Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Etsy Seller Spotlight...ShibaNgDesigns

I am totally blown away by the art of this Etsy seller. Robyn's bags are just stunning. Can't say enough, so I'll let her speak for herself. Here is our email correspondence...

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia which is somewhere so far away from where I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia that I sometimes can’t believe I really live here. I came to Halifax to continue my studies at The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, after completing a Textile Arts Certificate at Capilano University in North Vancouver. From a young age I’ve been artistic and that interest was encouraged by my family and people who surrounded me, but when it came to deciding what pursue what to do after high school it wasn’t obvious at first. Luckily it only took one year of intro university courses before I was lured into textiles by a capturing poster I saw around campus advertising a sale from the Textiles Department. On that day I realized that this was what I had to do. That was more than five years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I feel so fortunate to have discovered what I feel so passionate about at this stage in my life.

2. How long have you been sewing and creating bags?

The first bags I made were when I was in high school and didn’t want to use a backpack and I raided my dad’s closet and took all of his old pants to use as material. My first designs came out of a utilitarian need which is still an important quality in the bags that I make today. The whole evolution of my felt appliqué style began during my second year of textile studies when I needed to create a tote large enough to carry all of my supplies. Since I didn’t want it to be plain, I threw on some fleece and hand-spun yarn to make the bag into a bold piece that I felt good about using. This is where it began for me.

3. Do you sell your creations anywhere else besides Etsy?

Currently I am selling in Halifax at Lady Luck Boutique and Seeds Gallery. I am looking to expand to Vancouver boutiques which are where I first began selling my original bags before moving to Halifax.

4. What is your inspiration?

Inspiration for me primarily comes from nature and I am in awe. I have taken an interest in watching plants grow and noticing the patterns and symmetry that unfolds. Springtime is always so amazing to see how new life can burst out of the ground or from stark branches. The colours that emerge are beautiful and I take note of how they look in contrast to the colourful houses lining the streets. I see the world in colour combinations and this translates into my work where I play with colour and texture to create my designs.

5. Do you do any other arts/crafts?

My love and passion is textiles and anything related. I am moving into making clothing and my interest is in winter coats, spring trenches and blazers. I also did study jewellery which I am incorporating with my textiles by making the buttons out of metal to become features on clothing I make.

6. What piece in your collection is your favourite?

Right now I like the bags that have the light grey branches and bright blossoms because they are fresh and vibrant. My favourite would be the combination of the mossy green with turquoise or purple and white branches.

Thanks for sharing Robyn!

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