T.E.S.T. interview: aTanaDesigns

We hope to introduce you to all the great etsy sellers to be found right here in Toronto. Here at the T.E.S.T. blog, we plan to interview them all. This is the 31st in our series with Wendy of aTanaDesigns

Please introduce yourself and your work.

Hello, my name is Wendy and my shop is called aTana Designs!! “Atana” is a Sanskrit word meaning “Wandering” and that sums me up…I’m a daydreamer and I LOVE to travel! My love of art began early in my life as I always looked forward to art class in High School, and then I continued my love affair by graduating with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. I currently teach wonderfully talented students at an Arts School just outside of Toronto. I found my way into working with Precious Metal Clay and creating jewelry almost by fluke! I have always loved jewelry (much to the disappointment of my bank account and probably to my husband), and when the opportunity came up to “play” with this clay I was ecstatic. Ever since then I couldn’t get enough! I started by designing and making jewelry for myself and then for friends that were interested and then it lead me to the great universe of Etsy!

Tell us about your creative process?

It begins with inspiration I find in nature, travelling, art, and those who I surround myself with. It also begins with me wondering what I would want to wear! If I am taking a walk, or a run through the park, I notice the little things and wonder “hmmm, could this look good as wearable art?” Nature seems to be the most talented artist of them all! I keep my sketchbook close at hand and I always draw out potential designs before I get to work with my silver. I suppose my background as a visual artist has influenced my approach and the skills I have acquired as a “drawist” and painter have transcended into my creative work as a jewelry artist.

What has been your scariest experience?

With my jewelry making or with life?! I don’t know if I would deem an experience as scary with my Etsy business, but I do know that my experience with Canada Post may have been the most annoying. On my very first sale I thought my package was lost as it took over 2 weeks to ship something from the North end of Toronto to the West end! Thankfully it was shipping to a customer who was very understanding, and it eventually arrived!! Grrr…yes, Canada Post is my most frustrating experience!

With life…scariest must be realizing that as you get older you understand that your parents are always right!!

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I always appreciate hearing feedback from customers and hearing the story of who they are buying jewelry for. I really like knowing if one of my pieces is intended for an anniversary, or a birthday, etc… I was very honoured in being mentioned in Roger's Digital Media, Sweetspot.ca, alongside some major names like Banana Republic, Swarovski, and Aldo as they featured one of my pendants as a holiday gem.

Perhaps my most recent gratifying moment is being able to donate my profits from my Silver Bunny Charm to the charity Rabbit Rescue. I have a bunny named Audrey, and I have a soft spot for these great animals so it was wonderful to be able to sell a product to customers and in turn be able to give back to a charity that is doing such fantastic work for animals! Check it out: www.etsy.com/listing/96542791/fine-silver-bunny-charm-all-profits-go

What’s your goal (professional and/or personal)?

As a jewelry artist my goal is to become a known name in Toronto. To have people recognize my jewelry and to see people walking down the street wearing my art! Personally, one of my goals is to be able to do a yoga hand balancing pose called the crow…my sense of balance gets the better of me! Oh, and my other goal is to travel the world!

If given a superpower, what would it be and why?

Hands down I would want to be able to fly!! I think this stems back to when I saw Disney’s Peter Pan and realized that I had the same name as Wendy, and I wondered why I didn’t have fairy dust from Tinkerbell too! Imagine being able to fly…I could then easily accomplish the goal of seeing the world, and I would laugh at all the cars stuck on the 401 as I soared to and from work!!

You can find more of Wendy's work in her etsy shop and you can 'like' the aTana Designs Facebook page. Interviewed in Toronto by Arianne of Ariannelim in May, 2012.

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