Category Archives: Interviews

An Interview with Violeta Markovic of Viomar Jewellery

Here is an interview with Violeta Markovic who is a jewellery designer from Surray, England. As well as Jewellery Design Violeta also creates stunning Goblets & Chalices, Perfume bottles, Candle holders & unique Art on Glass. Violeta explains “I have enormous pleasure in transforming a simple piece of clear glass into an intricate, rich and luxurious looking piece of art.”

Please do have a nosey in her online handmade vintage Jewellery shop here and visit her Glass Art Shop here.

How did you get into Jewellery making?
I started making jewellery when I was a teenager. For years I collected old jewellery from antique and second hand shops, little pieces here and there, anything I found interesting. Then five years ago I wanted to repair an old necklace for a special occasion and looked on the internet to see how many suppliers there were for a pieces I needed, and that’s when I became hooked again.

icm_fullxfull.35805743_3b4zlgs4xrcwogo0w4wc

Tell me the story behind your business Viomar Jewellery and what gave you the inspiration behind the style of your work?
As I’ve been painting on glass for the last twenty years, with my works firstly sold in galleries until I decided to also branch out myself online, jewellery was a natural progression from this work. I enjoy making beautiful things. My main inspirations are art nouveau, art deco, Renaissance art, and a million other things in between.

What is it about your craft that appeals to you?
It’s a very practical way of seeing something come to shape very quickly in the process as you’re imagine it (most of the time), and a great way to experiment with materials, shapes, and colours, and that I can transfer my painting skills onto the materials to make them more unique, more mine.
icm_fullxfull.35795512_j3550ikalq80480c4g44

How did you come up with the concept, look and style of your designs?
They sort of form themselves naturally as I’m making them, or I’ll think of an idea or shape or style and start to find pieces with which it can be made, like a puzzle or mosaic. Just one small piece can change the whole picture, so to speak. There’s no one definitive way, it’s always a process of ideas.

Tell us about your background, before jewellery making?
I was originally a barrister and then when we moved to England 20 years go, I went back to my original love, art. I haven’t looked back since.
icm_fullxfull.35805759_ffawddf03o8ckkw00gso

What do you do outside of your business?
Along with the jewellery website and my site featuring works painted on glass, I also have many commissioned works by external patrons. There’s always a brush or tool in my hand.


Could you tell us the process of creating your jewellery pieces?

I’m usually sat at a table or on the floor surrounded by hundreds of boxes full of pearls, stones, wires, trying to find the perfect combination for the picture in my head. If the pieces don’t fit, I find a surface to customise or paint.

icm_fullxfull.35795526_7avy9xigtgg0sw0wsw8c


Who or what inspires you and why?

I’m very much inspired by the aesthetics and lines of Art Nouveau and the distinctive styles of exotic places, jewellery, architecture, and naturally, glass. If you look at my shop, however, you will see in the titles the particular things that inspired me that day, from historical figures, cities, shapes in nature.

What advice would you give to budding artists who want to work in the creative industry?
If you really wanted to make a living using your respective creative talents, hone in on the skills you have and work on them all the time. It’s a tough industry and if you experience failure along the way, don’t be discouraged because failure’s there to challenge you, to always remind you to work hard, regardless of the level of success.

icm_fullxfull.35805757_7x3g0gor3ioss04cw4ws

How important is it, in your opinion to follow your dreams regardless of what others might say?
I would say always follow your dreams no matter what others say. Negative remarks can come from envy either of your talent or of your dedication to your passions. If you’re lucky one day to make a living out of your dreams, all the better, but there’s no reason why you can’t do what you’re passionate about alongside other work. They’re your dreams and aspirations, and as such you have the power to control what you do with them.
icm_fullxfull.35795510_sd36xzmwibk48co0cwgg
I absolutely adore those Bee Earrings! I may have to treat myself to a pair, they are exquisite!

Visit Viomar Jewellery
Photos by Viomar Jewellery for Sunflowerteeth.
More Crafters & Maker series coming soon.
If you would like to be featured or interviewed by Sunflowerteeth don’t hesitate to contact us.

