To learn more about Linda and her funky, colorful handbags, read what Linda has to say about herself and her art.
LINDA AND HER DAUGHER, KRISTIN
I love color, texture and whimsy. I love the "shabby chic" style of pairing old ( lovely antique jewels) with new (sumptuous batiked cottons/ silks)...then, finishing the look with some stitching on the outside, a safety pin hung here or there, and ribbons, laces, ric rac and rhinestones heaped on! I like to say my bags are "mixed-media collage/assemblage wearable-works-of-bohemian-art ". (Because each and every bag is made with something found and repurposed, it carries a bit of history and tells it's own enchanting story...and, someday, it too, may become a cherished family heirloom .
What led you to start creating your art?
I have been creating art for as long as I canremember...as a child I remember making cards andcollages for everyone I met (even though I didn't knowthat word!) by gluing found treasures (like rocks andsticks and birds nests) onto paper!
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
In midde school, Il earned to sew. It was the 60's and the hippy movement was in full swing. I fashioned the wildest, gaudiest, patched, mismatched, exotic bell-bottomed blue jeans you ever saw!! (OH, how I wish I had them today!) I have experimented with water color painting, mixed-media collage, photography, beaded jewelry, and most recently, fiber arts! Today I like to tell people I am a "mixed-media assemblage artist"-which is just a long name that means I have tried every form of art and couldn't decide which medium to focus on, so I kept them all!
What aspect of creating your art do you find the most enjoyable?
I enjoy shopping vintage stores and flea markets on my quest to find unique jewels, buttons, coins, beads, laces and other goodies that become part of my bags. I also love the sense of accomplishment in finishing a bag (which is always different then what I envision when I begin!) That element of surprise keeps it fun and fresh! I absolutely LOVE what I do, and honestly can't wait to get up every morning to sit at my sewing machine to begin a new bag....or, to dye ribbons laces and feathers....or, to go off on an adventure searching for funky findings. Every aspect of making GYPSY HANDBAGS is fun, fun, fun!
If you had to choose either a fruit OR a vegetable to describe your art, what would it be and why?
I might choose an ARTICHOKE! They are lovely to look at; rich, rare, succulent and juicy; and have a heart (all the words I would choose to describe my bags!)
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art?
Nothing too profound...I want people to realize that life shouldn't be taken so seriously. We need to laugh more. We need more whimsy and frivolity on a daily basis...that is what I hope my bags convey.
What advice to you have for other artists?
Choose to do what makes YOU happy and fulfilled. Be authentic. Have patience. Your audience/customer will find you!
THANKS, Linda, for letting us have a peak at what makes you "tick", both as a person and an artist! ! I loved your answers!
Also, be sure to visit Linda's web page below to find out more about Rhinestone Gypsy handbags, and were else they can be purchased. If you see a particular bag shown below that interests you, just click on the bag's photo to go directly to that item in her Etsy shop.