I'm bursting with excitement to tell you all about this week's Etsy find. I am always very excited to find fellow Etsians in and around my area and I try to buy from these stores. The other day I bought a very cute vintage weekender bag off Etsy from a lady who lives in Greenville, SC. I must admit, the location is one of the factors that makes or breaks the deal. For one, shipping costs affects the final price of the product, and then, I get excited to think that these local artists are so close by that I might have unwittingly met them at some point or another. It's completely baseless, but that's just me!
So today, I bring you a very talented lady who lives about an hour's drive away! Her name is Amy Perrotti of the Etsy shop under the same name. I came across her illustrations on Etsy one day, and was intrigued by her life story. And because this mother's love for her daughter inspired such creativity, we are able to share in her colorful illustrations that celebrate unity in diversity.
I bring you Amy Perrotti.
1) Can you tell us a little on how you got started on Matryoshka illustrations?
Years ago, I was shopping with my husband Eric at an antique store, when I came across a painted portrait of a woman wearing a scarf around her head (matryoshka style). It was unsigned and is probably by an amateur, but I fell in love with it. I have displayed it in our master bedroom ever since. Staring at it every morning as I wake has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on my mind. I have always loved nesting dolls, always wanted one as a child. One of the perks of having a daughter is I was able to buy her nesting dolls. We adopted our daughter from China, and we want to and do celebrate her heritage. A few years back I was wanting to draw some portraits of my daughter and her friends and I guess all of these things factored into my decision to draw them as matryoshkas.
2) Your illustrations are depictions of the people of different cultures. Do you have a favorite that you enjoyed illustrating the most, OR perhaps do you have a special story to share about a particular one?
It would be hard to pick a favorite matryoshka drawing. The ones inspired by my daughter would be obvious picks since I do adore her very much. These would be my Chinese Hanfu Matryoshka and my Tibetan Matryoshka (she is not Tibetan but I did incorporate her likeness (sometimes I can't resist). My Aqua Indian and Indian Mother and Daughters illustrations I especially adore. The Indian community has been very supportive of my work and kind to me as an artist. I must say though, the people of many different countries and backgrounds have been very supportive. I am very thankful and lucky.
Indian Mothers and Daughters Matryoshka Art Print
3) What is your research process before you begin each illustration? (does it involve travelling to different places? i hope you do because that will be such fun!)
I am working exclusively from a suggestions list (posted on my blog) and work on it in the order that I receive the suggestions. This helps because I know what is coming up and what to be researching. I have done some research in my local library but predominantly the internet is where I do the majority of my research. Here, people have shared their cultures and people who research cultures share what they have found too. I'm not an anthropologist but I do love people and cultures and have a great deal of respect for both. My Matryoshka illustrations are my original designs, my artistic interpretation, inspired by various cultures. They share common design elements to both unify the collection and to illustrate that all cultures, all peoples, have much in common. I hope my work sparks interest and curiosity in the viewer's own heritage and inspires them to do their own research to learn more about the many cultures of our world. Through education, knowledge of ourselves and other people comes understanding and respect and I believe it is the road to a peaceful planet.
4) Have you travelled to many different places? Which destination is most memorable and why?
I was born in Ohio, lived in South Carolina as a child, and then North Carolina since the age of ten. I have also traveled within the US along the East Coast. I've only been abroad during our trip to China to meet and adopt our daughter. We were very lucky to have had this opportunity to travel extensively throughout China (Beijing, Xi'an, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong). We would love to travel more, see more of the world and of the US. My grandfather was in the military and my mother lived all over the world as a child. The stories she, my aunt, and grandparents have shared also have had an influence on me.
Chinese Pink Hanfu Girl Matryoshka
Wasn't that a great story? In celebration of my Chinese heritage, I am giving away a signed copy of Amy Perrotti's Chinese Pink HanFu Girl Matryoshka 5x7 Art Print.
To enter this giveaway, visit Amy Perrotti's Blog and leave her a suggestion on her blog for a new Matryoshka doll to illustrate. Then leave a comment below to let me know that you've done so!
Also, you can leave another comment below if you share this blog entry on Twitter or your Facebook.
And as usual, following this blog would be very nice indeed! I do monthly giveaways, haha!
Ok back to serious business. This giveaway ends 31st July, 11:59pm EDT. I'll be shipping worldwide, so everyone can join in the fun! The winner will be picked at random via the random number generator @ random.org
Alright, hop on over to Amy's page to leave her some love! xx
********** THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! THANKS FOR PARTICIPATING! **********