FEATURED ARTIST :: kathiroussel

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!


sweetnessjewelry said...

Awesome Blog Ngan :)

kathiroussel said...

ngan--- i am doubly impressed that you put together this feature while juggling not one but 2 little ones and probably very little real sleep.

you have a wonderful knack for combining images and asking incredibly fun interview questions-- many thanks to you for all of your efforts and for the wonderful feature.

have a super weekend and catch some nap time when you can. all the best to all of your sweet family!!

Sigmosaics said...

beautiful feature Ngan! I love Kathi and her work .. I think she'd have to be one of the lovliest etsians i've ever 'met' .. great read and it's wonderful to see she still blows her bubbles :)

I hope everything is going well for you .. hope you aren't running yourself ragged chasing the two little ones (well, chasing the bigger one while holding the baby ;)

hugs, Kerrin

Huismus said...

Ha! Blowing bubble gum bubbles eh? :-) I love Kathi's work and agree with Sig; one of the loveliest people I've met on Etsy..

What a lovely read Ngan, thanks!!! Oh, and when do you sleep? Do you at all? :-)))

xo Simone

Original Hardware Jewelry said...

This work is amazing, and so inspirational! Thanks for doing this! It is a great interview for a great artist!

. Phydeaux . Phydelle . said...

Another great interview with one of my very favorite Etsy artists! Kathi's jewelry photos are simply amazing. I adore them all. And I love her vintage shop too - even have the most beautiful candlesticks from 5gardenias!

Seriously, Ngan, how DO you do it?? Must not sleep much! :D

:) Brenda

kathiroussel said...

well-- i just have to do this --it's too funny
i have to correct a couple of my typos --hope you don't mind ngan-- i have been laughing since i first looked at the post, and i just couldn't stand it anymore.... !

i didn't once xerox an entire book of microscopic photos.... (that would have been futile), as i probably wouldn't have been able to see them when i was done ... no, that should have said, xeroxed a book of photos of microscopic organisms.....
and the other is that the bowls with the cut out kill holes were placed on the deceased person's heads. not the kill holes themselves...does that make sense??

who knows what else i may have written-- perhaps i was out to lunch that day!! hah!

many thanks again ngan-- and thanks lovely friends for your sweet comments! hugs to all!!!

mchen said...

Oh wow... I don't wear jewelry generally, but Kathi's stuff makes me rethink this. Gorgeous gorgeous stuff.

It's my first time here on your blog, Ngan — I love it!!! Great job. I'll be ba-a-a-aack :)

l'actrice said...

I just love Kathi! She is lovely, smart and amazingly creative. Thank you Ngan for your cool blog:-)