Monday, July 7, 2008
Interview with Risamay
I don't remember when I stumbled upon Risamay's esty shop, but golly was I delighted I did! Her eye for composition is fantastic. Combined with a flare for texture and collage, voila, a masterpiece! So, sit back and enjoy this interview with the delightful Marisa from Risamay:
01. tell us a bit about yourself
My handle online is Risamay, which is a nickname I picked up in college and igPay atinLay for Marisa. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm a true California girl, though I'm not blond. Born and raised in Berkeley, just like my mom. College in SoCal at UCLA. Can't imagine calling any other state in the union home, personally.
02. if you could describe yourself with any three words, what would they be?
Passionate, Particular, and Pun-loving.
03. what first made you want to become an artist?
There are things, many things, that cannot be expressed with words. I have a need to express myself and art, in one form or another, is a natural outlet and "language" for this desire. Or at least it seems so, to me.
04. how did you make that transition into selling your creations?
After much encouragement from family and friends I set up a little one-day sale of prints and cards and raked in $2,000. I was shocked. And encouraged! After that I participated in open studios with friends for a few years and now I'm happy to use Etsy as the main outlet for my handmade work.
05. where do you get your inspiration?
Travel, whether firsthand or vicariously via Flickr or books, magazines, film, and television. Firsthand is always the best and richest source of inspiration though.
06. apart from creating things, what do you do?
Eat, sleep, and hold down a day job. Art consumes my life and free time. It's what makes me happy. When I'm not creating things I'm thinking about what I'd like to create next.
07. what are your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and blogs?
Everything by David Sedaris, Bill Bryson, and Donna Leon. For movies? Amelie, Kama Sutra, The Red Violin, Ronin, and all the old Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond films. I don't buy a lot of music. I didn't even own an iPod, until this year! I love the soundtrack to Marie Antoinette. I also love Keane, Prince, and nearly anything Timberland touches. For blogs, I'd recommend:
08. if you could learn to work with any medium that you don't currently work with, which would it be?
I would love to learn to draw or paint. I so envy people with that talent or ability. I have an uncle who is an amazing self-taught artist; he draws and paints and claims that anyone can learn. I'm not sure I have the patience. I think that's why I enjoy photography. I can see something, capture it, and alter it for the precise results I envision. The same level of near instant gratification isn't possible with pen, pencil, or paint. No matter the artist's skill level.
09. what is your favorite handmade item that you have purchased?
Handmade crimson-red coral earrings from Sorrento. No. The handmade silver and amber earrings I found in Dubrovnik! No. The turquoise-nugget necklace I bought in Santa Fe. No. Oh, I can't decide! I love handmade jewelry and try to find something special from a local artist on each of my jaunts around the old globe.
10. what is your favorite item that you have created?
I love this handmade accordion album that I made last year. I'm torn between hoping it sells and hoping I can keep it forever and ever. The paper is handmade by a local marbling artist and while I have a bit more of it, another book would be slightly different given the handmade nature of the paper.
11. what undiscovered artists would you recommend to the world?
Oh gosh, there are so many on Etsy alone it's hard to say. I have several good friends who are amazing artists, but their work isn't online. Therefore, I'll recommend my favorite artist in Venice: Cadore of the BAC art studio in the Dorsoduro area. I love love love his acquatint etchings of Venice. I buy several of his pieces each time I make it over to La Serenissima.
12. in ten years I'd like to be...
Living and working as an artist full time.
13. what is the best advice you have ever received?
Life is short. So [find a way to] do what you love. Since I dove into my love of art with sincerity and passion, some eight years ago now, I've never been happier or felt more fulfilled and full of purpose. People think that finding a/their 'soul mate' is what will complete and sustain them. I've met a lot of people who are in love, but so lost. So I don't think that love alone is an/the answer. In my experience, it's about finding your passion. Period. Once you've discovered what that is [for yourself], everything else is just icing and cherries.