Thursday, 11 March 2010

Friday Finds... LadySpider

This is my 19th interview of the amazing not-so-well-known artists of Etsy!

Hello! At the end of another week already... cannot believe how the time is flying by! But I'm pleased it is Friday and I have another brilliant new Artist to Etsy to introduce :)
Today has been a bit of a slow, uninspiring day for me up until receiving the completed interview from Etsy artist India of LadySpider.
I think with the right start that India will go far pretty quickly which is why I wanted to interview her. I REALLY have a huge amount of confidence that India's style and artforms can do incredibly well on Etsy and I SERIOUSLY urge you all to visit her store and see what I mean for yourselves.
Also, today that confidence was further enhanced by reading what she had to say in her interview. Her demeanour, her attitude and charisma are just something amazing that you don't really see amongst people of her age group in the UK, and I have a lot of respect for her being a fellow British citizen myself having watching most of people my age and below flag before my eyes! She's also been very fortunate to have the right start in education (being homeschooled... something I already have planned for my son funnily enough!) and business which I think she's managing very well like it's second nature to her. I never would have guessed that she was 16!
I hope that great things happen for India and that she soars as high as she can go on Etsy! Please visit her store, and if you can spread the word too! Ohh and India, I love Miyazaki too! :)

(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)

-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) My name is India and I am 16 years old. I currently live in a Victorian country cottage in a little village near Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK. The house that I reside in is a little too small for my liking (I really want a studio!) but it has been my safe haven for 7 years and I very much enjoy watching the sparrows play in the cherry tree outside my bedroom window.

-- What is your business about then? Lady Spider is a channel for me to make beautiful beings in the form of paintings and felt creatures. When I first began creating I was doing it simply to express myself but now I also create my work to inspire the same feeling of happiness within people that encourages me to enjoy life, even if it is in the smallest ways. I wish to fascinate and connect with people and for them to interpret my feelings behind the pieces I create in unique ways through a collection of diversified emotions – sometimes playfulness, sometimes mystery, sorrow and ambiguity

-- How did Etsy come into your life? To be completely honest, I can’t remember! It was around March of last year and all I remember thinking was “Wow. This is a really cool website. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could one day have an Etsy shop?” and that’s how it manifested itself! So, after my 16th Birthday in June that year I started seriously planning and thinking about how to make this dream a reality and, after nearly 10 months of very hard work, but also a lot of fun, I opened up shop on 03/03/10!

-- Are you working a day job too? At the moment I am working part time as a secretary for my Father’s company (I have been working part time ever since I left school at age 14 to be homeschooled). I have to say that being a secretary is pretty boring (especially for someone artistically minded like myself!) but I owe quite a lot to it. It is very helpful from an administrative point of view as I have learnt about setting up and running my own business and, in any case, although I don’t always see eye-to-eye with my Dad, the hours are pretty lenient and I have time to be creative, which is a bonus! I hope to very soon be able to make a living doing what I love the most, which is creating beautiful things!

-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? I have confidently been calling myself an ‘artist’ for less than a year. My true artistic wings have unfurled very quickly and quite suddenly. I am naturally creative and used to draw all the time as a small child but unfortunately that budding artistic talent was cut off almost completely as I grew up in a school environment. My creativity has been slowly unleashing itself from the moment I decided, quite abruptly, to be homeschooled, but it took a couple of years for me to take notice of it. It has been a wonderful journey and my family has been especially supportive, which I am very grateful for. Even though there were definitely many times when I felt liking giving up on everything completely, I can wholeheartedly say that I am now allowing myself to be who I truly am and have found such happiness and joy in doing so.

-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? Most of my creations are inspired by Japanese culture and folklore – for some reason it feels very safe and familiar to me. I specialise in watercolour and gouache paintings and I enjoy creating original characters – I am especially fascinated by faces and eyes - and I usually incorporate animals and nature into my work, so you will find a lot of interesting portraits of beautiful girls in my shop! I also occasionally paint dreamlike abstract landscapes. I also create handmade and hand sewn felt creatures inspired by the simple forms of animals and Japanese Kawaii (a prominent aspect of Japanese culture, appearance and behaviour translated as ‘cute’). I really enjoy making these creatures – their whimsical nature allows me to express joy in such a childlike fashion, which is what my artistic endeavours are all about – they are aimed at the young at heart.

-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? (For the) Young at Heart

-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? I usually wake up quite late and then I do yoga for a while to wake myself up. The first half of the morning (well, my ‘morning’!) is spent checking emails and other routine computer stuff and waiting eagerly for the postman (I love shopping online and even if it’s just art materials arriving it always feels like an unexpected present!). Presuming I am spending the day at home, I usually spend most of my time creating or finishing paintings or felt creatures and photographing and listing items. I also take my dog on long walks everyday to give myself time to think and enjoy nature. At the back end of the day I usually have to do anywhere between ½ hour and 4 hours typing for my Dad, depending on how much administrative work has built up. In the evening I fit in some more yoga and finish off any artwork (usually felt creatures as I find it very relaxing to sew in the evenings) and also some time on my laptop.

-- What's your favorite material and techniques to work with? Felt is definitely a favourite of mine. It feels very simple and ‘organic’ to me (I use wool and viscose felt so none of it is synthetic). For painting, I enjoy the fluidity of watercolour and gouache and my favourite surface to paint on will probably always be paper. I have experimented with fabrics and canvases but I really do have a thing for the texture of good paper!

-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? Ideal vision? Well, it would include an early retirement at 20 and having enough money to comfortably travel the world and continue my artistic explorations! Even if I was being a little more realistic it would really include many of the same things. I have always believed that if you ask yourself what you would do if all material restrictions were lifted and you answer that you would still do the same things you are now, then you truly love what you are doing.

-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? I really love music and I tend to only listen to Japanese artists now. I also watch anime and enjoy films in general – I love Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films – they have so many layers and at first glance, they may seem like just ordinary children’s films but after watching you can see that there are deep spiritual meanings conveyed in very simplistic, childlike ways, which actually reflects the nature of my creations and Lady Spider. The beauty of Japanese anime is that it explores the boundaries between ‘real’ and ‘unreal’. This is actually how I originally became fascinated by Japanese culture. I also enjoy being near nature, so I tend to walk quite a lot and visit places where I can be around animals – even pet stores if I am feeling really desperate! Feeling close to the trees and animals has become a real necessity for me.

-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? Lately I have been more into browsing the supplies section of Etsy rather than the handmade, though I frequently stop by interesting products featured on the front page. I love looking through Japanese and Korean supplies – I adore zakka (translated as ‘many things’, zakka displays contemporary handicraft that improves one’s home, life and outlook).

-- Any last words? I would just like to say thank you, Naomi, for this wonderful opportunity – I have thoroughly enjoyed corresponding with you and answering these questions! Also, I currently have a special offer in my shop to celebrate Easter but it is for a limited time – only 2 weeks - so make sure to visit my shop and buy your handmade springtime gifts from Lady Spider ^-^.


Cindi said...

India - as someone who worked as a secretary for 25 years, yearning to spend her days being creative, I can totally relate to secretarial work as boring! ha! but you're right in that the administrative and business skills learned are useful as well. i love your shop and keep going - you are very talented!

Artesia said...

Nice post! I love how India blends creativity, nature, and the mundane
into her day.

holly said...

wonderful shop to feature! her work is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Really beautiful work, and I love to read the stories about other artists journies!

Jessica said...

Great interview! I hearted the Panda Girl. :)

Jennifer said...

What a great interview. I really enjoyed reading it!! India is a very inspiring artist :)

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