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Patches Market interviews a talented artisan all the way from Mexico. Read on!

Name: Norma Andreu
Company name: Cara Carmina


 

Favourite music to work to: Depends which mood I am in. I listen to different music. I go from Fados to Spanish Boleros or indie French music to Electronic. I share all the music I´m listening to right now on my youtube channel (cara carmina) for those who are interested, I´m always looking for new music to get inspired!

All time favourite read: Love in the time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

If you were forced to save just one colour, which one would it be? Yellow

Dream destination: Italy

A movie you fell in love with: The Triplets of Belleville

An unrealistic dream: To go back to live in Mexico City

Top 3 favourite tastes: Salty, Sour and Sweet

Favourite handmade item you own: A “Tenango” tapestry made by Mexican Artisans (it is a hand embroidered tapestry full of colors!) love it! :D (you can see one like mine here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mexicantextiles/2149770417/)

What do you create and what materials do you use?
I make Art dolls, textile and paper collage images and paper cut dioramas with my children illustrations.

Tell us a few words about your creative process.
I don´t really have a fixed process, it changes depending if I´m making a custom order, if I´m preparing for a craft fair or I´m just free working on new pieces, experimenting or just creating new works! (this last one is my favourite one!) Sometimes I get an idea and begin to work it little by little and decide about the final colours and details throughout the process, other times I have the complete piece in my mind and ready to translate it into paper or fabrics.

What inspires you and how do you deal with inspirational block?
I get inspired with different things, I love children books, I love my culture (I´m from Mexico), I like fashion, design and art in general, I love colors and textures, I like children stories and animated films, I love music and nature, it´s all there for us if we know where to look! If for some reason I feel blocked I just give it a rest for a day and do something completely different from my work, just read or watch a movie, etc...

When did you first get the ‘handmade calling’?
Since I was a little girl I always wanted to be an artist and always liked to draw and create lovely things with my hands... so from a very young age!

What does ‘handmade’ mean to you?
It means made with care and heart, it means the object has a soul and a story behind it. When something is handmade by an artist or an artisan the person who made it took the time to make it just perfect, each stage of the process is thought about and the complete piece has more value because of this. Handmade is part of our culture as human beings and we should not forget the fantastic worth of anything that is handmade!

How do you promote your work?
Internet is my best tool for promotion! You name it, facebook, twitter, my blog, flickr, pinterest, I´m everywhere! Word of mouth of course! People really get very happy with my work and let their loved ones know! That´s pretty awesome! And once in a while I would buy an ad space on important blogs but that´s not that often.

Describe your working space in 3 words.
Small, cozy and colorful

Are you inspired by anyone dead or alive, in your field of work or otherwise, and why?
Yes! One of my most beautiful dolls are my Frida Kahlo dolls and I began to make them simply because Frida is one of my biggest inspirations! She had so many qualities I admire in a person, in a woman and in an artist. Such a strong passionate personality! No matter what adversities she encountered in her life (and she met many!) Despite her physical pain, she dedicated her life to what she wanted to do most in the world! What an amazing woman!

Do you have any tips to share with those who are still new to the handmade world, be they aspiring creators or first-time buyers?
There is a huge amount of artists making beautiful things all over the world, it is so refreshing to see this happening. My only advice would be to stop for a second and look, look around at all the fantastic handmade art around us! Once you see it you cannot stop loving it! It´s within us to like handmade objects, they have our human history inside... They have our soul!

Find out more about this artisan on: Facebook, Blogspot, Etsy and Pinterest

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