Growing up in a family full of artistic pursuits it was none too surprising that I developed an early love for crafting with my hands and putting an artistic bent on what I make. Being the daughter of a cross stitch designer, quilter, porcelain doll maker, and later potter I have been exposed to arts and crafts all my life and most significantly early on. Like so many children growing up, one comes to a point where they want to do everything mom or dad is doing, and I was no different. Starting out with simple braiding and knotting of embroidery floss I knew immediately that I loved to create things and that was what I wanted to do "when I grew up".
Oddly enough though, the very person whose works inspired me was not exactly supportive. Being a practical sort I think, looking back, she recognized the potential struggle as an artist and knew just the amazing amount of work to produce something on your own. But let it never be said that I am not tenacious. So I let it be, kept it as a fun hobby and diversion and went about other pursuits... Almost two decades later I have to laugh at myself as I look back and find that I have gone full circle through multiple paths and diversions - none of which truly called to me - only to land right back where I knew even at the tender age of 10 that I wanted to be. I think though that despite her reservations mom would be proud and most importantly I am.
1. How long have you been crocheting/knitting/making jewelry?
I've been crocheting on and off since I was about 8 or 9. I started simple macrame jewelry right at that time too. I didn't start knitting till 2009.
2. What inspires you the most?
I like to make things in fiber form if I can. If I see something one of my first thoughts is always, "I wonder if I can crochet or knit that?"
3. What is/are your favorite materials/supplies?
Yarn of all types, but especially Pima Cotton & Merino Wool - they are both marvelously soft and a joy to work with.
4. Do you have a favorite tool?
Right now it's my Harmony Knitting Needles. They are wooden and constructed and finished off in a way that it's orgasmic to use them! They warm to the touch, but are still very light, and they seem to just glide through your knitting!
5. What is your work space like?
My workspace is basically wherever I can get it, on the couch, in the car, outside, in line at the store...since crochet & knitting can be carried with you (depending on project size of course) it makes it easier to bring it out of the "studio". When I have the space for an actual art room I'll be glad though!
6. When do you find the most time to work?
With a small child, as any of you "new mommies" know - I find time whenever I can. Usually it's late at night or during naptime. Since my work needs my eyes to be focused on what I'm doing it's difficult to even casually pay attention to other things.
7. How does your work fit into the rest of your life?
As a budding entrepreneur my work is my life much of the time. Lately I've been working on launching my website online so making has taking a backseat to doing. And typically as is true for most business owners, I spend more time doing my work then I would were I working for someone else.
8. How often a week do you get to work?
Whenever I can make time for it! Ideally I try to work on a few projects at once and get at least an hour in on 2 or 3 projects a day. At times I will only work on one thing and for several hours, this is true with custom orders and short projects.
9. Do you sell your work? Directly? Indirectly?
I sell my work from my own website and through Artfire & StorEnvy.
10. Do you have a business (on or offline)? Consign?
Right now my business is 100% online, but I will sell things directly to people "out of my home". I am not doing any consignment at the present moment.
11. Do you have a website? Blog? Facebook profile or fan page? Myspace? Twitter? Pinterest?
I have the afore mentioned 3 websites, 2 blogs, and a page for my business. I do use Myspace (more as an afterthought), Twitter, and I just joined Pinterest!
12. Where do you feel your work fits in your market? (Do you concentrate on high volume, low volume; do you make multiples or one of a kind only; Walmart or Bergdorf Gelman?)
I think of myself as middle ground. I'm not super expensive, but some of my work isn't exactly inexpensive. But I feel you get what you pay for. I put a lot of time into my work, and at times I use premium supplies. I make some things that seem "common" and other things that are strictly one of a kind. I like to have the variety and to appeal to more tastes rather than less. I tend to do a lot of things with a gothic theme though!
13. What is your favorite part?
I think taking pictures, especially when it's a good clear picture. To be able to scroll through them and know that I designed or at least orchestrated what I made is a great feeling!
14. How did you get into crafting?
Being around it at such a young age I developed a love for it, plus I think creativity is in my blood and the early exposure set me up to go into crafting.
15. Favorite deceased artist? Why?
I have to play Devi's advocate a little here and say my mom. She is the reason I got into crafting and art, and my business is even named in part for her. I also loved all of her pottery, and I can't say that about most artists. I've never been much of one for the classical artists (sure I love some individual pieces, but I can't say I love all of their work!) But then again, that's a big of a fib. Despite my love of order and organization I do thoroughly love Salvador Dali. I think he was interesting and quirky and the imagination in his work is much like you'd find within a dream. I even have some of his work tattooed on me!
16. Favorite live artist? Why?
Now this is a hard one! I think maybe Renate Kirkpatrick. She does freeform crochet, something I'm dying to start myself, and makes the most astoundingly beautiful and truly one of a kind pieces. As a fiber artist I love most everything to do with yarn, thread, etc but her piece - a coral mural - is to me breathtaking!
Want to know where you can see some of Aradia's fine work? Check out her custom gallery and commission your own piece? Find her online at the links below!
Thanks for tuning in for our Featured Artist/Crafter of the Month! We'll see you back in August with our next feature!