An interview with Moses Chundi: Indian Head Massage Therapist

I had the privilege to meet this amazing man at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival 2013. This was a time in my life where I had decided to train in Indian Head Massage (I personally love all things Indian, my heart skips a beat when I see, find, or learn anything new about India and Hinduism and I truly believe in Reincarnation so perhaps in a previous life I was from India? Who knows?) I knew I wanted to learn something for myself on the side (in between studying Mental Health care & art therapy…I kinda needed a break!) and it had to be something I could also use as therapy to others plus I knew that learning a new therapeutic skill would add to my personality, the idea is if I can help heal the souls of others through art & dance, I can also help heal the mind & body through massage. I also knew this road would be precarious and full of judgement from others yet by chance I met Moses through buying his Godfather’s book (The great Narendra Mehta!) to help with my studies, I discovered his Godfather had a company in London and that they offer massage to the public at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival! Since I was already going there as a guest performer I jumped at the chance to contact him in the hope that I could make friends with like minded people, it seemed an act of fate or Synchronicity was occurring and I loved it!
champissage London UK
In a world where we are surrounded by naysayers who tell you “You can’t do this?” and “what are you doing that for?” and “You shouldn’t be doing that, what you should be doing is this.”
it seemed like a blessing and a breath of fresh air to meet Moses who without knowing the tribulations I was going through let me know everything was going to be OK and gave me the confidence to forge my own path regardless. As he gave me an Indian Head Massage he said to me “Katie, you are carrying a lot of emotion on your shoulders, let go, trust me.” these were powerful words that hit me hard and made me reflect on my life (he also said I have beautiful hair) but also the Head Massage worked like a treat, needless to say I slept like a log that night for the first time in ages!
moses chundi, Narendra Mehta
Travelling back to Plymouth my mind became crystal clear, I decided to fully qualify in Massage Therapy, it will take a while but I want it to, it needs to be a slow process so I can savour all that I am learning and my Mum is actually extremely supportive of this extra theraputic skill I am acquiring!(on top of mental health care & art therapy, man i’ve got my work cut out for me!) I am now studying Anatomy & Physiology (L3) which will take about a year and I will go on to training in Body Massage and become an instructor of Baby Massage! I love the idea of being an all round therapist for the mind, body and soul through art and massage plus it is something I can practise on my own family & children one day!
It was an honour to meet Moses and so lovely we have become friends. I asked him if he would be interested in doing a short interview with me, for my blog and he happily said Yes! As a thank you for the Indian Head Massage & for taking the time to be in this interview I am creating an illustration for him which should be completed during the time of Divali.
So…Enough about me, here is the excellent Interview with Moses Chundi of Indian Champissage International in London.

Indian head massage London, Mind body spirit fest

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am the godson of late Narendra Mehta, a member of a British Empire. Narendra was blind from birth and is known as the “Guru of Indian (Champissage) Head Massage.” He also is a renowned author. Narendra and Kundan Mehta have travelled around the world teaching massage therapies.
I have worked closely with Narendra Mehta, along with my godmother Kundan Mehta, teamed to teach their world renowned massage therapies.
All these special skills have been learned by throughout my 13 years journeys into wellbeing. I have been trained by Narendra and Kundan Mehta, and have travelled to India to train and also had been self-taught by observing and learning from my godfather.
“I have made Narendra as my greatest inspiration.”
Since taking over from the year 2011, I have added Ayurvedic & Yoga Centre, which is becoming really successful, today. I still continue the services, along with my godmother, which were primarily made by Narendra Mehta and include head massages, natural face lift massages, foot massages, and my own full body rejuvenation therapies.
Today, I still look forward to spread my wings in order to operate in various places and locations in around the world.

