Name: Michel Belisle
Location: Montreal, Canada
Description of work: creating handmade objects at the crossroads of fashion, art, and crafts
How long have you been creating? I started about 30 years ago. Back then I studied fashion design and started a business. But life took me in different directions since. About two years ago I started contemplating what I could do when I retire to prevent boredom. It suddenly struck me that I could make good use of my creative self, making things and selling them online. My online adventure started last year. It is still pretty timid but I am slowly putting more and more energy into it. I find it quite rewarding receiving compliments about the work I do. It is a renewed sense of purpose also to create items when I know my followers will appreciate, as they are always wondering what will I come up with next!
|Metallic Silver Pencil Pouch|
Where do you find inspiration? Partly from avant-garde fashion designers like Rei Kawakubo, Junya Watanabe, Issey Miyake and Walter van Beirendonck, and especially from contemporary architecture. Space, volume, perspective, unusual use of materials play a key role in triggering my creativity. I spend a huge amount of time experimenting with fibres, fabrics and, recently, leather. I want my designs to reflect structural properties even though they are made of soft and fluid materials. I also like my creations to have a purpose. I understand, though, that my current offerings do not exactly reflect my abstract creative process but it is also a characteristic of my process to be progressive. I am taking my followers with me on the path to discovery.
Where can we find your items for sale? I currently only sell online. I have two shops, both with the same name, one is www.etsy.com/shop/handustry, the well known handmade and vintage online venue, and the other one is www.cargoh.com/store/handustry. This one is a Canadian curated online marketplace and is where I offer my more experimental creations.
|Buffalo Hide and Hemp Experimental Necklace|
Why would someone benefit from purchasing your designs. When someone buys one of my creations, I want that person to make it totally his or hers. I want people to experiment as much with it as possible even find it a different purpose. It would very much please me to find out that my creations are used as catalysts by others in their own creative efforts. It would create a kind of intangible communication, a propagation of creativity and a tool to achieve self-actualization.
Anything else you’d like to share? I’ll take this opportunity to tell everyone who would like to embark on a creative adventure that anyone can. Simply start a project and do it. Even if the result may discourage you. Continue, go on, do another one until you build confidence in your ability and develop your own style. It is almost always possible to reuse a disappointing result and make it into something totally unexpected. Most of my successful realizations come from unsuccessful experiments. Don’t compare yourself with others and create according to what you feel is right.
Soft Grey With Distressed Blue Jeans and Tiger Print Effect