Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Laura Mazurek. I live in the hill country, where you can see the stars at night and watch the birds play in the morning. I’m 29 years old, and I’m married to my best friend. We just bought our first home and are nestling in with our kitty, pup and bird. I loved growing up in a small town and have learned a true appreciation for the small and sentimental. I had two amazingly talented and creative parents who taught me so much about life, love and art. I have a big heart for nature, friends, family and the deeper parts of life. I spend most of my days creating for my two Etsy shops, Roots and Feathers and Violet Bella.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love to take drives with no destination in mind with my husband. I blog almost daily about my life and creations on my blog,Violet Bella. In the evenings I watch a few select shows and sometimes I like to just lie in the bathtub and read. For the most part, I am a homebody, but I do love the occasional good live show or date night with my bestie Shelley. And when I am not creating for myself, I also help my hubby with his screenprinting shop, Skyline Fever. He has been so supportive of me in all that I do and I love that I can be there for him, too!
What would be the title of your memoir?
The Girl With a Feather in Her Hand. I’ve always loved feathers, but after losing my grandfather at age 15, my family decided that he left us feathers when we needed him. Since then, I always find them when I most need them; they remind me of my parents.
Where does your inspiration come from?
It comes from so many different places, and most of the time I don’t know it until I’m feeling it. But mainly my inspiration comes through nature. I love the plants and creatures of this earth, along with the smells, colors and textures. I love that if you listen close enough, Mother Nature will show you the way. Music can also be very inspiring and driving. I can’t think of a time that I don’t listen to music while I am creating. I’m also very inspired by knowing I’m fulfilling a dream of mine.
What does handmade mean to you?
To me, the idea of handmade means someone sitting down with a thought or concept and bringing that idea from an incomplete sketch to an actual tangible piece of art, whether it be clothing, jewelry, a painting or a piece of music. It starts with one person, one thought, and grows from a seed to a full grown tree. For myself, I know how much love goes into just one piece of jewelry, and it feels like you are sending off a little piece of yourself each time you ship something. When I wear something that someone made by hand, I think of them every time I do; it brings that piece to life.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My parents. They taught me everything I know about how to love, how to treat people, how to be skillful in my art, how to run a business and how to keep your heart and soul in everything. I lost my mother to breast cancer almost four years ago, and I just recently lost my father to suicide. These two events have been the most devastating things I’ve had to endure in my life, as well as the most eye opening. Ironically, I’ve learned so much about myself and who I want to be because of losing them. It has taught me not to just stumble through this world, but to enjoy it, to love it, both through the good and bad. My mother saw it through rose-colored glasses, and my father struggled to see it that way. I have bits and pieces of both of them streaming through me, and I have chosen to take the best of both and surround myself with good memories of them. I’ve filled my home and studio with old sentimental things that belonged to both my parents. So much of what I do in my life is still for their love — in my heart it is never gone.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
Since I was little. My mom always kept me supplied with paper and pencils and I would draw on the walls. In high school I think it finally dawned on me that I was pretty good. I had the best art teacher all through school, but I was pretty stubborn and did not want to listen. It wasn’t until my senior year, when he finally allowed me to do my own thing, that I produced my first real piece of art, a hand-drawn portrait of my mother. He was highly impressed and stopped making me draw apples and oranges after that!
How would you describe your creative process?
For me, it’s more of a feeling. I get the desire to create. When it flows, I can just go on for hours before I realize I need to stop and eat. Every once in a while I will draw up some designs, just for fun. But mostly I just get out my supplies and start pulling together what is visually appealing to me at the time. I love not really knowing what I am going to make until it happens; it’s much more organic that way.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I would love to spend a week behind the scenes at Red Velvet. Elsie has influenced me so much; it’s not only the things she creates, but her positive attitude, her devotion and enthusiasm to what she does, and her kindness in the handmade community. I’d love to observe her organization skills and how she accomplishes all that she does on a daily basis.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A quilt of the sun my mom made when she was younger than me. It’s very ’60s, hand-stitched, a complete hippie masterpiece. I actually have two quilts she did that are equally precious and amazing. Sometimes I think I should have been born in her era.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Step away. Take a bath. Go on a date with my friend. Read. Do things other than create. Listen to music.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Right where I am, but maybe with a little one at our feet. I’ve made it my goal to create a life where I can work at home so that one day we can raise our children here alongside my business, just like my parents did. I’d love for my husband to be able to do something similar and quit his day job. I’d also love to be growing a full organic garden, continuing to learn and make new things, and to still be kicking it strong with my amazing husband.