Monday, March 31, 2008

The Wonderful Wunderbug

Roughly a year ago I had privilege of meeting the fabulous Etsier, Wunderbug! She started out as a buyer then slowly transformed her shop into a classy, elegant spot full of jewelry and other hand made items. Wunderbug's style and sense of beauty is exceptional. The images of her work are pieces of art in of themselves. I'm thrilled to present my interview with her!

1. What do you create?
anything i can get my hands on and figure out how to make. currently in my shop, i've got pendants and office clips, but i've some glass magnets that are begging to be listed as well as a set of earrings. i've been intermittently working on an altered box (which has been very, very patient with me about it's slow progress) and also polymer clay magnets. i've also been loving the amateur photography thing; i'd like to integrate my photos into some of my pieces. sigh - one day.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
i had always been drawn to various forms of art, having taking drawing, pottery and sewing classes as a kid (i made a kickin' nightdress with penguins on it) but had put it aside throughout high school because there were so many people who i thought were more talented than me. i also was convinced i was going to become the next margaret atwood and thought that i'd only have enough time to devote to one art form. so my pastels, paints, paper and brushes all went into my middle dresser drawer and stayed there until a few years ago when an artist neighbour of mine showed me how to make beaded jewelry. it was like a triumphant return to my roots; i was manically finishing off my sociology degree and working a data entry job for the federal government (which i hated) and stumbling through this new creative outlet was like a breath of fresh air. odile is one of the most innovate, creative and charismatic people i've ever met and she completely and totally inspired me to get myself back in the game. a year after showing me how to make beaded jewelry, she told me about etsy. i was hooked, and the rest was history. man, she knows it all.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
i could so easily be cliche and say that i love every aspect of creating... but i'll try to be more interesting. i love challenges, so when i see a new technique, i can hardly wait to try it and apply it to something new. i love adding my own style and personality to everything in whatever way i can. oh, and finishing it. that part's pretty sweet too.

4. Which part do you find most trying?
sourcing and finding supplies, by far. i see all of these awesome findings and materials that i'd love to use, but can never see to find them for myself. oh, and shipping to canada. if i *do* find the stuff i want, then i owe them an arm, a leg and my firstborn child. (i'm still trying to figure out how to get out of that one.)

5. Where do you get your inspiration?
right now, there's a painting class going on in the studio that's in my neighbouring building with floor-to-ceiling windows; i love watching other people create. it's calming and inspiring and exciting all at the same time. there's something that i find so therapeutic (cathartic, even) of someone standing in front of an easel with a brush full of brightly coloured paint.

although i believe in the old adage that art is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, it's also just as true that you can't force that inspiration part. if it's not flowing, don't force it. get out, stretch your mind and muscles and it'll come to you. i'm really big on stillness - i think stillness is a big challenge for people these days so i just try to absorb whatever i can and then transform it into something.

i get a lot of inspiration from watching people and nature. i also get a ton of inspiration from etsy and flickr. colours inspire me. verses of poetry inspire me. words - sometimes for their meanings and sometimes for their aesthetic appeal; sometimes both. challenges - even the most frustrating kind - inspire me as well, because they leave me with the feeling that even if i can't overcome them, i'll learn something new.

{which i guess explains why i'm stubborn as hell.}

7. What is your favorite medium to work with?
i guess i'm still figuring that out. i'm super adventurous and willing to try new things, but i've been mostly working with polymer clay and wire, so i'll have to say that they're my mediums of choice at the moment.

8. What is your favorite item that you have purchased off of Etsy?
that's a tough one, so i'll just break the rules and do my top 4:
1) my strawberry delight journal from RedOtter. :)

2) my beeswax aceo's that i bought from ButtonKitty. (,

3) my stapler suicide photo that i bought from dreadsky ( i think it's fantastic - i proudly display it in my office and it always gets a laugh.

4) my susyjack wall calendar. it's exactly what i was looking for and have received *so many compliments* on it from coworkers.

9. What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

tiled elegance ( because lately, black and white (especially black and white damask) excites me.

10. What are your favorite top three items from other artists shops?
i might break the rules again on this one, no guarantees.

a) ATDesigns "orange you glad" necklace: {cause orange rocks my world}

b) SmittenOriginals "pretty black and white wristlet":

c) nicoleraephotos "solitude" mixed media collage:

d) lawatson's "green curly triangle teapot": {it's shape and colour reminds me of the kitchenware that comes to life in Disney's Beauty and the Beast}

12. What undiscovered artisans would you recommend the world to know?
i just went to the toronto one of a kind show, so i'm brimming over the top with tons of artists who i'd love to buy stuff from. it's a shame, cause it seems like tons of the incredible artists that were there didn't have websites so i can't provide any links. however, one of my favourites was Sherri Ground of Posh Mom and her incredible diaper bags that I'd carry as laptop cases and totes.

13. What is the best advice you have ever received?
i'm a big quote junkie so i'll share two of my favourites:

"be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- dr seuss

"be brave - even if you're not, pretend to be. nobody can tell the difference" -- oscar wilde


T said...

A great feature - thanks so much for sharing this. Off to check out her shop right now! :)

ThePeachTree said...

Great interview! Love that Wunderbug :)

Julia said...

She's the most amazing person :) Not only a great artist but an wonderful soul!

Art Kitten said...

Wonderful interview, Julia, I love seeing "behind the scenes" of an artists mind.

wunderbug said...

wooooooo! thanks miss! i'm so honoured that you chose me. xo!

cathy nichols art said...

What a wonderful post! I'm so glad I discovered your blog!! And thank you for writing about my sailboat piece from ETSY! I will be back....

Melissa said...

I came over from Shoptalk and think your blog is just lovely. I really enjoyed this interview and loved those quotes at the end! The Dr. Seuss quote is one of my all time favorites!