Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
I am Desira Pesta, I live in Brooklyn, NY, I attended Syracuse University for painting and interior architecture, I started Veritas et Pulchra 3 years ago while studying art and architecture in Italy. Veritas et Pulchra is a design house that I am the sole designer for. I do everything from constructing and designing to web design to janitorial work. I am a self-taught seamstress, who grew up with the ideology that I shouldn’t spend money on something I could make. I am desperately searching out people to collaborate with and would love love love to collab. with you if you dig my style and ideologies. I make clothing for women exclusively and inadvertently it seems, as I love the idea of making men’s, but haven’t brought myself to do it yet. I believe strongly in strengthening women’s ideas of a diverse and collective beauty and to give you an idea of the type of gal I am, let’s just say that you could have found me in the following places in my lifetime thus far: chasing sheep as a shepherd in the Alps, marching at an affirmative action rally, trying to seek out haunted houses, and writing many short stories, but never compiling one novel.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I think it might have had something to do with lincoln logs. I played with legos and lincoln logs a lot as kid. I love(d) architecture. We weren’t allowed to use the legos for longer than a half hour per week at daycare, but my friend Kenny and I would always swindle the lego time. I was always building houses, drawing them, buying blue print catalogs, I was obsessed with space.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Humor, decadence, minimalism, politics, fantasy. I am very affected by color and pattern. I have always strived to wear colorful, unpredictable color and texture combinations, as well as pattern, shape, and fit. I have always thought that clothing should be an extension of your art. I am a visual artist, as well as a seamstress. I love comfort, yet I also love how people really push garments to transcend necessity in any tangible way. I guess I want to pursue creating a bridge. Comfort and complete atrocity in clothing. I tend to try to avoid trends, but rely on a strong pairing of conceptual and historical forms. I love emulating period clothing, while omitting the docility it can possess; and adding an unexpected twist. I love to blend, in my cooking, in my furniture acquisition and even movie tastes, I blend. I love mixing and combining elements to create an overall synergistic piece of wearable or non-wearable art. I respond mostly to color and love ornamenting the body. Most of my pieces of sculptural in nature, but very organic and comfortable. I am very visually stimulated and I really had to think about where my ideas came from, as I dont know that there is a direct source. Architecture, those around me, vintage furniture, pattern, light, feeling, drama. I never draw my ideas, I allow myself to start cutting and sewing and assemble pieces on the spot. I also buy vintage fabric whenever I can find it and so I don’t do much, if any, planning. I rely on serendipity, which has treated me well. As my sewing skills have matured and become more confident, I have become more and more assured with my materials and I really cannot wait to see what I make in a few years from now.
What are your favorite materials?
I love love love vintage prints, and very soft cottons. I want to make my own fabrics out of recycled and raw materials one day. I also love using my drawings to make prints to make clothing with.
What is your favorite color?
I’m desperately trying to make it black right now, to challenge form instead of relying on color.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
I hated the Number 23, which came out recently. I am mad that Jim Carrey choose to do such an asinine movie. I love love love Palindromes, right now.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, who also penned The Virgin Suicides. I feel as though these two works are so disparate, I couldnt tell they were written by the same author. I love that about Eugenides, as I feel I too, am not consistent or one-sided in my work, exploring all parts of one’s mind.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
I think it’s very important to really hone your craft. Never get discouraged. Also, something that has bummed me out a lot in the past is copying. People copy everyone else and so if you see something similar to what you designed in someone else’s shop, keep trucking. As artists, we have creative advantage, don’t allow your mind to lull. Also, realize that you have to charge a fair price. Don’t compare what you’re doing to say, Urb—n Outfitt—-s, you’ve worked hard to make that piece of love, and you deserve a fair price. Also, I must mention that we small-time designers are a very very powerful proliferation. Etsy has allowed for our exposure and we are combating huge corporations who, as everyone knows, are using the power of the buck to fuel production. This almight buck is brought by the calloused hands of third world countries, pollution, and a paralleled passionless product. In other words, we love what we do, our hands may be calloused, but I can be sure that those who love what we do can sustain our momentum. Let’s keep going.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I work for an artist in Manhattan and am also a personal chef. I also write a lot, travel after being spendthrifty for a year or two; and make a lot of jokes. I am constantly working on my own projects. I love walking around NYC and exploring its many orifices. I have too many projects to fit into this questions. I like vintage cars and animals. ……..
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
I don’t know how well this will go over, but I think Etsy is inundated with a lot of faux-handmade. I think it would be good to have a filter to discourage people who aren’t puttiing a lot of effort into what they make, or aren’t selling “handmade”. All in all, I love what Etsy has done and is doing, and I cannot wait to join Etsy Labs. Thanksssssss! Keep going with the beautiful display of the unbelievable talent of my Etsy peers.