- First of all, would you like to introduce yourself, tell us about your life, where you live, a little about your background?
My name is Anastasia and I am a jewelry designer. I’ve lived in the UK since 2006. My family moved here from Moscow, Russia where I was born and lived for the first thirty years of my life. I have always had a passion for art and as a child attended Children’s School of Art, but my desire to become an artist was not to be fulfilled till I turned 27. After finishing a high school I got a degree at Moscow State University and made a successful office career. By the age of 27 I worked as an HR Director for an international company operating out of Russia. Nevertheless, I decided to leave the corporate world and pursue my dream of becoming an artist. I graduated from Academic School of Design in Moscow in 2005 and have being designing and making jewelry ever since.
- You're originally from Russia. Has the move to the UK impacted your view of things, your way of seeing and living art, or, if you'd like, has it changed you in any way?
Yes, I changed a lot. I must say that London is a capital of art and modern art and most importantly the art in London and in the UK is accessible. What I am trying to say is that there are lots of museums and exhibitions to choose from, some of them offer a free entrance to the visitors. For me it is very important as I live in an industrial city of Peterborough, which is situated 90 miles north of London and usually I spend two weekend a month in London. Every time I am in London I visit two or three art exhibitions. During the winter time it is just a way of spending the day, walking from one gallery to another with friends.
- What inspires you?
My ”Dreaming of Butterflies” collection is inspired by natural beauty of butterflies, Gustav Klimt paintings, and gorgeous vintage brooches.
- When did you first begin creating jewelry?
In 2005 after graduating from Academic School of Design in Moscow
- Why butterflies, in particular?
I love creating wearable art. My goal is to make women feel beautiful and happy when they put on one of my jewelry pieces. I want them to experience that same dream-like state of being that I envision when creating my jewelry. Creating and designing my Butterfly necklaces is like living in a dream, in an enchanted forest. It feels like I am bringing beauty, happiness and peace to this world, by inhabiting it with such gentle and gorgeous creations as butterflies.
- Have you tried other crafts or arts before jewelry?
I like drawing and am most fascinated by the life drawing.
- Any tips on selling handmade items and art in particular?
I think that the key factor is to create something unique, but still practical. Quality photos and good product description are vitally important as well.
- Why should people buy handmade?
Handmade items are unique and original. Buying and using handmade goods allow you to look different. Also, by buying handmade goods you support the artists who are making our life more beautiful. Before the industrialization in the 19th century all the goods people were wearing or using, including furniture, dresses, hats, shoes, cosmetics, etc. were handmade and in a way unique. Now we are living in an era of mass production, we are wearing clothes which look alike; we all follow the fashion trends, basically buying what is sold in a High street shop, so the only way to stand out is to have some handmade fashion items in your wardrobe.
- Do you have any other interests apart from creating wonderful jewelry?
I like reading books and a year ago my passion for reading has grown into something more. I finished writing my first book, which is written in Russian and now three chapters of the book has been published in Russian Mind Magazine.
- Now, something a little less craft-related... What books have you read lately, and what movies have you watched?
I like Russian modern literature. Talking about the cinema, I recently watched two very interesting films which I think I can recommend to your blog readers Marry and Max, it is the most beautiful and honest cartoon I have seen in my entire life. Another film is Battle Royal with the great actor Takeshi Kiatno playing the main character. Talking about this year's films I would like to recommend to watch Angels Of Evil by Michele Placido. Even though it is not actually my favorite genre it is beautifully made.
- Would you like to add something else, links, thoughts, anything?
I just had my first exhibition at the Newashgate gallery. They were showing two of my four jewellery collections: Dreaming of Butterflies and Web (www.newashgate.org.uk).
- Would you like to offer some kind of promotion to our readers ?
The readers of this blog are very welcome to buy from my Etsy shop with 10% discount using the code “ANASTASIA5”
- Another thing, people love to relate in some ways to the seller, or so it seems, would you like me to include a photograph of you in the interview?
The photo is attached. On the photo I am wearing one of my necklaces while sitting in an restaurant in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
-Thanks again a lot for taking the time to answer the questions, have a good afternoon.