What or who inspired you to pursue this path?
My godparents, Narendra Mehta & Kundan Mehta

Can you tell us a brief history of Indian Head Massage?
Head massage has been practised for over a thousand years. The Indian women massage each other in the families, between their friends or neighbours who use different oils according to the season or geographical locations. (coconut, sesame, almond, are the oils most commonly used to keep their long hair strong, lustrous and in beautiful condition.
Barbers practised many of the same skills with their male clients. They used to visit individual homes, cutting hair and often offering champi (head massage) as part of the treatment. It was customary for most people from the king down to have someone attend to them in this manner.
The barbers’ skills evolved through the ages. They were handed down from father to son in much the same way that women kept alive the tradition of hair massage and grooming by passing the techniques from mother to daughter. Nowadays, it is very common to go to a barber’s shop, receive a wet shave and have a head massage thrown in as part of the treatment.

945313_10151703844575661_604735167_n

Why is any kind of massage as well as Indian Head Massage important for general health & well-being?
Generally full body massages are very beneficial as they help is Assists better flow of blood, Boosts lymphatic flow, Reduces edema, Relaxation, Improves body flexibility and self-esteem, Boosts endorphin release, Can stimulate or sooth nerves. But, in the event when there is not enough time even a session of Head Massage will be greatly beneficial for just one reason – “Indian Head Massage (Champissage) includes massage of the shoulders, upper arms, neck, scalp, face, ears and energy balancing. It is a wonderfully relaxing therapy. The massage is safe, simple to learn and very effective to give, without the need to undress or use oils. It can provide relief from aches and pains, stress symptoms, insomnia, promote hair growth, soothe, comfort and rebalance your energy flow which gives you a deep sense of peace, calm and tranquillity.”

What are the pros and cons of working in this field?
Pros – If one loves this profession only then is welcomed. It’s a fulfilling profession. Helps to keep balance in life. Flexible working hours. Choose who you want to work with. Meet some great people. Help many people. Money should not be the motivating factor. Cons – If someone doesn’t like this from their heart then they are wasting time. Initially could be low paid. Starting off could be slow. But, with right help and love for work will always find its way.

Do you have any hobby’s outside of work?
Cooking, Photography & Travelling

Is there a client experience you are proud of?
In Mind Body Spirit Show in 2002 November I gave a head massage to a client who started crying and I thought I did hurt her, as my massage is bit strong. But, when I paused for a moment and asked her if she was ok, she said, “She is fine and she just had the memories of her late husband” but, requested me to continue and left very happy and next day she booked her friend and herself again. Since then I decided that If I can bring a smile on someone’s face but giving them a bit of nice pain ☺ If I may say that…I love this work. I have had few more of similar experiences with clients and students too.

London champissage international

What have been some of the greatest challenges in your career?
I did not have many challenges in my career. As I was blessed to be working with Narendra & Kundan Mehta

Do you teach & give workshops outside of London and the UK?
Yes, I do travel on work.

Any advice to those training or wanting to train in Massage?
If one loves this profession only then is welcomed. If someone doesn’t like this from their heart then they are wasting time and Money should not be the motivating factor.

What form of Massage or massage technique do you enjoy practising the most?
Head & Full Body Massages

Are there any holistic art forms you believe in or find interesting?
Yes, Ayurvedic Medicines without a doubt.

Massage therapy training courses London

Have you endured trials & tribulations relating to judgemental people, if so how did/would you combat this and what advice would you give those who want to see life outside the box and pursue a career path in something other than an office job?
This is already happening. We must agree that everyone can qualify to be a therapist if they pursue their studies. But, few become great therapist. This is what will differentiate from one therapist to the other. As the scripture “Many are called, but few are chosen” ☺ so it is in everything in life. Some are great and office jobs and they love so they have to be where they belong. Some who don’t feel the same must find what their passion is as, for them Massage may not be the one either ☺ so again one should find what they love.

There is a lot of stigma attached to what is considered “unconventional” here in the west, what would you say to those who pass judgement on complementary medicines and holistic career paths?
Complementary Medicines & Holistic approach has always been around. People who pass judgements, I would say, it’s their opinions, and opinions don’t change the facts. Though some of them may or cannot be proven yet, if believed healing can occur. But, we do not write off the other medical practices as we have to work complimenting each other. It’s one’s personal belief system and experience which will draw them into these paths.

