Friday, February 11, 2011


My very first Friday Feature introduces artist Devon Edwards, of "With Love by Helina Mae" on Etsy. Her whimsical style and resurrection of vintage pieces are lovely, feminine, and unique. 

Here's our little Q&A ~

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. What's your background in art?
A: Well, first off I’ve never been good at condensing what I want to say—I’m very wordy. So forgive me if this gets incessantly long! I am a 22 year old college graduate living in Cannon Beach, Oregon! I was born in Seattle, WA and raised in Gig Harbor, WA for my entire life (until now). Art has always been present in my life, from drawing on the walls as a child to painting a mural in my living room! However, I was never formally educated in art until I went to college. I took no art classes in middle school, high school, or outside of school for that matter! I taught myself everything I knew until I decided to go to school for art. This past December I graduated from Seattle University with a bachelor’s in visual art! Now I’m trying to find a way to establish myself as a freelancer, while not having to live off of food stamps forever! I suppose some would say I live life a little on the edge—but what artist doesn’t? ;)

Q: What got you started in jewelry making, and what was the catalyst for opening up shop on Etsy?
A: The desire to make jewelry was always there—from the moment I began to accessorize as a child and discovered that no one had what I wanted to wear. However, I am and always have been kind of a dark horse when it came to art and “doing” art. Half the time I spent telling myself that I shouldn’t venture into those areas that I wanted to because there were others who were better and “professionals”, so what made me think I could do it? This also led me to not pursue a lot of artistic endeavors that I’m throwing myself into lately. I’ve come to the realization that you simply have to do what makes you happy—and this makes me happy. So I began MAKING the jewelry about two years ago, and even more passionately about a year ago. As for the Etsy shop, I had opened an account long before I had the notion that I would use it to make money for jewelry or my art. I simply created an account because I just had to have the most amazing pair of boot spats that I had ever laid eyes upon. Rest is history!

Photo courtesy of Devon

Q: I love your recycled/upcycled jewelry - what is your inspiration for that?
A: I’m glad someone does! The idea was actually instilled in my brain since I was a little girl, believe it or not. When I was younger, I would always find broken pieces of jewelry that were mine, my sisters, or even my mother’s, and I just hoarded them. I figured that someday I could make something spectacular out of them instead of throwing them away. Although back then I hadn’t really put that plan into action, I continued to hoard all discarded and broken pieces of jewelry. When I finally put my idea into action, it was due to a class I took in college (History of Costume Design). We had an entire days lecture on “Green Fashion”, it was so eye opening that it changed how I look at clothing and the fashion world today. I realized then, that although not everyone can buy environmentally sustainable clothing (including myself), that I had to do something to contribute to this philosophy (I have my university to thank for that). As soon as I had that idea, I realized that I had already had an idea along those lines a looong time ago with jewelry! Thus, the inspiration and creation of my jewelry began.

Q: What is your favourite piece of jewelry you own?
A: Well, it’s kind of trite, but my favorite piece is a handmade choker. It’s made with garnet colored glass beads with a one cent Indian head penny. It’s sentimental really, but my dad was an avid coin collector and after he died someone made necklaces for my sister and me out of his one cent coins. I love it to death.

Photo courtesy of Devon

Q: Do you work in other mediums besides jewelry-making?
A: OOOOoooooh yeah. Far too many. I consider myself a mixed media artist simply because I just can’t stick to one medium. I believe that an artist shouldn’t be restricted by medium nor be defined by one. If you have an idea that one medium can express better than another, do it! I work half digitally and the other half as a hodge-podge. Currently I’ve discovered this fiery passion for paper cut outs meshed with anything and everything (I love me some cut outs), such as acrylic paints, colored pencils, markers…and glass.

"Strawberry" Illustration by Devon

Q: Any big plans for your shop that you're willing to divulge? ;)
A: Oh definitely! First off I am vigorously trying to get people to take me seriously! That is my first and foremost plan. Besides that, I am working on a more consistent “thank you” card for people who purchase my items. I’ve been sending thank you cards, but they’re all those kinds of cards you get with stationary sets (nothing that I’ve made or anything). So I would love to get those going somehow… but with a nonexistent budget it’ll be interesting! Lastly, I plan to introduce earrings and more pendants (without the jewelry ensemble, just the chain and pendant). Pretty cut-dry and simple though!

 Photo courtesy of Devon

A huge thank you to Devon for being my first very guinea pig in my Friday Features ;) I invite you guys to check her out around the web! 

Etsy Store: With Love by Helina Mae
Blog: Musings of an Artist
Like her on Facebook! Art of Devon Edwards

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