Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Artist Profile: Michaela Dawn - Skinny Swallow

Tell me a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff...
My name is Michaela Dawn. My family and I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I am a mother of two little ones, a self taught photographer, designer, and accredited drafter by trade. Once in a blue moon I am contracted to do some architectural projects, but mostly I am a stay at home mom who likes to take photographs and create in her spare time.

a little bird told me necklace

Apart from creating art, what do you do?
I’m usually running after my kids, but I also run for pure enjoyment. For solace I crochet, knit, or read. Life is pretty simple and pleasurable around here.

adventure beanie dusky pink - organic cotton

What first made you want to become an artist?
I think its inherent for each one of us to create either with our hands or in a pouring of our soul into something unique and individual... for me this is just the natural coarse of being.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.
I suppose I’ve always enjoyed the application of crafting with my hands. Where I live, I’m surrounded by the splendor of nature in all its seasonal diversity, and it moves me. I also like combining the nuances of my favorite things into something practical, having been environmentally derived, timeless, something others will be able to enjoy. Authentic stones, pearls, natural fibers, rich woods, and silver are some of the materials I enjoy using. Texture and color are inspiring and I am interested in color therapy and its psychology, so my items usually pertain to a specific chroma which then invokes meaning for those who choose to capture it and make it their own.

andromeda wristlet in sage

The heavens are also an inspiration, the small twittering avians who fly in the sky and the stars above fascinate me. Out here, the wide open space lends itself to plenty of bird watching and star gazing...lots of dreaming. I create every spare moment that I can...usually the most productive time is late at night when the laundry has been folded, dishes washed and put away, the house clean, and the kids are in bed.

Because I believe in building without incurring debt I’ve incrementally been adding items long since inspired. I started my Etsy shop with $40 and some yarn given to me as remnant castaway. The first ten beanies I created I sold locally, which helped me pay for processing my photos. The boards which I put my photos on were all reclaimed from the farm. Every spare dollar was stashed in a ball jar and every penny pinched has gone into my work and now its finally blossoming into my wildest dreams. I still have a few more items to release by the end of summer before my collection is complete and then I can start releasing larger batches at one time. I've also enrolled in photography classes for next year at University.

What artists have influenced you and inspire you to create?
My father for one, who was a silversmith jeweler. One can find some of what he created here. I am utterly inspired by Shabby Chic design and my favorite author Alice Hoffman, if I could translate Rachel Ashwell’s decor or Alice’s words into my jewelry or photography it is what one may see in my creations as of now.

nebula eardrops in amazonite

I read in obsessive "tifts and bouts" and can usually devour a book in a few days by stealing moments in between daily duties and such, therefor I am influenced by the printed word and its reference to mood and symbolism. I favor vernacular architecture and find Jeremiah Eck, Sarah Susanka, and Ross Chapin’s minimalism, philosophy of design, and aesthetics encompassing. I like to incorporate these ideals into my design. The Arts and Crafts movement and Fauna and Flora wildlife capture my places a zeal upon me...I then must keep what I make fairly simple and pure.

My family, my friends, past instructors and professors: they have been inspiring as well, and utterly supportive of what I do...often being the ones that propel me further into productivity with their praise of my work and gentle nudges of I’ve been pretty shy about pushing my product. Which, oddly, brings me to where I will be selling my items...

storm's a comin' - fine art photos, set of 4 - 5x7 prints

Where else can people find your work?
I will be selling locally at our Farmers Market this summer, and other than that I sell exclusively in my shop, Skinny Swallow, on Etsy.

Visit Michaela's blog:
Where Has the Wind Taken You.*
*To subscribe/follow please contact Michaela via her Etsy shop!

Images displayed in this post were used by permission and are copyright Skinny Swallow 2009 - all rights are reserved.


Paper Lady Invites said...

What a wonderful artist! By the way, love the new photo for your title. Pretty!


LoveCreations24 said...

I just love that hat! Heading over to her blog now!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

chelsey: Yes, I love that her colors are so dreamlike...thanks for the compliment on the new banner. :) ~tina

Pfeiffer Photos said...

lovecreations: Head to her Etsy shop to sign up for her blog updates--she's going sub only soon! Glad you enjoyed the profile. :)

Michaela Dawn said...

Thank you kindly! I am so pleased with this treat!

See you in the Wind!

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