Indian Champissage

If you want to know more about Moses & London Centre of Indian Champissage, or perhaps want a massage treatment or fancy doing a training course with them here are some links:
Their Website: Champissage International
Their Facebook Page: London Centre of Indian Champissage
The amazing Book I bought: Indian Head Massage by Narendra Mehta

© 2013 sunflowerteeth & Indian Champissage International . all rights reserved. you may not take images or content from this site without written permission.

An interview with: Esther Lankhaar, Illustration Artist.

Nether Land Artist
I am Esther Lankhaar and I live in the Netherlands in capelle aan den IJssel, near Rotterdam. I love vintage, old sepia photographs of days gone by and childrens books-illustrations.

Mood: I would describe my style of illustration as melancholic but still optimistic, reminiscing past times.
Listening to: Music I love to listen to is soul, motown and jazzmusic and some pop too. Otis Redding. Ray Charles, Bill Withers, Donnie Hathaway…. At the moment I love Jose James’ music (especially ‘Come to my door’) and Gavin DeGraw has been one of my favourites for years.
Reading: I recently read Anne Frank’s diary again, A book with Emily Dickinsons poems is on my nightstand now. I must say I have to work hard to understand what she saying
Thinking of: At the moment I’m thinking about the drawing I’m working on right now, of an old VW-van.
Tools of Trade: Equipment/tools/Media you can’t live without: I like to try out a lot of different media to work with. At the moment my favorites are pencil, coloured pencil, ink and watercolour.

art, illustration, design

KN: Where do you do your work? Do you work from life, or from photographs or from imagination?
EL: I work at home and I work with photographs as reference most of the time.

KN:What mediums do you work with? Water color? Ink? Moleskin journal?
EL:Ink, water-colour, (coloured)pencil, sometimes collage and gouache. On a4 or a3 water-colour paper and also in several moleskines and sketchbooks.

KN: What moves you most in life, either to inspire or upset you?
EL: Resilience and people who overcome difficulties and make a forte of their ‘weakness’ and try to do something positive and follow their heart are a huge inspiration to me. People who create things. I can get upset or worried when I think of all the bad things in the world, done to people, animals and nature.

pencils, mixed media, artist

KN: What do you think is the most important influence in your art?
EL: The most important influence in my work I think is my interest in the past, (people’s) stories , and my slightly melancholic and philosophical nature. And at the same time my optimism and positivism.

KN: Do you work certain hours each day or only when you are inspired to work?
EL: I usually work in the afternoons, from about 12 p.m., till late in the evening, with breaks in between in which I do other things. I love spring and summer because I can work longer with daylight at these times. I always think of something to draw, even when I’m not particularly inspired. Someone famous( can’t remember who) once said: “Inspiration exists, it just has to find you working.’. And drawing is a muscle you need to exercise!

KN: When you create an illustration have you ever wanted to live it in when it was done?
EL: I made several illustrations that are part of children’s book I’m working on. These illustrations made me feel safe, like I wanted to be there….

art, exhibition, artist

KN: How did you discover your talent for art/illustration?
EL: As a little kid I was always drawing or reading. I chose a study and career in social work with children though, because that’s where my heart also lies. About nine years ago I had a life changing event in my personal life and ever since that time it became even more important to me to enjoy life and try to make the most of it. A year and half ago suddenly had a lot more time because I didn’t have a job and I started drawing again. A lot. And I couldn’t stop doing it anymore and I just had to do it and a very large passion developed. I followed drawing-lessons, read about illustration and art, looked at other peoples work on internet and met a lot of inspiring artist and creative people on and off-line. And just recently I had to courage to call myself an “illustrator”.

KN: Is there an illustration you are most proud of? Why?
EL: I really like my illustration of a curly-haired kid. I drew this one with a picture as a reference and when I drew, someone new appeared on the paper. I
love it when this happens. The kid really came alive and moved me. He seems to be a real person with a story to me.

