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Scribble Artist Interview with Shetal Soni!

Profile-pic-1-300x221Scribble Town (ST): Oh my, all the things one can do! Shetal Soni moves from the sciences to the arts in the most graceful of ways. Her artwork and creative energy into the opening of Little Wing Shop gives so much inspiration for all.  It’s hard to say just a little about yourself, but let’s try!

Shetal Soni (SS): A little bit about me… well I’m someone who since childhood loved to draw and make things myself. I’m also a daydreamer and so although I’ve never formally studied arts or held a ‘proper job’ in that field (I’m officially a scientist :)) I have continued to feel the need to draw and make things in my spare time, believing that someday it can develop into something less private and a bigger part of my life.

ST: You daydream, but you also makes things come to life! What are you up to at the moment? I’m sure busy with Little Wing Shop!

SS: At the moment I’m trying NOT to read too much about Google Adwords and advertising!! 🙂 Sales and marketing are totally new to me so I’m trying learn about how to get my new Web shop seen. The designing and learning about production was an amazing journey, but there are parts of having a Business that are just not as ‘fun’ but nevertheless are important. I also have a day job, which has nothing to do with arts and crafts, but pays the bills and is stimulating the other half of my brain :).

IMG_8219-300x300ST: Who does the designing for Little Wing Shop?  There is a very particular look and the symmetry are so calming. I’d like to fall asleep to those designs, for sure! What inspires the designs?

SS: I started designing the patterns for textiles (initially without knowing they would be block-printed) while I was on maternity leave. Inspirations came from many things including parts of my old drawings, studying Indian tribal art drawings, Islamic geometric patterns and also from cellular biology! I have experience with Photoshop from work so I scanned my favourite ‘prints’ and started to play around with them, fascinated by the endless ways a single ‘form’ could be duplicated and arranged to create very different whole patterns. I did this for several months!! When you add colour the possiblities are endless! 🙂

ST: What is the production process like seeing that Little Wing Shop requires much creativity and attention from both Finland and India?

SS: Being a lover of arts and crafts I fell in love with the textiles (amongst other crafts) when visiting India as a child. The enormous variety of fabrics, colours & tones, weaves and means of decorating the fabrics was like nothing I had seen before. I have always been in awe. What I’m doing now is a teeny tiny part of that. Luckily the area where my grandma and family are from, Gujarat is still very rich in crafts and tribal arts so I was fortunate to be able to contact organisations from there and speak their language.

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ST:
Please let us know more about block printing.  It has such a beautiful outcome!

Block printing is one very common traditional method for decorating fabric in this part also and so was very familiar to me. It involves carving a pattern onto a wooden block to make a kind of ‘stamp’ and using this to print traditionally with vegetable dyes onto fabric. As the process is done by hand, by a person.. the prints can be applied according to the artists wishes and also used together with other blocks and colours. Traditionally the patterns can be very intricate, colourful and complex and the art is passed down generations. To learn you simply must go and ask to watch and learn from a ‘Master-printer’.

I have started with very simple designs in my 1st collection as I didn’t want to risk ‘making a mess’ 🙂 Working across continents was quite nerve-wrecking at times as I waited for the printer to send me the 1st photos of the trials or especially of the fully printed quilts or Duvets. What is great about block printing by hand is that even though the print is the same thing repeated, it looks slightly different every time the block is pressed down onto the fabric because the pressure can vary abit or one edge has abit more dye this time.. etc. This gives the whole print a much more alive and natural feeling than a machine printed pattern. Its the same in nature for example when looking at a field of grass or flowers, that’s why it feels nice to look at 🙂

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ST: Who encouraged you to be artistic when you were a child?  How did they encourage you?

SS: As a child I wasn’t particularly encouraged to draw, however my Father and Aunt were very skilled drawers so I first got interested when I saw them draw. I was quite shy and drawing and crafts was my way of having fun and expressing my self.  I made many toys out of cardboard boxes e.g. I fondly remember a puppet theatre and moving puppets for which I would make a play and perform for my family, forcing my little sister to ‘help’.

ST: Now I really want to try block printing! Any advice?

SS: Block printing can of course be tried by anyone!! That’s why its a craft that exists in many parts of the world and still continues. Try using a large potato cut in half (an adult needs to help with this) and cut a simple shape to make a stamp. Have a few plates of different coloured paints, dip your potato and stamp on paper/cloth. Try making different patterns using the same stamp…. there are no rules! e.g. a a triangle can be stamped in rows, or alternating (point up, then point-down), or even in concentric circles. Your imagination is the limit :). Have fun!

ST: Thank you, Shetal for sharing with us! Little Wing Shop is going to fly to great places!!

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Scribblin’ Inspiration

Scribblin’ Inspiration

 

Inspiration is a funny thing– it can really come from anywhere. And while inspiration is all around us, sometimes it feels like there’s just a big roadblock between your head and your hands.

 

Creative prompts can be a great way to get the imagination rolling (see here, here, and here), but maybe they’re too specific for the mood you’re in. There are times when you could use a jumpstart, but want something broad that you can take and run with in your own way. Well, we’ve got you covered here, too!

 

Every so often, we’ll throw out an image or idea to get the ball rolling. Any part of it can pique your interest– texture, color, topic, associations, whatever! Let the idea take you wherever you want.

 

Now without further ado, I give you today’s inspiration. (Drumroll please)

Jellyfish FlipPhoto via The Jellyfish Lovers Blog

 

The jellyfish is a most elusive creature. Feared for its sting, it can easily ruin a day at the beach, yet it is so beautiful and elegant in its movement. Its transparency and long flowing tentacles give it an unlikely grace. Shape-wise, though, it reminds me of a mushroom. Its variations in color and its ghost-like quality make it a great subject for such mediums as watercolors, colored pencils, and tissue paper. But feel free to try anything! Again, these are just some thoughts and images to get you started.

 

Jellyfish Lamp

Jellyfish Stars

Photo via Fine Art America                                                   Photo via Jellyfish!

 

Where did the jellyfish take your imagination? We’d love to see what you came up with! Share a link in our comments or post a picture to our Facebook page!

 

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Posted by Andi Thea, on January 27th, 2013 at 5:35 am. No Comments

Category: adults,Arts & Crafts,kids Labels: , , , ,