Happy Tuesday! I am so excited today because I recently did an interview and studio tour with Angie from Pangea, and now I finally get to show it off. Angie’s earthy jewelry shop is part of the new exhibition on papernstitch, and she is offering free shipping if you enter the code “papernstitch” after the first item in a sale (so pay for shipping on one item, get FREE SHIPPING on the rest of them). Had to mention that before I forget. Now, on to the interview….
– You work out of your home in Fargo, North Dakota. What is it like there in ND? Is there a strong art and crafts community up there?
Good ol’ “Nortt Da-kohta” is always cold. People are constantly on the news about putting their friends through wood chippers and kidnappings for ransom are almost getting to the point of being expected. And we live like everyone else in the movie Fargo. Yep, it’s true, don’tchya know. Haha. No just kidding, I just think it’s funny when people are like, “WOW! You live in Fargo? You mean, like the movie?” Instead of arguing now, I’ve just started agreeing.
No really though, I love Fargo. I moved up here from the Minneapolis area to go to college 5 years ago and just never left. Now that I’m all graduated, I spend a lot of time enjoying the downtown area. It’s full of little art galleries and coffee shops and antique stores and locally-owned bookstores/yarn stores/bead stores and alternative newspapers that are always looking for freelance writers. It’s a great community, very appealing for a wannabe artist like me.
-Your jewelry has a very down to earth vibe. Is that fair to say? Where do you get your inspiration?
Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I want my jewelry to be wearable by anyone, which is also why I try to keep my prices reasonable. I hate when I find something I really love and it’s way out of my price range! So I’m trying to avoid that feeling from my customers. As far as inspiration, I get a lot of it from vintage pieces I find and natural elements. I love foresty and birdy things and I’m always shopping at thrift stores/garage sales, so I pick up a lot of inspiration there. Also, my fiance is a graphic designer and we share a work room, so just being able to sit in there together and bounce ideas off of each other contributes to my inspiration.
-What is your favorite type of jewelry to create? Necklaces, earrings, bracelets?
Hmm…this is a tough question, but I love a challenge, so I’m going to say necklaces. I love earrings because they’re fast and small and cute (and who doesn’t love things that are small and cute?! ), but necklaces give me more of a sense of satisfaction than either bracelets or earrings, because they take longer to make and more thought to plan out. But then again, I love making all of them, so I don’t know if I can really choose just one.
-My favorite type of jewelry to wear are necklaces. What about you?
I would definitely have to agree. Necklaces just make the whole outfit come together!
-The posters that adorn your walls are great! The graphic element of the artwork contrasts the work you do as an artist, which is much more organic (to me). Do you find that you are drawn to things (artwork for example) that is in an opposing style to the work that you do? And if so, why do you think that is?
I am definitely drawn to artwork that is very different from my own. I’m getting really into buying illustration lately, (I own way too many Julia Pott prints, to start with…), probably because I can’t draw for crap. Though, I tend to gravitate toward those things because I know I can’t make them. I have trouble, as a maker of things, spending money on things I know I could make if given the right materials. I think a lot of crafters are this way, which just means that there a lot of things I will never try to make, because I like buying them too much (and probably my work in the same field wouldn’t compare to someone who’s spent a considerable amount of time perfecting it). :o) Also, having art around the work room helps get the right mood going, even if the art isn’t anything like what I’ll be producing. I think that’s why the fiance and I get along so well, because we both make things but not the same things (All those posters on the wall were designed by him for shows that came through Fargo. Gig posters are everywhere in our house. Haha.)
-Your studio space looks very organized and clutter-free. Do you find that this helps with your productivity? Do you have any tips you could share for crafters trying to maintain order in their cluttered lives (like myself)?
Haha, I tricked you! It only looks organized and clutter-free. Actually, it’s usually very messy, because I tend to work better if I have multiple options spread out in front of me. But when it comes time to put everything away, I guess I do have an OCD way of organizing beads (first by size, then color, then shape, then purpose, then by…..haha, it’s actually pretty ridiculous.) I had a friend come over and make some stuff with me once and she asked if the trays went back into that little tray shelf thingy in any particular order, and I honestly thought about it and said “nope, just put ’em in wherever” and then spent 10 minutes after she left taking them out and putting them in a different order because apparently they did have an order, even unbeknownst to me! Yeah, my advice to others about organizing? Try not to be as crazy as me. ;o) Oh, and also, get a boyfriend/husband who can build you stuff like that tray shelf thingy and the necklace rack and the table. They’ve all come in very handy and were completely customized for me, which would have cost an arm and a leg to have done by someone professionally. But no, really. Honest advice. Keep things in containers with lids (whether it be beads/fabric/yarn, etc), especially if you have animals who roam freely around your house. I learned that one the hard way.
-What is it like to have a home studio? Do you ever find it difficult to work?
I actually love having a place in my home dedicated to making things. It’s very relaxing because it’s separate from the rest of the house, but it’s still close the kitchen in case I get on a crafting binge and realize I haven’t eaten in 14 hours. I think it would be sad to get a studio separate from my house (unless it was in the backyard in a heated workshed or something) because I love sharing it with R, the mighty fiance. It’s just so nice to have the company when we’re both being creative, I wouldn’t want to lose that. Though some extra space (maybe ventilated a little better?) someday might be nice for screenprinting/oxidizing metal, but for now, it’s all good. I don’t find it distracting, because once I get in the zone and turn on some tunes, I could go for hours without noticing a tiny simple thing like say…ummm, hunger. Haha.
-Is there anything else you would like to share that I may not have asked?
Ooh! I would say, as soon as you possibly can, if you have an online (or otherwise) business selling things that you make, you should get a tax ID from your state so you can order wholesale supplies. It makes soooo much difference in price, and keeps your own prices low for customers, which can be very important in that impulse-buy stage of a buyer’s process! I’m currently working on getting this taken care of with my own business, and I have to say, I don’t know why I didn’t think about it sooner.