KN: Do you have any current or future projects on the horizon?
EL: Since I am just starting my career as an illustrator I hope there will be exciting projects for me coming in the future! I’m working on a childrens book and planning on opening an etsy-shop to sell my work in the nearby future. It’s all a process and a very fun one I feel very happy about. The beautiful thing in life is that this road will probably lead to new things I couldn’t have imagined. I believe this very strongly because I have such a good feeling about drawing and following my heart. When I draw I feel very happy and it seems my drawings look nice and people like them, so why not become an illustrator? ☺

children's book illustration

KN: What do you do in your spare time when you are not illustrating?
EL: When I’m not illustrating I love to read, go to concerts, see life music once in a while and meet my friends and family. I have two lovely little nephews I love to play with. Besides that I also work as a homework mentor with kids from 12-18 year.

KN: How important is it in your opinion to follow your dreams? And what would you say to negative comments?
EL: In my opinion it’s extremely important to follow your dreams in life. But most of all, your heart and still be realistic. If you really feel strongly about something for the right reasons , there’s always a way. Usually your dreams go towards where your talents lie if you’re really honest to yourself at least. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you and believe in you. Negative people are usually not people who follow their heart themselves. I must admit I am lucky enough to have a lot of positive and supporting people in my life and no negative ones.

KN: What advice would you give to budding illustrators or artists wanting to work in the creative industry?
EL: I’m a budding (I hope ;-)!) artist myself so I’m learning still and hopefully will never stop learning. I think it’s very important to stay true to yourself and what you love and want to create. If you do this and it’s a pure and honest passion and you work and learn hard and be a kind and nice person to work with, you can’t go wrong.

KN: Could you briefly tell me about the facebook community “Everyday Matters” that you are a part of?
EL: This is a very nice and supportive group where people post drawings. Danny Gregory is the founder of this group and he came up with the EDM’s which are numbered challenges like: draw what you ate, draw your pet, draw you handbag, draw something vintage etc. It’s very inspiring to watch other peoples work, people also post other work, besides the EDM’s. This is also where I met you Katie Ness!

art, design, illustration, painting

Esther’s illustrations are adorable and quirky please do check out her blogspot and facebook page to view more work by her!

Esther Lankhaar Blogspot

Esther Lankaar Facebook page

If you are an artist seeking like minded people please do check out the “Every Day Matters” facebook group. It is a very supportive and inspiring place!

An Interview with Amanda Littler: Fashion Photographer.

Amanda Littler is an up and coming fashion photographer who focuses on feminine and whimsical ideas sometimes with an editorial or edgy conceptual twist. Since graduating in 2009 Amanda has collaborated on and worked with TV personalities & been published locally and internationally.

Mandy Mug Shot

Mood: positive for the year ahead
Listening to: Lana Del Ray
Reading: ………… ?
Thinking of: new ideas and projects
Tools of Trade: canon 5d mk ||
Equipment/tools/Media you can’t live without: reflector, Photoshop and occasionally the Bowens travel pack lighting kit.

KN: How did you become a Photographer?

AL: Having always been interested in art from a young age and always drawing fantasy pictures I had always wanted the pictures to look more realistic, I wanted to bring the pictures to life and so I would try to draw better but my skills only improved slightly over the years during this time I was also introduced to cameras, beforehand I’d dabbled in throw away and film cameras but started to use this tool to put scenes together and bring out my ideas in a more realistic way and create a world In front of me and use the camera to capture that little fragment of fantasy and pull it into reality.

KN: Could you describe your style?

AL: Definitely influenced by fantasy when I was little and I have always had vivid imagination and dreams but also magazine & media introduced me to fashion and editorial, it’s definitely within me to take a little from the two and make scenarios or concepts that can be a little on the fairytale-esque side. Usually quite feminine with a underlying theme.

