The Mouse Whisperer
Description of work: I am a sculpture artist and my aim is to capture the spectrum of human emotion, from bright to raw.
Q: How long have you been creating your items?
A: I have been creating all my life, but found my specific niche in polymer clay at the beginning of 2009.
Q: How did you get started?
A: I struggled through a period of the blackest darkness last year and dredged through emotions that made every good thing in the world feel foreign to me. I hated talking to anyone about it because I genuinely sensed that this new and unsettling me made everyone uncomfortable and left them longing for me to be myself again. I got very tired of people expecting me to heal on a timeline, and trying to remedy my pain with blanketed cliches. Those around me tried to fix me, and really I knew that I just needed to feel what I was feeling and allow myself to move past it when I was ready. I couldn't relate to my family and friends. I couldn't relate to anyone. I got my hands on a block of clay one night and was shocked and startled at the very simple form that emerged. It was the epitomy of my ache. Somehow it made me feel better, like there was one thing in the world that I could relate to when nothing else could comfort my unease. I made dozens more of them, and they brought me a sense of catharsis. I finally got the courage to list them in my shop, aware of the possibility that although uncomfortable to look at, someone else may experience that place just prior to healing as well. I listed one in the evening, and when I woke up it had sold and my buyer wrote to me telling me that she works with abused children and planned to use the piece in sand tray therapy. I could not describe how this resonated in my core, and the healing that this knowledge brought me. I launched an entire collection called In Some Dark Place and have been humbled beyond compare at the sentiments of acceptance and healing that people have expressed over these pieces. It very much makes me feel that the pain in my experience and darkness of my journey was worth it by what it has been able to do for other hurting hearts.
Please Be Kind
Q: Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
A: I am inspired by a myriad of things. Sometimes it is a matter of expelling emotion, sometimes I hear a sound and can see it translate to shape and feeling. Color inspires me. It really depends on the moment.
Q: Do you sell your items? If so, where?
A: Right now I am solely based on Etsy.com, and my shop can be located via themidnightorange.com
Q: Do you have any formal training, or are you a self-taught artist?
A: I am self-taught, so trial and error has been it for me. At this point it is not likely I would pursue an art degree (not for lack of interest, but time and resources) but a business degree would be very beneficial for me and my fingers are crossed that this happens.
Q: Please supply a short paragraph of why you think someone would benefit from purchasing your designs.
A: If I may, I would rather provide testimony from a client. "D. Antonia does amazing work that helps people heal through times that no one should have to experience. She has no idea how much she helps those that have experienced loss heal through these pieces. Things like these are all we have to remember them with."
Bottom Be Near
Q: If there’s anything else you’d like to share with readers, please enter it here.
A: I know I talked a lot about the heaviness of my artwork, but I did heal through that period of my life and my work evolved into more light-hearted pieces as well. It has been a journey, and my goal at the end of it is that any emotion conjurable can be found captured in my clay.
You Make Me Gleam