My next interview is with a person who I greatly admire, and with whom I have begun to have a developing friendship with. What impresses me most with Dawn is how wide spreading her skills are. Most Esty artists, myself included, work with one type of medium, make one type of article though with perhaps variations on the theme.
Dawn on the other hand seems to be able to use her skills to create clothing, jewelry, handbags and totes as well as other accessories. I'm quite amazed of where her creativity takes her. And I was very glad that she agreed to take part in this interview with me.
Married/Children: Married, with a cat, no children
Occupation: Artist, crafter, language consultant
Important Links: LaTouchables Bags and Things, LaTouchables Etsy Store
Where do you live and what is the best part of living there?
I live in Southern Germany, near the Rhine, where the sun often shines and one can get good wine…and there are a network of bike trails that go on forever, we are close to France, I sit practically in the lap of the Pfalz mountains, considered by some to be Germany’s Tuscany. Our village is surrounded by woods…we are close to some big cultural centers…so many great things about living here!
Is there a particular secret about where you live that only the locals know? That the tourists would flock to your local if they heard the slightest rumour of it?
Yes, we have some of the best white asparagus in the world. It’s a delicacy, and we get fat off it when it’s in season!
What term would you use to describe your creative talent: artist/craftsman(woman)/creator/other. Why is it you see yourself in this way?
I consider myself an intuitive creator. It has a lot to do with curiosity and desire. Craft is an integral part of it—I don’t like to work shoddy—but I work best when I am inspired. I’m always inspired, so that’s not an issue. It’s wise to step back when you feel a lack, do something genuinely different, and when you get back to the drawing room, you have power and imagination.
How did you begin with this creative process and how does it add to your life?
I began thinking this way as a young child, probably before my concious memory. I was lucky to grow up in a family that encouraged the arts, so it became a way of life. As far as crafting was concerned, I was only carrying on legacies set by my forefathers—in the days of yore (well into my parent’s generation, and thus influencing me), it was a matter of pride that you did something well, and it was also a matter of neccessity. You couldn’t just make a blanket and have it fall apart on you…when you made a loaf of bread, you made sure it had no big airbubbles in the dough—that bread had to feed a big family. When you made your own clothes, you made them to fit and show youself off—you invested time and effort. So when I make something practical, I want it to last, wear well, look good.
Were you creative before this time? If so, what other creative arts do/did you dabble in?
I got my education at a big university, beginning with classical performance arts, namely the violin. Mid-studies I switched to painting and the visual arts, painting large mural-size neo-expressionist paintings. I’d drawn and painted my whole life, so it was really my choice. I made forays into metalsmithing, which I adored. I still take classes now and again. I spent years taking modern dance classes. A completely different discipline can only enhance your imagination, I believe!
Can you remember the first creation that you made?
Yes, I was four years old, and I found a drawing of a butterfly I had done when I was three—as if I had found an artifact of my earlier life—I was blown away by the colors, I couldn’t believe how beautiful they were. Of course, my mom loaded praise on me. Parents should do that with their children, to establish early feelings of well-being and comfort in the arts.
Is there something else that you made that you are particularily proud of?
I decided to braid a rug, once. I devised a plan, bought the material for pennies at a warehouse, cut strips, finished the edges, braided it, sewed it together by hand, and we’ve had it on our floor for ten years, in front of the sofa.
Is there something in particular that you find inspiring?
Nature, other artists, other ‘thinkers’, my friends and family. I love literature.
Do you have a particular customer (on or off the internet) that you remember particularly well for good reasons?
I have a few customers who have encouraged me. I value their comments and contacts enormously!
How would you envision the perfect dinner? Who would be there (famous/family/fictional/etc)? Would it be formal/informal? What would be served?
For me the perfect dinner would be with one person, at a small table on a street, or a blanket on the beach.
What type of music are you listening to at the moment? What does this music do for you?
It varies. I like music that takes me outside of me…I’m into the music experience! That could be some pop song on the radio or something totally out there—like a recorded street scene from Africa, or anywhere, anything with a beat.
Where is the place that you have visited in the past, that you have particular fond memories of? Why?
There are so many places, but Morocco was my virgin voyage, and made a tremendous impact on me. I lived for months in one city, with a family of a friend, who, inspite of my strangeness took me in and treated me respectfully as a member of their family, tolerating my eccentricities and encouraging my forays into their culture.
Where is the one place you would really like to travel to one day? Why?
I’m open. I even get excited about desolate places, lonely truckstops, tops of volcanos, looking into the other side…