Saturday, August 23, 2014

Share with Me Saturdays - Larissa Uredi Part 1

A peek into the studio
Photo Credit: Sandy Woodson
Happy Saturday, everyone! I'm excited to introduce my next artist in the Share with Me Saturdays series, Larissa Uredi of Unravelled, LLC. I met Larissa the first year I worked for KC Fringe Festival. Since then, I've had a lot of time to get to know her and her art and share all of our flailings about everything.
We're meeting her this month as she takes on a new project; she's a 2014 participant at ArtPrize. This annual art competition takes place in Grand Rapids, MI, and she's taking art with her that stays true to her artistic roots/themes but showcases those ideas with a new medium. We will talk about all of that really soon, but for now, here's Larissa:
Q1: Hi! What's your name and favorite pizza topping?
Larissa Uredi, and I'm going to go with spinach. Or maybe those red pepper flakes.

Q2: What project/business/profession are you sharing with me today?
The mixed-media "arting" that happens under my business name, Unravelled LLC. I am a fiber artist, painter and jewelry designer.

Q3: How did you join this project/business? Did you create it, or get hired in, or....?
I started this company in 2007 because I had a lot of entrepreneurial energy, I loved to create things and I wanted to make a name for myself as an artist in Kansas City.

Q4: What's the most rewarding part of this project/business for you?
This has changed for me over the years--at first, it was "making the sale", which to me, meant that people liked and supported what I did. Now, years later, the sale is still one of the most exciting parts, but I think the most rewarding has been learning how to experiment and "play" with my jewelry designs and then seeing those new designs excite other people--regardless of whether or not they buy it. Hearing what people have to say about my work is something I really value.

Q5: What part of this project/business makes you want to throw things out of anger or frustration? Be vague if you have to. It's OK.
Practically speaking, taxes and deductions. Emotionally speaking, realizing that I want to and can cast my own beads out of sterling silver or other precious metal but lacking the technical skills to make my visions a reality. I know it's just time and practice but it's really frustrating when you have to start over because you stuck your thumb in your wax design again or you accidentally lob off a key piece of your cutout.

Q6: Do you ever question if this is what you are supposed to be doing in life? Do you feel like you are on a good journey with your project/ least for now?
Uhm...I don't know if I question if jewelry or painting or fiber is what I'm supposed to doing in life but I have definitely questioned my motives for wanting and trying so hard to be "creative" before. But, I have come to realize that it is indeed a part of me and something that I can't get away from. Doubts aside, I wouldn't trade the ups and downs of the journey for anything and I feel like I'm finally moving into a stage of my creative life where I am less afraid to listen to my inner voice and give something a try, instead of worrying about whether or not it's a "good idea" or if people will like it. I just need to make those pieces of jewelry or scarves or paintings sometimes that are for me. I think I'm finally beginning to understand what that means.

Q7: Do you think you are getting any better at what you are doing? Does it matter?
Technically I think that I've come a long way in my jewelry making and painting skills. When it comes to my silk and fiber creations, I think that my design skills are getting stronger, which is exciting. And yes, it absolutely matters. I don't want to become stagnant and I don't ever want to settle. Pushing myself and refining my skills and constantly questioning what I consider to done or good is what keeps me going back to the studio and fighting all of the various battles that come along with creating something.

Q8: What do you love most about existence right now? I mean this in the broadest sense possible. Or whatever sense you want to interpret that in, I don't care.
I am in a good place right now--I am working on a decent work/life balance and I am getting and taking opportunities to play outside and enjoy this beautiful world. I have loving and supportive people around me and I am learning to trust myself both artistically and in my day-to-day life.

Q9: How is that love reflected in your project/business?
A lot of my paintings are focused around self-exploration and acceptance. I am also always referencing, painting or looking to nature for my textures, colors, patterns and as my place to go when I need to think or center myself. Most importantly, though, none of what I do would be possible if it weren't for some very special people in my life who make sure that I stay fed while I'm at studio, have company when I don't feel like sitting there alone or go out of their way to make all the hauling of art supplies, tables, show set ups and breakdowns, etc. around town so I can continue to live and support this crazy side of me. Every event that I do has some trace of that love in it--it's truly humbling and uplifting at the same time.

Q10: Where can we read more about you and what you do?
Well, online you can me through my website or on Facebook. I also have an Etsy shop. In the real world, next I’m teaching an Intro to Silk Dyeing class at the Arts Asylum on August 30th. Then I'm going to be showing at ArtPrize, an art competition in Grand Rapids, MI, that runs September 23rd through October 12th.

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