Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ten Question Tuesday - Get Ready Set Go

Hello! Who are you? Give us the 411 about yourself.
i'm a 29 year-old girl with a head completely FULL. born and raised in the suburbs of detroit, michigan now living on the east coast of florida- a place i never thought i'd end up.
to say i am tactile is an understatement... i do my best creating when music is playing. i need photography, coffee, and a place to put my art.

When/how did you start your business?
honestly, it just fell in my lap in early 2008. For as long as I can remember I've been drawing or writing- putting things together that make sense to me. I always had a journal and made "scrapbooks" but they were never anything like what you'd normally refer to as a scrapbook. A piece of a photo cut into three pieces with the lyrics from a song laced throughout the cracks and a random poem sketched below...Or maybe it was random designs I had drawn while listening to music and thinking about life. I never knew what I wanted to be "when I grew up". It was always changing and nothing ever sounded like just the right fit for me. I took college classes a semester here and there but nothing ever stuck. I loved to learn but it always seemed as the semester drew to a close that my notebooks were filled up with ideas, drawings, pictures I had to take because I was itching with an idea. I never had a place to put all of myself. I don't know if that makes sense but I really can't describe it any better. When etsy came along it was super exciting then disappointing then exciting. I had started my own photography business, shooting mostly candid kids- photographic narratives- real things etc. I started by attempting to sell some of my prints on etsy- It was pretty miserable. nothing sold- it was too big of a field. I'm a crazy knitter- super tactile- & fidgety so when I learned to knit at age 22 it was like having air put back in my lungs. I had just gone through a very traumatic time in my life, one I thought I'd never make it through alive. my anxiety levels were through the roof so knitting helped to calm me down, to focus on something else. Well, you can only knit your friends and family so many hats and scarves. I had piles of stuff in plastic tubs so I decided to start a second shop and sell my knits. again, a reallllllly hard thing to sell because there were/are so many people out there doing the same thing that are well established. Let's just say I opened 2 other shops, which are no more until finally I found something I hadn't seen on etsy. So I picked it up and RAN WITH IT! I loved the colors and the make and the story behind vintage luggage. and like I've said so many times- each piece is like a blank canvas. And it's not like every square inch of the piece needs to be covered. sometimes a simple quote and small piece of artwork gives a bag or case a whole new meaning for whoever decides to buy it. this is probably far too long of an answer so on to the next question I go!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
i am a wife and oldest sister to 4 amazing siblings. this is my focus outside of running the luggage lunatic shop:)

What first made you want to become an artist?
i don't think you "choose" to be an artist. i've been one for as long as i can remember. the need to create is a desire deep inside my bones

What inspires you?
it's in everything i hear and see. music inspires me, the random moments of life that i find myself compelled to photograph, the things in life we miss because we're too busy running forward, passing the scenery without looking at it or taking the time to reflect on it.

What's your favorite thing about your craft?
getting a new design in my head, being able to put it to use on a piece of luggage and then taking a fantastic photo of it. THAT makes me super satisfied!

Where would we most likely find you working?
in the office of our (me and my husband) 3 bedroom home with music blaring. i love to be at home. my office walls and bookshelves are filled with things that inspire me- i need to be surrounded by lots of color, lamps and my christmas lights which i keep up year-round.

What's your favorite music to listen to while you work?
oh no, that is not a question i can answer. my father would be disappointed in the way he raised me if i could actually answer that question. my music collection is a bit on the side of extreme but i will give you a list of my favorite artists- it's long so be prepared:
ANNIE STELA. JEREMY ENIGK. SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE. THE FIRE THEFT. ELLIOTT SMITH. JEFF BUCKLEY. BEATLES. AARON SPRINKLE. JARS OF CLAY. RADIOHEAD. EISLEY. BRIGHT EYES. AZURE RAY/MARIA TAYLOR. RAY LAMONTAGNE. SUFJAN STEVENS. JOSHUA RADIN. BAT FOR LASHES. WESLEY JENSEN. OWEN. DECEMBERISTS. album leaf. alex lloyd. alexi murdoch. andrew bird. ani difranco. arcade fire. badly drawn boy. band of horses. beck. belasco. bell x1. ben folds & his five. ben harper. ben lee. bjork. broken social scene. bruce springsteen. buddy. CAKE. camera obscura. cat power. cat stevens. chris isaak. coldplay. copeland. david byrne. david gray. david mead. damien rice. death cab. eels. the elected. emerson hart. feist. fionn regan. frou frou. fruit bats. gary jules. gomez. guster. interpol. iron & wine. james taylor. jefferson airplane. jenny lewis. jimmy eat world-clarity. joe purdy. john lennon. johnny cash. joni mitchell. jose gonzalez. joseph arthur. jump little children. kashmir. kathleen edwards. kent. lovedrug. martha wainwright. massive attack. matt pond pa. midlake. morrissey. nada surf. the national. neil young. nirvana. ours. patrick park. paul simon. paul westerberg. pearl jam. pedro the lion. the perishers. pete yorn. pilotdrift. pinback. pixies. placebo. portishead. postal service. queens of the stone age. red house painters. regina spektor. reindeer section. rem. remy zero. rilo kiley. roni size. rufus wainwright. ryan adams. shins. simon n garfunkel. smiths. snow patrol. south. stars. stephanie dosen. sundays. sunset rubdown. tegan & sara. thom yorke. tim seely. toad the wet sprocket. tori amos. travis. trespassers william. van morrison- astral weeks. weezer. wilco. wolf parade..... and many many more.

What's your favorite thing right now?
life and appreciating everything i have. i recently lost my best friend that i've known since i was 11. he passed away in july and it's really shook me. every day is a gift they say right? well it's SOOO true. i've got the most amazing husband who supports me in ALL that i do and we've been married for just over 6 years. right now i've really been digging on that- i am so incredibly lucky to have him in my life. he really just amazes me.

If you could have one wish granted for the craft community, what would it be?
hmmmmm, more exposure. loads and loads of it! there are so many talented people in this world making the most amazing, unique and eco-friendly things. i really wish more people would start to buy from these fantastic artisans!

See more of Rachel's super cool work in her Etsy shop!


Designs by Leslie said...

I thought I had wander lust before!

greenstarstudio said...

great interview! we have the exact same playlist.

VW Studios said...

WOW! I absolutely love the bags! (and the great interview. Thanks for sharing!)