1. How did you get your start in the handmade community?
I've been a creative person since childhood but started working as a creative professional in 2007 when I started working in a photography lab. I learned so much about color, composition, style and developed an intense eye for details during my 5 years with them. After that I started my Etsy shop while in between jobs and it slowly grew while I worked in the textile industry. During this time I started sewing without fear and tried pattern making, fabric dying and doing whatever I could with fabric. It was during this time I started sewing bags and other accessories. Designing handbags was a natural transition for me because I am a little bit of a bag hoarder.
2. What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
All of the fabrics I use are hand crafted by myself in my home studio. I hand dye, hand print and digitally design all of my patterns before sewing them into handbags, pouches, wallets and other accessories.
3. What or Who Inspires you?
The ocean and the night sky. There's nothing like a vast expanse of nothingness to get my creative mind churning. Watching the soothing waves along the Pacific Ocean or the twinkling stars in the Milky Way inspire a calming feeling of being a spec in a huge magnificent universe filled with wonder and endless possibilities.
4. What is your creative process like?
I start with a small idea and try lots of variations. My goal is to always end with a product that is unique and aesthetically works from the smallest detail to the overall piece. I'm not afraid to scrap plans and start fresh. Some details remain as a framework to build on with new ideas and details. Trial and error is my friend, I learn whenever I can. I refine my designs and patterns until I have a beautiful, professional and meticulously sewn item.
5. What is the coolest artistic tip you have ever received?
“Through the mere act of creating something—anything—you might inadvertently produce work that is magnificent, eternal, or important.” - Elizabeth Gilbert
Just get started. So many times I overthink and get all anxious about the idea of something I have in my head, that I don't even start.
6. What can we expect to see from you at Jackalope?
Indigo dyed shibori fabrics, bright colorful patterns, canvas bags, tote bags, women's wallets, makeup bags, accessory cases, cross body purses.
7. Where can we learn more about you?
www.starlightbags.com or say hello on Instagram @mariashacreaw