Tell us about yourself.
My name is Lydia Krupinski, I’m a ripe old 25, and live in Chicago with my spouse and fellow Etsian David Downs with our two children Peanut and Tomato. I have a Bachelor’s in film and video production, but initially studied fine art. The only fashion/design/sewing training I have is that taught to me by my father when I was a child.
What do you make?
I am a Jill-of-all-trades, but my current venture is my Etsy biz, Pierogi Picnic, where I make bright, bold and sassy women’s clothing out of vintage and recycled fabrics that I cut, slash, and sew into new pieces.
What inspires you & what is your creative process?
I find inspiration in the most mundane of things. It can be the smell of freshly baked bread, or a visit from my neighborhood squirrel, or a conversation with a friend in a coffee shop. I am first and foremost an image maker, so most of my influences are film, video and art related. If I’m ever in a creative slump, all I have to do is watch a Svankmeyer or Wes Anderson film. Amelie is my absolute favorite with the bright colors and textures…I love it.
My creative process is usually triggered by something simple, then evolves into a color and slowly expands to form a shape and finally, a concrete wearable design. If you take a look in my shop you’ll notice that I go through phases that follow this pattern. I also work very intuitevely. I never use patterns, and never pre-plan. I usually start cutting and sewing and find my way.
Where is your studio and how has it evolved? What is your plan for it in the future?
My current studio is nestled into a corner of our dining room. My spouse is a painter, so we’ve divided the room into two work spaces. In all honesty, my studio hasn’t evolved in years. When we were living in NYC it was shoved in a corner, than when we moved to Chicago I got a corner with a view, now I’m back to a wall with no window. I do have to admit that I’ve learned to become very organized in my tiny little space. Ideally I would have a little parlor all my own where I could make a mess, shut the door, and forget about it. But that’s not anywhere in the near future.
What tools & equipment do you use?
I have a singer that my father bought me when I was a teen, and outside of that, a sturdy pair of scissors, my kitchen’s immaculate countertop, and an iPod filled with upbeat rockin’ music.
What else do you do? Is this your full time gig?
I work at Women In Film Chicago part-time and am an assistant on a documentary being filmed called “Whole Health.” A good friend and I are also in the process of designing a sustainable urban living resource online that’s launching in February. In addition to that I do alot of volunteer and outreach work for human, environmental, and animal rights. I’m a busy gal. =)
What do you hope to get out of this, what are your goals?
My goal is to run a sustainable business that can convince more people to a.)consume less b.)buy green and fair trade and c.)recycle. Ideally my business would also sustain me financially, but that’s more of a long-term goal. For now, I’m thankful to have the time to do what I love and share that with others.
How do you promote yourself?
I promote my biz through friends and family, by participating in green organizations and events, and by marketing online. The online marketing bit is still something I’m getting the hang of, but I’m hoping that as time goes on it’ll become more like second nature. I can tell you that currently…I’m loving twitter!
Any tips for fellow crafters/artists?
Do what you love = Love what you do.