This week’s featured crafter is Alessandra Lanot of Life After Breakfast fame! Alessa is the center of a design whirlwind, from organizing craft events at Pipino to designing products with social enterprises, to her regular graphic design projects. Check out her Silver Clay Crafternoon at the workshop this month, and her handmade giftmaking sessions at our 13 Days of Christmas lineup.
How long have you been crafting? What got you started?
Been crafting since I was in kindergarten! I was always interested in art and forced my mom to make me take art lessons. She enrolled me in one-on-one lessons with my neighbour who was an art teacher, and since I was super young, she decided it would be best to expose me to various arts and crafts. I was 5 then, and did collages using materials from nature and incorporated them in my watercolor and pastel drawings, and by 6 years old I already knew how to calligraphy my name. Crafts have always been part of my life–I’d always ask for art materials for my birthday or Christmas!
What’s your favorite medium? Why?
Watercolor is my favorite, and I guess watercolored typography is somewhat my signature. It’s a blend of graphic design (my day job) and art (my passion). I don’t consider myself a fine artist, but I like to work with paint and incorporate it in my design work.
Tell us about your favorite projects.
I love watercoloring entire font suitcases. It’s incredibly therapeutic for me. I also enjoy making fashion accessories. I used to sell my products, but as every artist/crafter, you evolve from phase to phase and eventually want to try and focus on other things.
What’s the one crafting skill you’ve always wanted to master/learn?
I’ve always wanted to try pottery!
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a lot of weddings right now. From invitations, monograms, and save-the-dates to reception decor and giveaways. They’re more of labor-of-love projects, because I’m still deciding if I wanna go into the wedding industry. I’m also busy with the opening of our new restaurants in Jupiter street: the 2nd brach of Pino and Pipino, and the 3rd branch of The Burger Project.
What’s your dream project? What have you done to make it happen so far?
My dream project is to collaborate with my husband PJ for a stationery line and craft+creativity workshops. We’re mapping out our 2013 schedule so we can finally make it all happen!
Aside from crafting what else do you do?
Graphic design & Art Direction, Teach Arts & Crafts, Blogging, Fundraising Art Events for Mio Fights Cancer, and I run Pipino Vegetarian together with the Pino Group.
How does creativity influence the other areas in your life?
Creativity is my life. I use it in ALL aspects of work and play.
Any advice for other aspiring crafters?
Do something creative every day. Have a craft area where you can be messy, or a craft kit/box to contain all your tools if you do decide to make crafts elsewhere. I find that having a designated craft work area which you can just go to when inspiration strikes is a great way to encourage you to keep making/doing crafts.
What do you to beat a ‘creative block’?
Sleep. When I can’t find the answer to a design problem, I sleep on it, and no fail, I find the answer when I wake up!
Travel. Whether it’s a day trip or a long vacation, I make sure to squeeze in travel time because it fuels my creativity.
Give us 3 crafting essentials you must have in your toolbox at all times.
Scissors/Cutter. Paper. Paint.
Why should people get their hands busy (and start crafting)?
It’s a great stress-buster! And because it’s such a great feeling to say that you made something yourself.
Where can we find your work?
*All photos came from www.lifeafterbreakfast.com