aside from the bemused/delighted/inquisitive reactions i get when people come across a sperm purse for the first time, the most common question i get is: "how do you come up with so many ideas?" where do i draw my inspiration? my products are definitely suggestive of the whole flora fauna imagery, but i feel like my designs are so far removed from nature, so far removed from anything i'm capable of photographing, or even drawing. i have a great sense of realism about my sketches and i've always balked at "art" that features an admittedly cartoon-y character with one eye larger than the other. being part of the indie scene, i've grown somewhat used to it, and while i used to think that these artists couldn't draw, the fact that they can replicate their images time and time again with consistency makes me have a new appreciation for the style, but i still can't bring myself to incorporate that into my own work.
i have a great respect for my high school art teacher, who, among many things, also taught my english class and spent hours after school with laila and i while i played with her slab roller and lumps of clay. she traveled with me (and laila, and jenn) to russia where we ate porridge topped with a pad of butter and avoided some raw fish delicacy while laila ate something like cocopuffs alongside orange juice for breakfast. she was the one who shook her head with wisdom at my aspirations to become a child psychiatrist (translation: 14 years at UBC), and told me that i would soon discover that med school wasn't the biggest achievement in the world. she had once been one of the thousands of young science undergrads at UBC, gunning for med school, until she realized she was spending more time in the dark room than her science labs. for me, the realization hit about two weeks too late, two weeks too late to drop out of my ridiculously boring and unapplicable physical chemistry course without getting a "W"....sure all my med school pre-reqs fit nicely into my pharmacy electives, but i could have taken more naked drawing classes without them!
on the note of once-discarded advice, she also told me - why draw so realistically when you could just take a photograph? this lady also impressed upon me what has now become the backbone behind st*tchp*x*e and the reason i'm a pharmacist and not sewing for 8 hours day or trying to support a family on art: do not make your passion your career, it'll suck the fun out of it.
back to my original thought: i certainly rely heavily on ideas from nature, but it really is just a random concept that enters my head in somewhat of an attention-deficit-disorder kind of way, rather than drawing inspiration from a bird that i come across while in my backyard. someone was so sure that i'd spent time in japan because my tri-chromatic mount fuji design and cherry blossom images strongly made that suggestion. as for my signature skyline pouch, it's just a coincidence that i live 20 minutes from seattle now. it becomes a different city to everyone though - i get an immediate, almost knee-jerk reaction from people who pick up my skyline pouch, and it's often different, depending on where their lives have taken them - most times it's seattle, even when they're not in seattle, other times it's toronto, sometimes it's vancouver, and once it was calgary (calgary?).
about four years ago, a photographer friend told me that taking pictures of flowers was challenging. this photo at right is an image of mine from back then. perhaps in large part thanks to my 18-200mm lens, i think i've overcome this challenge. i'm glad i've been able to overcome such challenges almost effortlessly, like being shocked at my Language Arts class blemishing my otherwise straight-A report card in seventh grade, followed by my private school acceptance letter a few months later that commended me on my strong math skills but indicated that i was below average on the reading comprehension, as revealed by a standardized test....and then somehow, i suddenly had the skills to analyze writings and concepts that i never thought i could understand(existentialism anyone??). at my high school graduation, i was so humbled to accept the top student award in english and a copy of les miserables to commemorate it. however, i feel entirely incapable of taking a worthy photograph of this fantastically retro plant below. while my cherry blossom handbags look nothing like what i'm capable of photographing, if ever there was something in nature that i would directly translate into a st*tchp*x*e design, this would be it.