We are happy to announce the staff here at Crafty Wonderland is being featured as September’s Artist(s) of the Month! We have a staff full of creative, artistic individuals and we are excited to have an opportunity to showcase all of their talents! We all make jewelry, but occasionally we branch out into other mediums. This month we will have jewelry, paintings, embroidery and much more featured!
We’ve taken some time to talk about each of our inspirations, processes, and more.
What would you say inspires your work?
Cathy: I'm inspired by all things vintage - textiles, jewelry, furniture. I've also become obsessed with vintage secret societies like the odd fellows and masons. So I'm hoping to see that reflected in my work in the future.
Torie: Often my biggest source of inspiration for new designs comes from creating jewelry for my friends, as birthday gifts and such. The process usually causes me to stretch my boundaries in ways that I wouldn't necessarily do otherwise. I'm also a big lover of antique jewelry, abstract paintings, and black and white photography, so I look to those things when I'm needing a little creative boost.
Megan: I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from fantasy and mythology, and here lately lots of heavy symbolism! Some of my favorite illustrators growing up were Arthur Rackham, Tony DiTerlizzi, and Brian Froud. I really enjoy intricate linework, like 18th century illustrations. In terms of content, moments of magic are definitely my biggest inspiration. I love subtle surrealism, big eyes, and flowers!
Alissa: My work is inspired by nature in the Pacific Northwest and vintage design styles like Art Deco and Art Nouveau.
Sierra: Texture, nature, unique color combinations, conversations with amazing people and the materials that jump out at me.
Tell us a bit about your artistic process!
C: In the past I have tended to overthink my process so lately I have been trying to just make without thinking too much about it. I am loving just assembling things that feel right rather than waiting for my brain to tell me they look right.
T: If I'm wanting to create something new, I look at what I already have in my line and think about what I could make that would complement the designs that are selling well. Sometimes this involves sketching shapes and ideas in a notebook, or looking back over past sketches to see if any of them hold up. Then I sit at the table and make a sample and see how I like it!
M: Honestly I’m still trying to hone in on a specific ‘process’ for making art. The thing I catch myself doing most often is scribbling down an idea I’ve had on a sketchbook app on my phone. I don’t always get around to revisiting those, but every once in a while I do! About 90% of my process is just combining different elements I’m drawn to until they combine in a way the speaks to me.
A: I start out sketching a bunch of ideas, then draw the best ones in ink, then scan and finish them off in Adobe Illustrator. It's hard to decide which designs I like best so I'll often ask my Instagram followers to vote :) Once I've finalized a design, I have it laser cut out of brass and then I make them into earrings and necklaces.
S: I get inspired by materials and color. I am a create and learn as I go kind of artist. I am always learning something new and continue to build on my skill set as I go.
What are some projects you hope to tackle in the future?
C: I'd love to learn silversmithing in the not so distant future. I've been wanting to take a class for a few years now but never seem to have the time to commit.
T:I've been wanting to design a line of cast jewelry for the past few years, but haven't quite gotten around to it yet! I have all the wax carving supplies...just need to sit down and start playing with them!
M: I’ve got a few ideas for zines that I would like to make- once I find the time! I’ve been really inspired by old Slavic fairy tale illustrations recently, and I’d love to attempt something full of that much detail!
A:Some new jewelry collections that I'm working on are combining my cut-out brass pieces with stones and other objects. I'm also going to start making some new smaller dainty post earrings.
S: I am really wanting to dive back into painting and potentially get some mixed media pieces going. I’d love to take some classes to extend my creativity, skill set, and grow as an artist.
Are you diving into any good books, shows, or podcasts lately?
C: I've been working my way through Vivienne Westwood's autobiography - she is a big style icon for me. And I just discovered a new cable show called "Tattoo Age" that profiles all the highly regarded tattoo artists from this century. It's super interesting and inspiring.
T: I just read Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and loved them both very much! You know you've read a good book when you're still thinking about it a month later.
M: Anything by Neil Gaiman is a winner for me personally. I recently read ‘Norse Mythology’ and it flooded my mind with inspiration. I’m also delving into the Harry Potter series again which is always really inspiring for me.
A: I'm really liking the new show "Making It" with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Parks & Rec is one of my all time favorites so it's neat to see Amy & Nick mixed with crafty goodness.
S: I have a deep fondness for the Dollop podcast. It’s hilarious and fun to hear random American history from a comedic viewpoint. I am also a big fan of the Hollywood Theatre.
What is your favorite product to make?
C: I enjoy making my crystal talismans. I love incorporating the organic crystals with the brass geometric shapes to create something that feels magical.
T:The hammered diamond hoops with beads. I love the matte finish on the beads and enjoy working with those stones.
M: I don’t really have a favorite yet, but I always love having a moment to work on illustrations.
A: My line of cut-out brass necklaces and earrings allows me to combine my background in graphic design with my love of jewelry. So it's really the best of both worlds for me :)
S: I have really loved making these wire word pendants. I feel a nostalgia with the shape and each word has a personal meaning.
What is one of your favorite spots in Portland? I know it’s hard to choose just one!
C:My favorite spot in Portland is the Eagles Lodge on SE Hawthorne + 50th. They host bingo night and a rummage sale once a month and you can get a cocktail for $3. I've been going there for over 20 years and it has barely changed - it feels like the old Portland I fell in love with way back when. I finally became a member recently and hope to be volunteer bartending there real soon.
T:The patio at Por Que No? on Hawthorne is always my favorite.
M:I love exploring the little neighborhoods in Portland’s East side. The houses are all so precious and I can’t help but daydream of having one of my own one day! And pretty much anywhere in town during spring, the plants blooming here are incredible.
A:City State Diner is my go-to place for brunch and good a cup of coffee. I like to bring my sketchbook and draw while I wait for my food.
S:I always tell people to go to Mothers when they visit Portland. It’s a beautiful spot with delicious food, the staff is great and the decor is beautiful.
If you could use just three words to describe your business or art, what would they be?
C: Female. Strong. Magic.
T: Simple, versatile, and sweet.
M: Surreal, whimsical, and magical.
A: Modern, casual, and positive.
S: Colorful, bold, fun.
We will be displaying our work until the end of September, be sure to come check it out!