Sunday, May 27, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 7

This week Behind the scenes takes you to Italy.

Name: Mafalda

Tell us a little about yourself:

Hello to all! My name's Mafalda, I'm 29 and I'm italian. Six years ago I created my label of craft products "Pinkrain" and since then I never stopped creating! Actually I dedicate all my time on my Etsy shop, but in the future I'd really like to open a real "concrete" handmade and illustrations' shop.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I always liked to draw and I have to thank my mother who gave me the passion and the interest for art and always encouraged my creativity. I approached the handmade world during adolescence and I discovered Etsy in 2007!

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I love nature and keep in touch with other different cultures. I love to travel a lot and when I can, I run away from the city and go to the mountains, woods or by the sea. Another big passion of mine are flea markets. I pass hours among the stalls, searching in the old things. I love to think that those items belonged to someone else and that they has a story to tell. My other passions are Peanuts comics and Lomography.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

It's hard to say where my ideas come from, I distinguish the ones which take me to create craft items from the ones which lead me to make illustrations. In the first case I try to observe nature and the world around me, seeing it with "childish" or "innocent" eyes, almost always cheerful. I try to recreate an imaginary world, often populated by surreal and whimsical creatures, carriers of positive messages. My illustrations instead don't have marketing decisions at their bases, but they are just more impulsive and intimate. My illustrations are my sensations, the need to express a precise state of mind. So they can be joyful or a little melancholic, according to what I feel in that moment. I draw impulsively on everything I can reach with my hands and often is a method for fight my fears and my insecurity, so I rarely care about techniques.

How would you describe your creative process?

My creative process doesn't follow a precise, linear path, but rather on improvisation and instinct. My creativity isn't a thing I can control or manage and scheme. Often the best ideas come when I'm doing something totally different, when I am shopping for example or when I'm about to go to sleep. When I can, I write down all these best ideas on a moleskine, but then, usually, other ones come in my mind making me forget the ideas I wrote, or it happens to remember them after months! I know, it isn't professional...but for now I follow my instinct and I'm happy with it!

What is your favorite piece in your shop currently?

I love my mini-paintings and the whole line (badges, illustrations) that represents Charlie Chaplin, because I love silent movies and he's one of my favorite characters. 

What is your most cherished handmade item?

The item I care the most is a wooden brooch hand-painted with "hard times for dreamers" written on it. It's a quote that I often say to myself because I think of myself as a "dreamer". Moreover, the brooch reminds me of the time I lived in Berlin, where I created it, when I was thinking that my dreams would become true. But life choose otherwise. 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I really would like to move to my boyfriend's place and live together. It seems a little vision of the future, but here in Italy it's a really dark period and for youth having a stable job that could ensure a future is a chimera, day after day. I hope to open an indie craft shop, it' s my biggest dream!

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about starting their own shop?

Don't be afraid! Go for it! Don't be scared by competition and try to find a style that's unique and recognizable, a style that's yours only! Originality is the key! Another advice: if you really care about your products and you don't consider them as a simple hobby, try to be professional as possible...take really good pictures and create detailed descriptions. Don't be scared if you're not be able to sell the first months, it's have to wait for people to know about you, so do a lot of promoting!