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Monday, March 9, 2009

Featured Artist - Shiny Things by Orin Drake

- What’s your name and where are you from?
My name's Orin Drake, and I'm originally from Arizona. I've been living in Massachusetts for 10 years now, yet I still don't feel "like a local". Must be the snow.

-What is your shop name and what does it mean to you?

My shop's name is "Shiny Things by Orin Drake", and that... pretty much encompasses everything that I do. Whether it's jewelry, sculpture, painting, or working with fabric, I do rather like to make everything shiny.
- What websites do you sell on how did you decide on which ones?

Currently I'm selling on both Etsy and ArtFire. I started off on Etsy because it was my first real introduction to artists actually selling for themselves online, and I liked the set-up. I gave ArtFire a try because I was looking for the "second generation"; a.k.a. the newer site that had learned from the older site's mistakes, which tend to work out really well. I'm keeping both for the moment just because I've become known for my Etsy site, but... eventually I just may have to move over to ArtFire completely.

- How long have you been crafting?
For as long as I can remember. My mother taught me really simple crochet when I was young, and it just seemed to have sparked something. School was a good excuse to make all kinds of weird fun things, too, so my craftiness was encouraged. After a while it just became the best way to be creative and de-stress, and here I am trying to make a living on it.

-Tell me any interesting things about you that you would like to share.

I am a packrat. I just am. If something looks interesting and is given to me or I can afford it at the time, I will take it and I will keep it, for years, until I find some use for it. This has only served me well. Also, I'm easily able to ignore the complaints of other people for being a packrat.
-What do you sell in your shop?

Right now I'm selling jewelry, mostly. All different kinds of necklaces, a few earrings, bracelets, and my "infamous" dragon bracelets of which I always wind up more proud of than I should. Probably. I've also got some "geeky" items that prove I love video games, some sculpture, and am planning to add more plush items/soft sculpture in the near future.
- Tell us about your crafting space.

My crafting space has somehow spread from one desk to the whole of the boiler room. It's really a lot more comfortable than it sounds, especially now that I'm giving in and totally rearranging it for my needs. There's an old dresser to use for storage space, an old glass-front stereo cabinet in order to display the more fragile things, and some Sterilite things on wheels! I have no idea why those amuse me, but they do. Oh yes, and there's also a desk that I'm working on seeing again, since everything is currently piled on top of it during the rearrange.

-Do you belong to any guilds, teams or other indie craft organizations?

Right now I believe to the Whimsical and Magical Artisans Guild, which looked completely appealing since whimsy really describes the "creative process" to me. I'm also trying to start The Geekery Guild, but apparently few people on ArtFire are willing to admit they're geeks yet. The day will come, I assure you.

-Where do you find inspiration?

Anything and everything. It's a cliche answer, but it's true. I'll just see something--a form, a color, etc.--and it sticks with me and winds up in something. Music is a big inspiration, too.
-Tell me a bit about your creative process

I really don't know what there is to tell. A get hold of materials, find something to do with them, and see it through from start to finish. Some of them tell me stories, some just are as they are. Rarely do I have a clear image of what I want to accomplish first. I just like to let something be itself, weird as that may seem.

- Where have you learned to do what you do?
Mostly? The Internet. Invaluable resource. Then I just built upon basic skills, and hope to continue to do so.

-What is your favorite item in your shop right now?

I have to admit, I still feel a bit of pride every time I walk by Andrew:

-Why is it your favorite?

He's such an accomplishment for me. From making the pattern all myself to sewing the wings by hand (not to mention putting him all together by hand), he just represents so much love and work and devotion to all things dragon and shiny. And I made him a necklace, an "old skill" meeting a new one.

- What is your favorite part of your craft?

The result. *grin* Something to look at and honestly wonder, "I did that?!"

- What is your least favorite part?

Often times, clean-up. Of course it's a necessary part of the process, but that doesn't mean that I can't hate it quietly.

-How did you get started with your craft?

Jewelry sort of came naturally over time because, well, I love shiny objects. So making shiny objects just seemed logical. Crochet came from childhood and the desire to make something awesome out of very simple materials. Plushes/"stuffed animals" are sort of a natural evolution too, since I like dealing with characters.

-If you sell on more than one site which is your favorite and why?

I am moving a little bit toward ArtFire, I must admit. Sure it's shiny and new, but there are just little features that I appreciate. Being updated when an item gets shipped, for instance, and having separate places for the item descriptions and story behind them. Granted at the time of this writing I haven't gotten a sale through ArtFire yet, but there's plenty of time.

-What makes your shop unique?

The obvious love and celebration of shiny, of course! Well, maybe not so much that--it's a love and celebration of all things shiny and fun with a story to tell and a rather casual attitude toward... everything. Except the shiny. The shiny is serious business.
-What advice do you have for other independent crafters just starting out?

Don't get discouraged! You're going to hear that a lot, but that's because it's true. Some people just plain aren't going to like your stuff, that's just how it goes--but somewhere out there, someone will LOVE it. It's all a matter of time and trying again and again. So long as you enjoy what you're doing, focus on that and the rest will come.

-Where else can we find you on the web?

I'm a little bit of everywhere! But my base is my web site: From there you'll find my omnipresence on the web, from shiny things to writing to music to sheer weird insanity. But in a fun way, of course.


  1. Great interview.. Thanks for the encouragement.. Lets just try try try...


  2. I love the little birds in the last picture, so cute!