This week, Makeful had the pleasure of talking to amazing crafter, blogger and professional fundraiser, Liz Mazurek. As the winner of several of our weekly themes, she has great insight on art and finding inspiration. Don’t forget to visit her blog, Craftastic Journeys to see more of her work!
1. What is your current occupation? If it was possible, would you prefer to sell your crafts?
I am currently taking a short sabbatical from my career as a fundraiser to finish my Master’s in Philanthropy and Non Profit Leadership at Carleton University. Although I appreciate the time to focus on my studies, I am also really looking back to getting in the non-profit sector.
I do fantasize about being a full-time, professional crafter. Ultimately though, I think I would rather keep crafts separate from my career; having the freedom to create as a stress relief is too precious for me to give up!
2. What inspires you to make your crafts? What inspired you to create your blog “Craftastic Journeys”?
I think my love of handmade goods comes from my mother. Through my life she has always deeply pursued artistic hobbies – notably paper making and Japanese bookbinding, and more recently textile arts and rug hooking. Growing up in that environment showed me that crafting can play a huge role in living a balanced, healthy and creative life.
I started my blog relatively recently after years of encouragement from a dear friend of mine. I’ve always resisted the thought of having to do the writing component of blogging, as I do so much writing in my professional and academic life. A light went off once I realized I could make my own rules for my own blog, hence why it is limited to photos and music (another great passion of mine!)
3. You post a lot of watercolor projects and calligraphy. Are you self-taught or do you take lessons?
Although I have not taken any formal training in watercolour or calligraphy, I wouldn’t say I’m self taught. I don’t think there is really such a thing as being purely self-taught when it comes to the creative arts. Art is such an additive processes where makers build upon all the influences and references they’ve been exposed to. Culture references the past in order to move forward. From that perspective, I feel like every day I’m taking lessons! I’m always open to learning new things and taking inspiration from my environment.
Some of my favorite resources at the moment for watercolour and hand-lettering are Lindsey Bugbee’s blog “The Postman’s Knock” and Molly Suber Thorpe’s book “Modern Calligraphy”. I’m hoping to take Melissa Esplin’s online, interactive calligraphy class soon!
4. Do you have a crafting partner-in-crime or are you a lone crafter?
I love crafting alone and with others. It is a nice way to unwind and let my thoughts run wild, but also a fun way to get together with friends and be a bit silly.
My favorite partner-in-crime is my soon-to-be-husband Cormac. He is a woodworker (primarily cabinet making and furniture design) and has a striking eye for shapes, colours and proportions. We see things from different angles (not just in crafts, but in life in general!) and we have a lot of fun working together and dreaming up new projects.
5. What is the favourite craft that you have made recently?
My favorite project is one that Cormac and I did together for the Christmas holidays. We made personalized ornaments for our family members. They were a deep walnut, circular frame with an inset decal of golden calligraphy and leaf details. I think we’re going to do it again this year, but we’ll need to start much earlier than we did this year. They took about 90 minutes each, and we were still finishing them moments before present openings took place!