<< RADICAL SOULS COLLECTIVE >>
Hey everyone! Sarah here today, since Elsbeth has been getting ready for her art show on Friday (!!). We hope everyone had a magical Thanksgiving, and we're getting new pieces together for our shop for the month of December. Just a little reminder that we are donating 10% of all sales to those at Standing Rock from now until the New Year.
Things I love this week:
This film for H&M by Wes Anderson: Video
All the stuff Elsbeth has been making for Friday :)
Radical Souls Collective, and our custom pieces "Moon Bat" from the talented Danielle - Visit her shop here.
Okay, that's it for me. Read the full interview with Danielle of Radical Souls Collective below! She came up from San Luis Obispo and sat down with Elsbeth to discuss her amazing first year in business. She's so talented and creative, so read on to hear more about her work.
When did you start Radical Souls Collective?
Actually, almost exactly a year ago. It was pretty crazy. I guess it was the end of November that I really almost had the website together, and the first week of December that I opened my shop and started selling things. Kinda crazy! It doesn't feel like a year. I put a lot of work into it.
Why did you start it?
Well, I just started it because I was making pieces for myself. I moved into a new apartment and I was really excited decorate, and I'm the type of person that I want to make things for myself - if I can make it, I want to do it myself. So I'm making pieces for the apartment, I start running out of room to put anymore pieces up, people would come over, they were really excited about it and said I should sell it. Kind of just started that way, just making pieces for myself, and I was like, I want to keep doing this. It seemed like a really fun and creative project.
Where does the name come from?
Nothing specifically. I did some brain storming and wanted to do something that represented what I was about. Pieces for people who have a free spirit - I did a lot of brainstorming, and had a lot of different options, and that one really resonated with me.
What do you turn to for inspiration?
Always nature. Definitely. When I'm hunting for these pieces, I don't know what they're going to turn into, but it always starts with the piece [driftwood]. And I have custom orders, and that's a different thing, but when I'm creating for the website, I start with the piece. Every one is so unique, and it goes from there. You just kind of get a vision from that, so that's my inspiration. I'm really inspired by textiles, and yoga. I teach yoga on the side, so that's definitely a big inspiration for me. But it always comes back to the piece itself, the wood, for me. I just have a porch full of driftwood and my first step is I'll look and be like, "which one inspires me?" I'll have a piece sitting there for months and I'll say, "oh, I'm not going to use that for anything." It's so funny, then one day I'll think it's perfect. I love that about it. You never know what it's going to turn into.
We all have some sort of self-care that we do for ourselves, to set us up correctly for the creative process - do you have any sort of practice for that?
The creating itself is self-care for me. Sitting down and creating something keeps me going. It keeps me inspired. I have always needed some kind of project like that in my life. Creating keeps me excited, and what I'm making is always evolving. When I look at what I made when I started, and what I'm making now - it's changed a lot and I could have never foreseen where I am today and the pieces that I'm making. I know it will continue to evolve and that's the beauty of it, and that's what keeps me excited about it. It's always different, I'm always interested, I'm never bored.
You also work with a lot of yarn and textiles - do you dye your own yarn?
I would love to transition into that. I have so many things that I would love to expand into and do. Textiles really inspire me so I would love to go the route of going local. It's really more of, I need to buy in bulk now. I'm making a lot of pieces so I need an exact color, so I just go to the store. I would love to branch out and do my own dying, and that sort of thing, but it's always evolving - I know one day it will evolve into that, but it's having the time and letting it work its way to that point.
Where do you see Radical Souls going in the near future? You've had a really productive first year - do you have anything in motion for the next year?
I haven't been able to think about the future much. The last few months - it's been awesome, but it's been so busy. I think the direction I've been moving... when I first started, it was a lot of little pieces and they were cheap, and I just wanted to sell more quantities. Now I think I want to get more into more minimal, but higher quality, doing really big pieces, and move into the really nice yarns and maybe hand-dying. Putting more work into each piece, so I think that's the direction I'll move in. I want to make things that are more unique, make it even more my own, so maybe people see my piece and know that I made it or know my specific look. I do a lot of the hand-painted pieces, because I haven't seen that a lot. So making things more unique.
So you're starting your own business, which is already it's own creative endeavor - what are some of the challenges you are finding, and some of the unexpected joys?
Challenges - any of the actual business side of things. I'm very creative - it's funny, my room-mate, she's one of my best friends, and we get along so well but we're so different. She's the business side, very technical, and I'm the total opposite. We'll be sitting in the living room and she's doing science homework, and I'm like, making art, and I remember one night she had an advertising project and she had to make a logo. I had to write this email - we were going to do this collaboration but it wasn't going to work out. And I'm a yes person, I love saying yes, and it was one of those moments where I had to say it wasn't the right time. We were both so stressed out! We had to use the other part of our brain. We were so comfortable in our zones and then we're just like, can you do this for me?! It was so funny. I think I am getting better with that.
Joys - definitely just having people respond well to what I have to show. It's really cool. I did an art after dark event about a week ago, so - it's a very small town that I live in. So seeing people I know really well respond well, it was really cool. Before I did this business, I did no social media at all. This has been so great because I'm meeting so many people, and partnering with so many people, from all over - I'm not just limited to where I am. So that's been really awesome doing art trades with other artists and just connect with people. Really cool.
What would you say your personal design style is? Do you imagine a certain space that your textiles go in?
Not necessarily, I have such conflicting loves of decor styles. I gravitate toward very minimalist spaces, very clean, very bright, but then I'm also very eclectic and I like a bunch of stuff and collecting little things from all over. So it's these two opposing things and I have to find a balance, where you have a lot of unusual things but not to the point where it feels like it's crowding your space. But I do really think a space should reflect who you are as a person, so having a piece that tells a story is really awesome. I don't see my pieces going for in a particular look, I think they can work in different spaces. But it is a little bit of a bohemian look, so maybe not a really stark space.
Do you look at different creators for inspiration, people you are watching that have work that really resonates with you?
I'm very visual, so I need to see something to start the creative process. so Pinterest or Instagram, just looking at pictures of other people's spaces, gets me inspired. I'll never copy anyone, but sometimes aspects of certain things. I follow a lot of amazing artists and textile designers on Instagram so I love seeing what they're creating. No one specifically. Yarn, rope, cord, creating texture - I'm very image driven and it helps me get my mind clear.
As an artist and a maker, during this time period in our country, not to get too political - are you feeling inspired or motivated by anything going on?
Um, well. Honestly, I'm... it's made me realize that there are things I can't control and made me focus more on what I'm doing as a person and what I'm putting out in the world. There's definitely a lot of fire there. Just wanting pursue what I want to do, and move on from all this scary stuff going on in the world. Just trying to find love [laughs] through all of it.
Thanks for sitting down with us Danielle, and we can't wait to see your work in the next year! See Danielle's pieces for Wild Abandon Design in our shop!
Wild Abandon Design Team