EcoDiva Interview on http://ecodivastv.com/Blog/wordpress/?p=250
Janelle Rene – Contorted China … www.twinjs.etsy.com
All of my pieces are fun, hip, flirty and one-of-a-kind. I work with a wide variety of amazing colors and patterns, and especially love to use bright colors and fun prints.
I find inspiration in everything, but the pieces I create are pieces I would want to own, wear or display myself. I don’t create anything just because I think someone else might want it. I put a little sass and whimsy into everything in my life, my environment and my art.
1. What types of eco-divalicious things do you do in your daily life?
As far back as I can remember, spanning for decades, I’ve carried my own sassy totes (canvas, Envirosax, etc.) to the grocery store. I’d also like to bring up that my Aunt Diane instituted recycling in Connecticut back when I was a child in the 70’s. She was instrumental in bringing awareness about the environment and recycling to her community.
2. How do you apply being an EcoDiva to your business?
While being eco-aware, I found a way to upcycle vintage finds into a new art medium. While vandalizing the vintage isn’t a new concept, I found a way to give it a fresh new face. A sort of throwback to the days when we wrote “I will not chew gum in class” on the chalkboard, I’ve created a series I like to call “Twisted Mantras”…these are more updated and edgier affirmations like “I am Not Obssessed” and “I am Not a Stalker”. I search for vintage china at estate sales, thrift stores, yard sales, etc. and write a “Twisted Mantra” in a spiral pattern and then heat infuse it for permanency. And, if I’m feeling so inspired, I may draw an image on the plate instead. While each creation is non-toxic and food safe, it is recommended that each piece be used for decorative purposes.
3. What made you decide to get into Eco-design? And what makes your work special?
A few years ago I started designing my sister-in-laws website. She owns a natural children’s boutique in Mystic, Connecticut. (www.peacockorganics.) Peacock Organics is filled with environmentally friendly and healthy products and my sis-in-law reminded me that people are becoming more and more eco-aware and concerned about our environment. I wanted to incorporate those principals into my designs.
4. What fun, fabulous and fashionable tips do you have to share with other EcoDivas and EcoDivas-in-training?
Pay attention to everything in your environment. Afterall, we each find inspiration in different places. I wrote a song once based on a license plate that was on the back of the car situated in front of me while I was sitting in traffic one day. Don’t be afraid to try something bold or new.
Find ways to inspire not only yourself, but others. Taryn and I co-founded a craft group lovingly referred to as “Bitchcraft”. Once a week we get together for some Sangria Sippin’, Porch Sittin’, crafting-palooza, gossiping, with a soundtrack typically provided by Rage Against the Machine. We are not a Perry Como sort of crafting crowd, you’re thinking of your grandmother. We all have a passion for the arts and are “jacks-of-all-creative-trades”. And the stuff we make isn’t doilies and greeting cards. Regardless of our projects, our one commitment is to each other. We are devoted to helping each other achieve our creative, artistic, entrepreneurial goals. We pitch in on each others’ projects as needed. We comfort, console, and cohort.
5. (To help alleviate eco-anxiety – no one can do everything, but everyone can do something) What’s one thing you can’t quite give up or change to be more eco (yet)?
While I pride myself in walking or riding my bike to work, I can’t quite give up my Jeep. Because I only drive a couple of blocks a few days a week, I don’t feel that I’m quite ready for a hybrid vehicle. Although, in my defense, my household does, in fact, own a Prius!