Amanda Litter, fashion

KN: Who or what inspires you and why? (e.g. a genre, music, colour, artist, location etc)

AL: Many photographers inspire me but mainly Tim Walker, his work is so beautiful and quirky I could look at his work for hours.
I also get inspired by travelling around to places sometimes images will just spring to mind or snippets of ideas from dreams which I draw down and keep to try out at a later date.

KN: Other than Photography what else do you like to do in your free time?

AL: I love to travel, find new places, go walking and watch films

KN: How does an idea for a shoot come to you and what do you need around you when you are in a creative mode?

AL: You always need support from people. if I do not get the initial support it would be difficult to keep going with the set up for a shoot. To be a successful Fashion photographer on a shoot you need a strong team of people you can trust on board the brief or project from Make up artists, stylists and lighting assistants, it all helps create the final image. With an idea sometimes it can be an object or seeing someone with their hair in a certain way, a place or just my vivid imagination. Any number of things can trigger an idea. I have a large list of ideas I write down every time I think of something.

Amanda Litter, beauty, fashion, editorial

KN: If you didn’t go down the path of Photography what do you think you would be doing instead?

AL: If I had not passed some of my exams needed I would have gone to collage to do floristry it was a decision down to me passing in which I did so I carried on to do art & photography. I’m glad I went down this path as I have met so many lovely people and been to random places, which I love.

KN: What has been your most successful moment to date in your career so far?

AL: Being involved in the Lancashire life magazine publication was great as well as being in vogue for the jewellery of Carly Petit Taylor. Another point was getting to work with Jessica fox and Alice Barlow from Hollyoaks, working with actresses put a new spin on my work. It was also rewarding to organise and work on a photo shoot in New York.

KN: What advice would you give to budding photographers or artists wanting to work in the creative industry?

AL: Be prepared to do a lot of testing (working for free) as it will build your portfolio but once you are happy with your folio don’t let people use you to carry on testing there are a lot of people out there that want a lot for next to nothing.
I hear of so many stories of people taking advantage and it’s happened to myself in previous years. Keep pushing as competition is great and sometimes it can feel like a continuous battle but rewards will come with hard work. It can be a slow process but if you have the drive and put yourself out there and make things happen it will start to piece together.

Amanda Littler, fashion photography

KN: How important is it in your opinion to follow your dreams? And what would you say to Naysayers?

AL: In my opinion it’s the most important thing, we only live once so I think why waste time somewhere you don’t want to be, if you have to work somewhere you don’t like even if just to save a little to put towards the ideal dream that’s better than staying without trying and dragging yourself down- the earlier you go for it the more of it you can enjoy.
Some people would say someone with that attitude has there head in the clouds but if you never try you will always wonder what if.. And the worst thing in life is regret.

KN: Has there been difficult moments and if so what was it that made you stay positive and carry on moving forward fearlessly?

AL: There has been a time when things have gone wrong in shoots and I have been stressed out and wondered if it’s worth it but things have always had a way of levelling out again due to the support and help of others.

Amanda Litter fashion, beauty, models, photography, art

KN: What are your future projects lined up?

AL: I have a project under-way where I will be going bigger and more conceptual, concentrating on making memorable and striking images. I plan to put these forward into exhibition but it may take a year or two.

KN: So, you have been in a number of exhibitions and magazine publications. Where else would you like to see your work (i.e. more magazines, specific exhibition sites, books, abroad, public art) and do you have any more publications coming up?

AL: As I have been concentrating on ideas and location scouting alone I have not had time as such to enter into magazines recently but to be involved with creative magazines and fashion magazines in general is always a bonus. I would love to have an exhibition but I would only put the best in and to fill the space it may be a while before I get an exhibition together but I know they are all on the horizon, it’s just one step at a time at the moment until things click into place.

Amanda Litter, North west fashion photographer, Wigan

This young woman is super talented and so lovely to work with, check out more of her work at:

www.amandalittler.co.uk
www.amandalittler.blogspot.com
Contact Amanda: Mandylittler@hotmail.co.uk

Photographs copyright: Amanda Littler
Interview by Katie Ness AKA: SunflowerTeeth.