working space & Atelierul feature
It's been a while since I've done a Feature Friday but today I have some news in that department. Monica from Revista Atelierul reached out to me a few days ago to set up an interview for their magazine. I mostly talk about my hand-made work and a little bit about my work process in general. You can read the entire piece Here in my native words and thoughts, and for all of you who are seing this from outside the borders of my country, I have translated and adapted it into English roughly. (Google thanks for helping people be multilingual since 2000-and something).
"I discovered Andreea Muntean (or Dushky for short) in 2009 with the launch of her first collection named "Carnivale" that was inspired by the circus world. She has since been a constant source of inspiration, always coming up with new and original ideas. Her creations are remarkable both in style and the special painstakingly crafted details. Dushky has a special way to juggle with dramatic forms and is not afraid to combine vivid colours. Dushky graduated from the Faculty of Arts in Timisoara and continued with a masters degree in fashion design. Through hard work and dedication has managed to evolve and is today one of the few artisans in Romania who can say that their passion has become a full time job.
First tell us something about yourself. Why "Dushky"? Dushky comes from Andreea somehow and it's a nickname that I have since I was little. I like to draw, paint, sew, create and do not see myself doing anything else but art. I like colours, notebooks, foxes, monsters, space and everything related to astronomical sciences.
How did you discover your love for the arts? What is the first thing you drew/ created? The first thing I drew, that I remember of, is a toy box from which a clown springs up. And I remember that, while I still didn't have any notions of perspective, the box was a but (a very crooked one) and not a square. I must have seen something similar in cartoons, or else I do not know where I got the idea. I also remember drawing Cinderella obsessively, I copied her from a comic book, until I learnt how to do the drawing from the back of my head.
You started with painting and fashion design. How did you start your handmade shop? Because I always had artistic inclinations, I liked exploring all forms of art, so I learnt, from a very young age, how to sew, knit, mainly how to create things with my own hands. I was building board games, sewed clothes for dolls and confection objects for them, I created wearable jewelry and modified my bags and clothes. Later on I started making things for my friends, so an on-line handmade store came as a natural thing (after much insistence from my sister and friends).
Who handles the administrative side?I take care of everything that is implied in the Dushky "brand". From creation to packaging, shipping, store management, blogging, posting and accounts on social networks. It's more than a full-time job, but it's very rewarding and motivating.
How you formed artistic style? What inspired you? (movies, books, other artists etc.) I formed my style through observation, I think any visual artist can say the same. On top of this I can add all the school years in the field, the materials I work with and my work environment. I'm inspired by my work space, remarkable people, colours and shapes that I find around me, things that people have invented and obviously the creations of other artists. Movies, books, music, they all drive my creative process, but I can not say whether any in particular has formed the basis of one of my creations. And for artists in general, I have a deep appreciation for all those who express their ideas in an artistic way; among those on high positions in my preferences list I can include Alexander McQueen, Arturo Elena, Sasha Unisex or Esra Rois.
Tell us a few artisans who inspires you today. I love the creations Raluca Buzura Hanaletters, Vamoose and almost all the artisans whose creations they all add to wish-list on Etsy.
Describe briefly the creative process of a handmade object. How long does it take on an average? All creative processes begin with an idea, that's how I start my creations. In terms of jewelry, first make a sketch, measure, I create a template, measure again, number and do calculations (often it's a very mathematical process, especially for the geometric jewelry), then I choose colour palettes, I cut out all the felt pieces and bases I need, then I'll start sewing and after then, to mount. I do not usually track this new process typically because time varies, but after I already have a model template, the working time significantly shortens, somewhere between 4-6 hours, it depends on the complexity.
What are your favourite materials that you use in your creations? In terms of handmade I work best with felt. I started with it and I'm still exploring its benefits. In illustration, watercolor and markers are my favorite tools.
How does your studio looks like? My studio keeps changing, recently it changed location, so it's still in development. I always want to improve and I am happy whenever I get to do so. All the things that represent me can be found in there, it's very colorful, organized and here and there I slip something related to the universe and astronomy, so I can always think about infinity and other existential problems. Somehow it motivates you to know you can do anything just by will power. Besides brushes, pencils, watercolors, notebooks and sketchbooks, I have a drawable bear (Astro-bear) and a cactus (Moonti) on my work desk, otherwise prefer to keep my space clean so I can work easily.
In your opinion what makes a handmade object to be special? I believe that a handmade object is special by definition because it is made by someone's hands and definitely made with love and passion. If I was to add another thing that I consider necessary, I think it would be the details; from the details of handmade object itself, to packaging and presentation.
What was the biggest challenge you encountered so far? Hhhmm I'm not sure, I always meet challenges, I think every time I create something new. Perhaps the hardest part was to showcase my work online, because I knew that I was exposing myself to criticism. There have been constructive and negative reviews, but I learned to overcome my emotions and learn from it all.
If you weren't an artist, what else do you think you would be? What is your second passion after art? I love make-up, music, photography and a little bit (a lot actually) of astronomy, so probably something in those areas. However, if I think about it, all these fall in the artistic domanin as well. However, I still want to become an astronaut.
What hopes does Dushky have for the future? I hope to grow as an artist, and will not cease to learn, to seek, to find; I hope to continue to create, both professionally and personally.
Do you have a tip for beginner artisans? Courage. It can be done and will be fine. "
I'm glad I was given this opportunity and even more so, the chance to show you all a glimpse into my working space. I always change it, but recently I moved so I had an entire different space to fill. Here are some snapshots, I can't wait to have some shelves installed and some artwork on those blank walls. If you look closely in the article, you may spot a sneak-peak into one of my latest works coming soon on the blog.