Tell us about yourself.
Hello everyone! My name is Adriana Bezerra, a.k.a drika.b. I was born and raised in Curitiba, Brazil. I’m fluent in Portuguese, not a good Samba dancer and will most likely fall asleep while watching a soccer game. I have a master’s degree in architecture with a major in industrial design. I’ve been married for 14 years and have a dog named Cierra. My husband and I moved from Brazil to the San Francisco Bay area a decade ago and, in two months, we will be temporarily relocating to New York. I can’t wait!
Apart from creating, what do you do?
Running drika.b is my full-time job. I also do volunteer work for an international organization on the side. Photography is one of my passions; I consider my camera as an extension of my hand. Reading is also one of my favorite pastimes — I cannot go to bed before reading at least a dozen pages of a book.
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
You Were Right, I’m Not Right All the Time! To be released after my death, only one print, dedicated to my loving husband.
Where does your inspiration come from?
It’s all about what catches my eye. I’m mostly inspired by simple shapes, bold colors, geometric patterns and textures. Japanese and Scandinavian home décor magazines and design blogs are also great sources for ideas and inspiration.
What does handmade mean to you?
It means authenticity, creativity and heartfelt design.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
I must say, mio nonno (my Italian grandpa) Armando! He was always supportive of my “inventive” ideas. He would take me to a fabric store and let me pick any fabric I wanted so I could sew dresses for my dolls. He also had an art studio set up for me in his garage. I spent most of my time as a child drawing, painting, sewing and building things there.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
It was November 18, 2006, the day I made my first sale on Etsy. Before that day, I was just a creative girl who liked to make things her way.
How would you describe your creative process?
It varies. Sometimes, I start by sketching on a piece of paper and other times by making patterns on white duck canvas. Because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, it can take months until I’m happy with the shape and proportion of any bag. As part of the process of creating a bag, I sew a rough version of it, hang it on a board and stare at it for a long, long time. I do take lots of pictures of me wearing it before choosing the perfect fabric combination. I keep a board with fabric samples and it takes forever for me to come to a decision.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Leonardo da Vinci! He was an incredible inventor, painter, architect, engineer, scientist and it seems he was never afraid to look beyond traditional thinking. He accomplished so much in just one lifetime. How did he do it?
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
When I moved from Brazil to the United States, my grandmother gave me her pearl earrings as a gift. They are my most treasured handmade object. “Don’t forget about us,” she said. Every time I wear them it feels like home and being with family.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Playing with my dog Cierra and my stuffed dog Doug does the trick. Eating a Belgian waffle with Nutella while watching Sleepless in Seattle or Runaway Bride also helps. If all else fails, I go out and buy Japanese stationery, notebooks or handmade wrapping paper.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I hope I’m still finding joy as a handbag designer or doing something else that I love — maybe fabric design or professional photography. Perhaps I’ll even move my home studio to Italy!
In my everyday life, I hope I’m still having coffee every morning with my husband, enjoying new and old friends’ company and speaking fluent Italian and French. Also, going on my annual trips to Brazil to see my family and buy shoes.