nism: Hi, I’m Nathan Stapleton-McKinzie. I’ve always loved to draw and paint. I studied painting for a while in Carbondale, Illinois. From there I spent some time Upstate New York where I was represented by the Varga Gallery. At the moment I am working as a Freelance Designer/Flash Animator and living in the Windy City of Chicago. I love coffee and working on art late into the night.
Eastern Market, the legendary open-air arts, crafts, and antiques market on Capitol Hill, is absolutely full of gems. The market is huge, and visitors will find something a little different every weekend, but there are also some pretty amazing regulars. One of those delightful fixtures is Mann Made Designs, an eighteen year veteran of the Market.
Mann Made Designs is the brainchild of full time artist Jimmy Mann, a Florida native who has been making things out of silver, aluminum, glass, and whatever else strikes his fancy since 1989. The Mann Made line is brimming with pop culture references, bold color, and clean, modern lines.
While I was browsing the booths at Eastern Market, Jimmy’s colorful jewelry for women is what caught my eye. Bright, apple green on just about anything is like a magnet for my eyes, but combined with sleek sterling silver? In such an elegant, yet still playful setting? It was like he made this pendant just for me!
The designs at Mann Made go far beyond pretty things for ladies. Jimmy creates an extensive line of cuff links, ranging from the whimsical and irreverent to the elegant and classic. How to categorize the cuff links made from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer bottle caps is probably up for debate in some circles, but there’s no doubt they are popular.
In addition to his collection of cuff links and ladies’ jewelry (including pendants, earrings, rings, bracelets and watches), Jimmy also directs his considerable talent with metal smithing and his eye for color towards creating wall art.
He combines recycled aluminum and stainless steel and patches of bright color to create three dimensional works that are simple and modern, but quite dramatic. All the wall art is made to order, so that means you can request custom colors to match your decor!
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I love to make illustrations, paintings, and tiny stuff,like tiny books or tiny prints… I also wrote and illustrated a children book.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I finished my studies In Bezalel academy of art and design in 2008. I studied in Illustration Department, and finished it with excellence!! Yaaw!
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
I feel that our life runs so fast specially with the all new technology that came in 20 last years , so it feels to me that we miss something, we miss the happiness of simple stuff, of simple beauty , or just a shunning days, in my illustrations I am trying to remind the naives feeling of being a child, a simple happiness………. I really wish that all the people would a bit more happier!
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I am working by myself, absolutely alone but with a lot of Music!
My life is my work (my art),I need it and I love it!
Usually I am waking up in the morning, looking at the sun putting music on and starting with a painting or illustration…..
in the evenings I am making a dinner and waiting to my boyfriend…. sometimes I do make myself a holidays and going to my friends or just shopping!
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
right now i am included in Dona show Espai Cromàtic Gallery in Spain.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers?
http://www.etsy.com/shop/talitka I am in Love with her tiny creations!!!!!!!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/knittingdreams I love her teddy bears, and I have sitting close to me!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/natalyasots just love her creations
What inspires and motivates you?
I have no routine in my creation process. I love that it’s spontaneous and free. Sometimes I think about content, but sometimes I just pick up one of my pencils and start drawing. And sometimes I discover a new technique and I do something with my hands.
and sometimes I just making a painting of a photography.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“What i love to do apart of art?”
I do love to sleep and drink tea with cookies. Even when I sleep – I dream about drinking tea with cookies.
Those sound like great dreams :) Thanks for a fantastic interview, Jenny! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.
TQB Designs: I have been making my beaded rounds for almost 15 years now. I am self-taught in the art of bead weaving and developed a system to create these textural rounds, ovals, squares, cylinders, and barrel shaped beads.
I meticulously weave each bead myself in the traditional gourd stitch and each woven sphere contains anywhere from 50 – 700 individual seed beads.
I also create many of the metal worked components. I found it more and more difficult to find the exact commercial part that reflected the look I wanted with my jewelry. So, I decided to start making my own that conveyed my aesthetic and found it so much more satisfying taking the time to make something,for example, as simple as a beautifully designed ear wire.
This week I’m asking the age old question, what is art? And more specifically – do you consider street art (more popularly known as graffiti) to be art?
For myself, I’d say that while I don’t feel necessarily qualified to decide what is art and what isn’t – if something is created with the intention to be art – then it is, by the very definition of the artist. The motivations behind street art are varied, I’m sure. For some it’s likely just a form of mischief, for others a means of self-expression- yet arguably a more aggressive and politically charged form. For those whose work may never have found its way into galleries – this is one way to find a potentially huge audience, if only for a day until the work is painted over. Now – many of these artists have found vindication as street art has gained popular acceptance in the art world, with the work of pre-eminent grafitti artists such as Banksy taking in as much as half a million dolllars at Sotheby’s auctions. And the irony of this is not lost on the artists themselves – as is clear in Banksy’s own documentary, “Exit Through the Gift Shop“, which I saw this weekend.
Arguably the most well known name in the street art genre, Banksy’s film is a must-see for anyone interested in art, graphic design or any related field. Banksy – for those of you not familiar with him – is the pseudonym of an artist who has chosen not to reveal his true identity. Over the years his work has ranged from stencil art pieces on the side of buildings (uncommissioned and created under the cover of darkness) to displaying his own work (unsolicited) in art museums next to the works of the greats and beyond- featuring popular themes including politics, culture and ethics. What one might expect from this film at the outset – perhaps a chronicle of the street art scene from 1980’s to present or an in-depth look at Banksy’s inspirations – aren’t to be found. Instead we are taken down a different and possibly more entertaining path – and in the end the careful viewer is left wondering if they have truly just witnessed a documentary or if Banksy is even more of a showman than we previously thought.