I'm not sure when exactly it was that I discovered Kathi Roussel's shop on Etsy, but for a long time now, I've been fogging up her 'virtual' store-front window, drooling over her incredible jewelry designs. Seriously, if I could I would buy one of each piece of jewelry in her shop. I love the organic quality of her designs, along with the vibrant colors, and the perfect blend of funkiness/girliness! That's why I'm so thrilled to have her as my current featured artist!
Kathi, thank you for sharing your experiences with us!
Be sure to check out the discount that Kathi's offering for my blog readers (see below). You can also read more about Kathi in her recent Featured Seller interview with Etsy.
......................... the interview .........................
A random fun fact about yourself:
I still like to buy bubble gum and blow bubbles
The first 3 random words that pop into your mind:
robust, intense, calliope
What's your favorite read of all time?
Ohh that's a tough one to narrow down...probably carl jung's man and his symbols (or any of his books...)
Any guilty pleasures?
Reading martha stewart mags... ahem.... and then wanting to make ALL of the stuff...
If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?
The coast of Amalfi
(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
A mix of urban, quirk and fem-- definitely not for the girl looking for sparkle-- a bit too edgy for that..
How long have you been at it?
I started the jewelry smithing about 7 years ago.
So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
I think with my hands and body..what is that called? kinesthetic intelligence? It's just what I'm most comfortable with...but I've worked hard to teach myself what I know.. a lot of trial and error, and a lot of good books with good pics!!
From where/how do you find inspiration?
The ocean and sea life has always been a big inspiration for me--- I once xeroxed an entire book of microscopic photos of primordial sea organisms, simply amazing --but of late even a sweet flower can get me going...
What was your most memorable creative experience?
Probably my years spent studying and making ceramic work-- I was with a wonderful group of talented and inspired young people--- we had a great time sharing a studio. we'd stay until 3 or 4 am working, and go out every Wednesday for beer and darts and blowing off steam-- we fired soda and salt kilns and did craft shows in booths near each other, and went to clay conferences and had a blast... it was a wonderfully happy time!
What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
Take a breather-- or simply work through it... it comes back every time, you just can't force it or expect it.
Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
too many to list...
What is your formula for success?
Determination..plain and simple. there are brilliantly talented people in the world who are lazy or eventually get burned out, they never reach their potential. I just keep on moving and accepting new challenges, whether the work is great, or mediocre, eventually I learn, get better, and move off the plateau.. and onward. I let myself takes breaks if I need them--we all do. we all need to stop and take the blinders off and have a good look around...then return with new eyes and energy!!
Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
ah-- no... just mini successes-- in my book that's good enough. I've definitely had some lovely things happen for which I'm grateful, but that isn't what drives me... I'm just determined to make my life as satisfying as possible, and that involves creating things. I don't need awards to feel successful... although I do enjoy knowing that people respond to my work and enjoy wearing or having it. I love knowing that people feel good wearing or owning a piece of my jewelry!
Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
Do not give in to woes!! Art reflects all the phases and stages of one's life--good or bad, work through it--you will be amazed at what might come out at the other end. It will help if you view your art as your best friend--there for you through thick or thin, exciting and yes even mundane.... do not worry if you make some uninspired work--it's all part of the whole... don't judge or second guess yourself!
When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
Hanging out with my family, managing my etsy shops, corresponding with friends, keeping my little blog rolling along, gardening, photographing work, taking a yoga class, sipping on some wine on my deck overlooking the garden--- and finally a good summer break and trip to the beloved ocean!!
In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
I think I would love to be a musician. One who could play any instrument--and sing too!
Anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask about?
oh-- I could just run on and on....hah!!
What are some of your favorite etsy shops?
oh-- so, so many-- I would run out of room! seriously. I am constantly bowled over by the talent, and sweetness, and creativity, I have hundreds of faves on my lists...( in both shops!!!)
What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
Well I just found out that my one real wish is in the works-- they are in beta testing with the arrange your shop/click and drag feature!! we will be able to move things around in our shops and organize it the way we might with a treasury!!!that is going to make EVERYONE very, very happy!!!
Any suggestions for my next featured artist?
ohhhh Ngan you can't let yourself off the hook that easily!! :)
And, as a fun tribute to my inner psychologist... "what might this be?"
The image reminds me of the "kill holes" found in the bottom of mimbres pottery. The holes were cut out of a bowl and placed over a deceased person's head, who was buried upright. The hole was meant to allow the soul to escape.
.......................... end interview .........................
Have I already mentioned how much I love doing these artist features?...(probably).. they're always inspiring and I learn something new every time. :)
Kathy is offering a 10% discount to anyone who buys a piece of jewelry while she is the current featured artist on my blog! Just mention that I sent you (in the message to seller during checkout). Happy shopping!