Sunday, December 15, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 86 PLUS GIVEAWAY!!

This week we head to Varna, Europe..

Name: Plamena 

Age: 37
Occupation: artist 
Etsy Shop: plad

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a printmaker artist, graduated in Fine Art Academy in Sofia. I am from Bulgaria. This is a small but historically rich country in Eastern Europe that is going through very difficult times tight now.  Although all the negative things that are going on right now, we still can find peace and happiness from our beautiful nature. In fact this is what makes me very happy and what inspires me the most – Nature.

I live near the Black Sea coast and the sea and the beaches are my source or energy and the place where I get my work ‘supplies’. I love Nature so very much and always try to live a simple but yet happy life together with the people I love.

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

I have always been creating things of all kind. I feel like this is what I was made for – creating.
I just need to make something with my hands all the time. I have opened my Etsy shop in 2010. My initial idea was to show all the different things I love to create, besides my engravings.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

My shop name is just a shorter combination of my first and last names. I just came up with it in a rush to finish my registration, not realizing I cannot change it later on. On the next day I have already had a long list with shop names that I have thought of and I was so disappointed to find out I cannot change my shop’s name. And since my English is not perfect at all, I was really happy to know it does not stand for something bad. One year later, changing the shop name was already possible, but I could not find that list of names … just kidding. I have decided not to do it because my shop has already gained some popularity and I thought people would look for the name I have already had.  I realized that the name has turned into my own trademark.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

I definitely spend most of my time working on the shop and the orders I get in Etsy. But I also need to get enough time to draw. I try to find the perfect balance between the two but it is not always possible. Taking care of an online business is a really time-consuming job, but the hours spent online worth it!

How would you describe your creative process?

My whole idea of the shop was to create what I really loved to create, not what people would possibly buy. My work process begins of my favorite thing to do going out for walks in the nature. This is where I gather the pieces that I turn into small creatures. I collect driftwood at the beach and also wood pieces from the forest. These nature walks are my source of energy and inspiration.

It happens very often that a certain wooden piece itself ‘tells’ me what to make out of it. Sometimes they have their little ‘noses’ and then I envision them as magical little creatures and recreate that.

I carve the wood with the simplest tool and after that I use sandpaper to smooth it. I love to combine raffia with wood. I use it to crochet the birds ‘wings for example as well as acorns’ caps, miniature baskets and other things.

Raffia is a wonderful natural material and I love to experiment in dyeing it with natural coloring like walnut leaves and beet for exampleI also use dry corn leaves and dried squash that are grown by my grandmother.
I am a great miniature fan. As an artist, I work mainly in the area of small graphic forms and this love for miniatures can be ‘seen’ in my Etsy shop. Making things in smaller size gives them such a special feeling and touch. I also feel like miniatures bring so much coziness.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mostly from Nature. I love animals those that exist and the ones I imagine.
Do you also sell your work at craft shows?  
No. Unfortunately craft shows are not very popular here.

What is your most cherished handmade item? 
I am not sure. Maybe my miniature drawer chests.

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

When I have spare time I love to cook, read, I adore going to the mountains and the beaches. Having picnics with my dear friends and family is also one of my best things to do.  I love swimming and diving.
I also love to go on a fossil ‘hunt’ on rocky beaches with my brother. We do not find many of them but when we do, it is real celebration!

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?  
When I was a kid I wanted to be a writer and to draw my own book’s illustrations. By now, I have completed half of this ‘plan’ I now have to write a book J

Five years from now you will be…
I imagine I will have my own beautiful dream house with a art room full of light and a beautiful view. I will live there with my boyfriend, our cat and a cute dog I want to adopt.

Describe yourself in five words:
contemplative, forgetful,
idealist , nature lover, artist

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

Coldplay – Clocks  
Cafe Del Mar - Dusk
Bonobo – Pick up
Jamiroquai-Seven days in sunny June
Moby – Porcelain

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows? 

I would advise them to create unique things. I would advise them to create things that will come out of their hearts and souls. This is what will bring them happiness.

Plamena has been awesome enough to also offer a giveaway of one of her wooden bird brooch creations!

a Rafflecopter giveaway