I'm so excited to share my interview with Melissa from MCreativeJ and her blog series, "For The Love Of Craft", showcasing some of her favorite artists from around the world to build more community and learn about other makers' creative process. She is a talented botanical fiber artist herself and I feel honored that Melissa has included me in the mix!!
For The Love Of Craft: Janice Stanfield
Janice Stanfield, Handbag Designer/ Maker, Corpus Christi, TX
Janice's work is focused around the idea of creating useful, well-constructed pieces that reflect her passion for a clean and functional design aesthetic, with the use of vibrant colors and hardwearing materials. Janice earned a degree in Architecture and worked in the field for many years. She finds this background to be one of her main sources of inspiration. Janice's process is always evolving and varies from one bag to the next. She shares, "I don’t want to make something that is already out there. It has to be unique – work better, look better, last longer, and fill a niche that no one else has filled."
Have you always wanted to be an artist? What inspired you to start creating?
I have always been creative - everything from drawing to baking to jewelry making to building furniture - I love working with my hands. I discovered sewing from my mother at a young age and quickly became obsessed with designing and making clothes for myself. My passion for fashion design continued to grow over the years yet in the meantime life led me to a career in Architecture. Since my first introduction to sewing, it has never been far from my thoughts and as a result, I was inspired to create a line of handbags as a side project based on my own personal need.
Where do you find inspiration?
Modern architecture has always been a huge inspiration for me and the process of making has always intrigued me. Travel, nature and other artists also inspire me.
How have you, as an artist, found your creative voice?
Looking inward and not focusing so much on what other people are doing has allowed me to evolve and create something that is a reflection of my own unique personality. I have allowed myself to take chances and experiment with new ideas and techniques without hesitating or second-guessing myself and just go with the flow.
Where do you create your artwork?
Our house has a second living area that I use as my studio space. The front wall is lined with windows that allow incredible light to fill the room and I can peek out at the world for inspiration while I’m creating.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?
Don’t be afraid of the work and enjoy the process of figuring it out. The more you hone your craft and share your work with others, the less daunting it will be. Embrace your mistakes. Stay true to yourself and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Always be learning, work outside your comfort zone, believe in yourself and never give up.
How do you build community as an artist? How has the creative community helped you grow and share your art?
I enjoy participating in markets and attending local art shows to cheer on fellow makers. Instagram has been an amazing platform for meeting other artists and building true friendships. I’m also involved in local organizations that are filled with like-minded creatives that inspire and support one another.
What artists inspire you? Do you have any favorite blogs, artists, or social media accounts that you’d like to share?
I’m currently enjoying Savannah Hayes’ podcast, Gamechangers. Social media accounts I’m currently loving and inspired by: @rowanwilligan, @autumnmiller, @themidwestismyoyster, @petraalexandra, @myarchitectures
What are your goals and aspirations for your business?
I want to continue creating and growing. Eventually I want to open a creative space where people can hangout, shop, and experience the world of bag-making on a deeper level, collaborate with other makers and host workshops.