's the main thing not to fall off the pedestal. I have to be honest, I thought I was a mega-super-artisan, and everything would always be great. But life makes its own adjustments, and we must be able to adapt. Over the past two years, an army of those who work with polymer clay has grown, and the number of buyers remains the same. I don't mind that there are more talented people now, on the contrary! I am sad that uniqueness of the technology and originality of works go by the wayside, I see mass production of clones. What for? What's the point? It becomes a little sad, because this attitude devalues manual work by an artisan.
Do not think that I'm complaining :) This is just information for reflection, my personal feeling of what is happening.
Try to find your own unique style that reflects your world, your sense of harmony, listen to your heart! Discarding all the stereotypes, patterns and trends, you will understand that only you are a source of energy, creativity and inspiration! I wish you all good luck on your creative journey!