Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Interview with Wildflowers Jewelry



Today my interview is with Marisa from Wildflowers Jewelry. Marisa is one of those beautiful souls that you find yourself blessed to know and her jewelry carries that same energy. She is an amazing upcycled artist that has some gorgeous and unique pieces. I find her pieces call to me and know that I will own a few others in the future. 
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am 36 years old and have lived in Colorado for four years now.  I was born and raised in New Orleans but am proud to call Manitou Springs my home away from home.  I work at Adam’s Mountain CafĂ© part time.  I have a very supportive boyfriend and am the proud adopted mother of a very large calico kitty named Kristy.  She was most definitely high society in a past life but is also a very affectionate cuddlier.  I love reading, gardening, singing jazz standards at the kitchen sink, and studying anything related to flowers and herbs.

 What inspired you to become an artist? 
I think from the time I was very young, I’ve had a creative imagination.  When I began learning about plants and natural medicines in my early twenties, I got re-inspired by the incredible beauty and energy of nature. Also around the same time I became fascinated by properties of different stones and the use of prayer beads in nearly every spiritual practice.  I began beading because it was very calming to me, like a meditation.  I started searching for a way to combine these two interests which led me to experimenting with resin as a means to preserve botanical specimens.

Who is another artist that you admire?  
That’s a really tough question because I admire so many.  I would say, iconically, Alphonse Mucha.  His use of color and art deco design really appeal to me.  The way he portrayed women as goddesses is timeless.  I also love the gorgeous children’s book illustrations of Arthur Rackham.   On a local level, I really admire the work of Audrey Gray (http://www.audreygray.net/). She uses various earth elements as color pigments in her paintings and they just seem to glow with life.



Where does your inspiration come from?  
Colors, patterns, vintage illustrations, and the rich culture of New Orleans all inspire me.   I truly love finding architectural beauty in the veins of a teeny tiny leaf or flower or piece of bark.  If I can communicate a feeling of an entire forest with one leaf it makes me really happy.  However I also enjoy taking something we see every day and representing it in a way that makes us appreciate a different aspect of its form, such as in the abstract shape of a seed pod.  I suppose in creating a piece of wearable art, I’m trying to pay homage to moments of perfect balance in Nature that people can carry with them as their own inspiration.

What is your favorite book?  
I have always been enthralled by fairy tales and mythology and am fascinated by the parallels in stories of different cultures.  “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass had a huge impact on my approach to life, as did “The Secret Life of Plants”.  I am also a huge fan of anything by Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, and Paul Coehlo. 

What is your favorite piece, and why?  
One of my favorite pieces is “Daydream Believer” which has a purple wildflower and dried seeded grass over a piece of upcycled calendar.  I feel it evokes a whole scene with just three components.  I am also slightly enamored with my Feather Heart necklace.  The natural heart formation in the feather is something I’ve never seen before.  It is a departure from my usual style in that it possesses a harder edge than some of my more feminine styles.  The final product is a result of a happy accident which opened me up to whole realm of design ideas.



What do you like to do in your spare time? 
 I read and watch a little television.  I totally nerd out to my favorite shows Doctor Who and Once Upon a Time.  Going on a hike to collect leaves and flowers always sounds like a good idea to me.  I also truly love music and very easily can get lost in a song.


Where would you like to be in five years?  
I would like to expand my creative interests to other forms of visual art.  I would also like to have a degree of some kind that would enable me to delve into ethnobotany, which is the study of how different cultures use their local plantlife for food, medicine, clothing and shelter.




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