Friday, January 23, 2015

Design Team Member Dana Sanchez

Welcome back to our Designer Spotlight where we feature local artists like NW mixed media artist Dana Sanchez! We love Dana's style and her art completely wowed us when we saw it! We knew we wanted her to share some of her knowledge with our customers and are pleased to have her designing for our store! Here is a little bit about what inspires Dana to create...

How long have you been crafting?

 As a mom of four and creative person I've been scrapbooking since 1998 when I decided to personalize my son's baby book.  I searched for weeks for post-bound book that I could add my own pages to.  Baby books are filled with questions to answer and pages for specific photos. This felt so confining to me.  I wanted to be able to add my son's story and all the things that were important to me, plus, I didn't want to be confronted with the guilt of leaving spaces empty.  As three more children were added to the mix, they each needed a personalized baby book, by the time I had my daughter,  I'd moved on to the 8 ½ x 11 albums and started working with 12x12 and I had more than enough of a “stash” to start making a family album.

What inspires you to be creative?

There are so many things that inspire me to be creative.  First it was this need to “remember and save” the memories.  I've read articles on how sometimes it is important for mom's to come out from behind the camera,” But I have to say, with four children born one right after the other, their days pass in a blur.  I cherish every photograph I ever took and wish I had taken more -with a better camera.

These days, as I become more comfortable in my creative skin, I find everything inspires me.  My Faith, my family, bright colors, Pinterest, illustration, new technique videos- my ten-year-old daughter is an amazing illustrator. The scraps and comics she just leaves laying around the house often inspire me and I've created a couple of mixed-media canvases with them.

I have to be careful, I see a different style, or something with bright colors, or something wonderfully altered, and I'm just, “Oooh shiny!  I want to make that!”

 What Craft Warehouse products do you love to use?

There are just not a lot of local art resource options and Craft Warehouse is my go-to spot.  I love walking into that store.  They have lovely home decorating displays to explore, (which often inspire the mixed-media craving in me)  but the big draw for me is the scrapbook and Arts section.  Pretty much everything on the left side of our Vancouver store!  Craft Warehouse carries Tim Holtz, Thickers, Pima flowers and Petaloo, Teresa Collins, and We R Memory Keepers to name a few.  I  love the Tim Holtz Ideology line, and I think both boxes of the Tim Holtz tissue papers that I use in my collaged-mixed-media were purchased from Craft Warehouse when I found them on sale. 

Plus, there is a great selection of wood that can be altered for projects.  My absolute favorite surface right now for mixed media and collage is this 12 x 12 that set in a little box frame.  I can't find it anywhere else, it's a locally made product and only Craft Warehouse has it.

How can you encourage others reading this column?

When I started my first scrapbooks and my first mixed media project I kept telling myself that it was for me, and nobody else.  I am the audience I'm making this for me and I'm the only one who needs to be satisfied.  I would encourage others to make art for themselves, as a way to tell and express their own personal story.   Stories are everywhere around us, in our families, our history, in our day.  Knowing where you come from helps you know where you are going. The story is everything.   Even if we don't have time for eloquent journaling or finding the perfect quote, the story is in the photo.  Once you have your story, don't compare yourself to anyone else. It's your personal story!

I am just a home crafter who has never even taken a class because of time restraints and financial reasons . I've learned as I go, and I love learning new things.  Anyone can do this.  Everyone should do this.

Creating with myself as my audience helped build confidence to start creating for others.  When one of my boys took special mini book I had made him to show and tell while simultaneously reading through it so much it became dog eared- It's hard to describe how pleased that made me.  Or when I made my eleven year old laugh with a story/mini-album I had made for him.  Or that time I made my husband cry...

I am more than just someone who plays with paper- I have lot's of stories to tell, share, and give away.  My Grandma always wanted to write a book, my mom says someday she still might write her book, but I have two shelves of albums stuffed with already written stories to share with my family and cherish the rest of my life.

There are so many ways to ease into this paper-love hobby, so many ways it can go, that there is no reason anyone can't do it and feel like they have accomplished something wonderful.

Visit Dana on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, and Pinterest to be even more inspired!

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