Sunday, October 21, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 28

This week we are headed to Lithuania (little side fact my husband's mother is Lithuanian, I believe she is the only one of her siblings that was actually born here in the states - her older siblings were all born abroad anyway, on to the interview!)

(Elana (left) & Leva (right)

Name: Leva 
Age: 32
Occupation: artist

Tell us a little about yourself.
I and my friend Elena are from Lithuania (Eastern Europe). We met 13 years ago whilst studying at Vilnius Academy of Arts.  We were brought together not only by the same studies,  but also our hobbies: growing plants and making crafts. We were sewing, knitting, crocheting and weaving. After some time we realized that we could create more things than our  families or friends needed.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
Elena was the one who discovered Etsy (in 2009). Without Etsy I would not have discovered my possibilities. It makes me create, move forward. It doesn't allow to stop. Etsy has opened the world for me. My works have reached so many places in the world (thanks to Etsy): Australia, United States, Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Korea and so on. Believe me, I feel very thankful and happy for that.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
AdatinÄ— means „pincushion“  in Lithuanian, our native language. It is a useful thing and also an inspiring partner for the Muses to come.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Sometimes I have to do other things (if I want or not to).

How would you describe your creative process?
I  make everything myself- from the drawings to sewing to taking pictures of the finished product – and  this takes a lot of time. Also, sometimes my work is interrupted by such incidents as injured fingers. As I embroider toys myself, the needle pricks all over my fingers, and I am therefore forced to take  a break or do something else.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
When my head is full of the pictures of various animals (starting with the Lithuanian wolfs, foxes, melancholic rabbits, impudent koalas, gorgeous wales or mermaids with the tattoos of men, mustached trainers of the lions) there is nothing left for me, only to take my sewing machine, scissors, a scrap of linen and to start the work with the sewing needle that always tries to prick. Such is my world. :) My inspiration comes accidentally and rather frequently. My head is full of ideas; some of them are followed by new ones, some stay, some leave and so on.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
 I`m not sure why, but at first I created the toys for adults, though children also like to play with some of them. Mostly,  I like creating animal figures and people, specifically creating figures of men.

I do not the have a favorite character. Possibly the toys I most often create are foxes  and hares. The first fox toy  I made was for my son ten years ago.  I like double character of foxes.  I find them not only very clever and sometimes insidious, but also very intelligent and sensitive animals.  The felted hares drown in their melancholy, one can say everything without pronouncing a word, thought the last hares that i made have totally different characters. They are so greedy. They keep their trophies in their hands (tomatoes, apples or a carrot) and do not wish to share with anyone.  that`s how they are... and I cannot do anything at all about that. They dictate the conditions.

Most of attention get the Bandit foxes. They are just joyful animals and people like them. Also, the grey linen Whales are loved, they are totally different from the foxes. When making them I was thinking about the Earth, it’s pollution and ecology.                                                     

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I like to take photos very much. Also, to spend time with my children and friends. It’s only a pity that there is not so much time left for that.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
I would write serious articles for the architects and builders. More and more I understand that to do work that I like is very important for me, important for my self-realization.

Five years from now you will be...

Describe yourself in five words:
I am still searching for myself.