Hello, lovely, creative people! For today, Laura is joining us to tell a beautiful story about an engineer with a soft spot for creativity and colorful little objects. Hope you’ll enjoy her visit and stop by her little shop, The Fluffy Hedgehog, to share a heart or a hello.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Name, age, education and artistic background.
My name is Laura Dogariu,I am 22 years old and I am a future engineer with artistic hobbies. I am a student at Computer Science and I love what I study but when things get tough and stressful I start painting and creating all sort of things. I can never imagine myself giving up crafting or engineering. I just have to have them both. I think my passion for art is genetic. My mother is an amateur painter so as a child I received lots of crayons and paints as a gift to play with and also I had the opportunity to watch her paint.
You create colorful jewelry and accessories (my favorites are your feather bookmarks, I have to admit). How and when did you discover your passion and how was the road this far?
I started making jewelry in high school when I discovered a Romanian website that sold supplies. As the years passed and the number of supplies got richer so as my products became more diverse and colorful. I never followed a particularly technique , although the internet is full of tutorials. I always try to keep everything original and creative. The fact of being always original and in some way nonconformist brought me disappointment also. After finishing high school I moved to a bigger city to study and I had the opportunity to participate at many craft fairs. There I discovered how many artists were out there and what their priority was for them. I understood that if you want to succeed in this business you have to make things that are trendy and things that people are familiar with. This made me expand my selling area and become an Etsy seller.
What aspect of your craft appeals to you the most and why? How does this keep you on your way?
The thing I love the most in what I do is the painting I love playing with colors and I think they can change your mood and reflect so well who you really are. With paint I can renew an old thing ,I can personalize it or I can write on it. Although on my Etsy shop I sell painted jewelry and bookmarks I have at home a whole collection of painted jars, bottles, boxes and even stones. I just love finding a nice rock on the ground ,paint it with love, and gift it to a special person.
How is it for an crafter like you to live, work and create in Romania? Any challenges you face? Maybe some advantages?
For me Romania is a very productive environment. The fact that it offers less opportunities for artists or a poor collection of supplies from which to pick (compared to other countries) makes me invent and improvise. The hardest challenge I face here is selling. I read lots of marketing articles and advertising techniques but no mater how much I try it seems harder and harder to sell in my country.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from an unknown place and when I less expect it. Sometimes an idea comes after observing other creations or combination of colors. Sometimes I find something on the ground like a feather, a coin or a button and I just imagine what should I do with it. The reason for that is my love for treasure hunting and recycling. Give me your old necklace that you hate and I will make you something pretty out of it.
How does your studio look like? What do you need to get that creativity flowing?
My studio is a simple desk where I gather around all my instruments and materials. I have little boxes with beads , pieces of leather, paints ,brushes, lacquers, napkins, papers and a big box with scissors, ruler , candles, geometric shapes lighter, cutter, a pair of tongs I never get the creativity after setting up my work space. There are times when I’m urging to create something so I gather all of them and times when I hide them for days or weeks. The most important fact of my creation is the lighting. Without daylight I’m useless so I took care that my desk is positioned right next to the window.
Do you think you will be doing this for a long time? If you wouldn’t be an artisan, what would you be?
I will definetely do this after retirement. I can imagine myself creating cute jewelry for my grand-daughters and teaching them how to make things out of nothing. As I said, my main profession is engineering but I will always stick to both or maybe just to crafting.
What do you plan or dream for your future?
My realistic plan is to get a great job as an engineer and craft in my spare time. My dream is to live somewhere in a little town at the seaside, creating jewelry out of seashells from the beach and living out of my Etsy shop or maybe from a small business for tourists.
What is your most treasured handmade possession?
In general my most treasured possession is the last one I make. But that takes only a couple of weeks. I won’t lie. I have my little favorite and you can easily find it by searching for the expensive thing in my shop. It’s a leather brooch made out of little leather pieces ,individually painted. It was very hard to make and I find it very precious. I think it goes well with anything and it sure can bring color to any outfit or bag.
What advice would you give to an aspiring crafter?
Be proud of what you are and what you do .You have a gift that you must share with others and take advantage from it .Don’t ever burry it in the ground and always find ways to improve it. Don’t ever let others that are not qualified to tell you how to price your items or how to make them. There are many jealous people out there and you should never take too serious what they say. If you don’t manage to sell something don’t be discouraged. Think at it as an opportunity to leave something behind for future generations and most important have fun in all that you do!
Hope you’ve enjoyed Laura’s visit today. Slowly, slowly, I am getting back to my posting schedule, just in time for the holiday break…
What are you up to these days?