Have you ever viewed a work of art and immediately connected with it because you could feel the artist's heart and soul exuding through the work? That's just how I felt when I stumbled upon today's featured shop: Elemental Alchemist. There's something very natural and effortless about these designs, from the raw gemstones to the organic, rustic feel of each piece, reflecting so much personality of the designer as well as of the potential owners of each piece. When I discovered this shop, I actually had my eye on one ring in particular, which has since sold and I'm a little sad I didn't buy it in time. Hopefully, the right ring will again come along at the right time and it will be mine. And you better believe I have my eye on this shop. Let's meet the artist behind Elemental Alchemist!
.......................... the interview .........................
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sunyata. I live in Vancouver with my wonderful artist husband and my most amazing 16 year old unschooled daughter. I am a retired homeopath. Currently my passion is a psychotherapeutic method of assisted self study called Hakomi. www.hakomitransformation.com I am interested in human being-ness in general.
A random fun fact about yourself:
I can get a wee bit addicted to collecting things; I have 50 or so shades of Mac eye shadow, 40 + tarot card decks and hundreds of cook books! Not to mention my vast collection of crystals and gems.
The first 3 random words that pop into your mind:
Curiosity, compassion, kindness.
What's your favorite read of all time?
Impossible to answer! I’m not much in to novels but love to read subjects that I’m interested in.
My last read was ‘The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love and Healing’ by Bruce Perry.
I love all of Daniel Siegal’s work on Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mary Oliver’s poetry and the spiritual writings of Adyashanti.
Any guilty pleasures?
‘Unwrapped’ on the Food Channel. What can I say…I love watching candy running through massive conveyer belts!
If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?
I’m right where I want to be in this moment.
(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
Earthy, organic, raw and slightly edgy.
How long have you been at it?
I’ve been dabbling on and off in jewelry designing for years. Taking my metal smithing ventures to a more serious level has been quite recent.
So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
Both. At this point my imagination surpasses my technical ability! Although, this doesn’t seem to hinder my desire to try new things. There is no method to my madness just yet.
Do you dabble in any other forms of art? I use to design, sew and sell children’s clothing way back before my daughter was born. I consider cooking an art and I love cooking for friends. There’s a rumor flying around that I’m a good cook. I won’t mind if you spread that bit of gossip about me ☺
From where/how do you find inspiration?
I’m mostly inspired by the stones, specimens and jewels I work with. They seem to dictate what they will be made into. Other artists who think outside the box also really inspire me.
Share something about your creative process that most people wouldn't know.
It’s hard my to explain but I’ll try to convey my common practice…in my experience ideas it seems are born somewhere prior to their arrival to ‘me’. I hang out with materials in hand and wait until an idea arrives in my body/mind and then use my skills to bring it forward. Sometimes an idea comes as a gentle wave, and sometimes like rolling thunder. Often I’m nowhere near my studio so the idea moves on and likely finds its way to someone else. Try to follow an idea you think was yours back to its source. Very mysterious indeed!
What was your most memorable creative experience?
Helping my husband come up with ideas for some of his bigger works. He has two large installment pieces at the Vancouver International Airport and brain storming around those was quite exciting.
What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
It has not happened to me yet. It seems the collective pool of pure creative potential, fortunately, is endless.
Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
I’ve had a few torch accidents. It took me three fire ball experiences before I realized my torch was faulty!
What is your formula for success?
It would depend on one’s definition of success I suppose. Success it appears, means very different things to different people. My formula…hmmm… I would say do what you love. Be open and trust in that love. If that results in happiness, then I’d call it a success.
Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
It doesn’t seem like an arrival point so while I’m satisfied with my progress, I see there is always room for moving into a deeper process with it.
Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
Let them be…seems what we resist, persists. Sit mindfully and fully experience the woes…everything passes or transforms eventually. I’ve noticed the more I try moving away from a feeling state, the longer it stays with me!
When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
Spending time with my family and friends, perusing Etsy, cooking something new, walking by the ocean or in the forest, practicing Hakomi.
In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
I would be an ‘interpersonal’ neurobiologist.
What are some of your favorite etsy shops?
So many! Too many to list. Recently I found Temi Kucinski and love her designs. Barby303 has an adorable shop. She sells patterns and tutorials for creating the most whimsical little felted animals.
What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
Any wool clothing by Sandmaiden
And, as a fun tribute to my inner psychologist, what might this be?
White square with black circle ;-)
Ok, I’ll play along…it’s an abyss and I’m about to fall into it……………