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Featured Seller: Sandra Eterovic

Apr 9, 2012

by SandraEterovic

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Melbourne and have always lived here, but I am lucky to have travelled to many places. As a child, I spent several summer months in my parents’ hometown of Pu?iš?a, which is on a beautiful island off the coast of Croatia. I vividly recall widows in black dresses with tiny floral patterns, unfamiliar packaging in the supermarket and the quaint kitchen in my grandmother’s house; these things have informed my aesthetic immeasurably.

I studied art history at university but decided that I preferred to make art. After a couple of years at college experimenting with ceramics and illustration, I landed a job in the fashion industry diligently redrawing Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse in humorous poses for boxer shorts. This led to work as a surface designer for t-shirt prints, fabrics, bed linen, accessories and occasionally even toys. Late in 2010, I decided to leave my job to devote myself to making my own work. I also take on freelance illustration and work occasionally in a beautiful little shop called Hut 13. I also assist the prop department of a television studio, which is great fun despite the early starts.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I am usually satisfied to be at home, hanging pictures, arranging flowers, moving my tchotchkes around or replacing the colourful fabrics that I use as curtains and cushion covers. I am also a TV cooking show addict and love to read about food, experiment with new recipes and then share them with friends. When it’s warm enough, I like to read in the back yard or a nearby park. I am trying to educate myself about gardening. I have also finally opened my Etsy vintage shop, Return to Simplicity, and I enjoy finding vintage goods to stock it.

What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
Less Cute, More Dirt. That is my motto for this year, but maybe it could be the title of my memoir too. I was raised to be a good girl, but sometimes I prefer to peek at the flip side of life. I like the tension that it might create in my work.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Vintage books, toys, and games. The island that my parents are from. My 1970s childhood. Strange and funny old people on the tram. A day of exploration at the library. The huge number of wonderful artists local to Melbourne but also the thousands I have discovered online. What a world! Everyone and everything around me is potential inspiration. Who knows what will be next? It’s that surprising element that makes creating so exciting.

What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade things carry life itself in their consideration, imperfection and uniqueness. They deserve to be cherished forever and are the exact opposite to the piles of discarded televisions that seem to be proliferating in our streets right now.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
I come from a family which rarely puts its feet up. My mother always sewed and knitted our clothes, and to this day bakes bread and cooks the most incredible meals. My father trained as a fine stonemason and is a great gardener and winemaker. My brother is a brilliant designer, craftsman and motorbike restorer. To be constantly making or fixing something is as normal as breathing for us.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I feel much more comfortable with the term “maker” than the term “artist,” which I suspect has to do with both of the B.S.-intolerant cultures that I am from. I have always loved making things, from clothing for my dolls, writing and illustrating pretend magazines, to playing cooking show host while helping Mum chop vegetables. Designing at a computer screen eight hours a day for 15 years was never going to feel right for me, and now I can’t believe I persisted for that long.

How would you describe your creative process?
For years, I have been keeping notebooks in which I sketch or paste images that I admire or which might trigger an idea. Strange phrases pop up in my head, and I note those too. My ideas are often like a jigsaw puzzle that is waiting for the missing piece. I rarely get ideas by spontaneously playing with materials because unfortunately I rarely allow myself time for that.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I find every studio I visit interesting, but if I had the opportunity to go back in time I cannot think of anything more exciting than to watch Michelangelo run his atelier, Leonardo come up with his brilliant inventions or Rubens paint an enormous canvas alongside his apprentices. Not only would it be enormous fun, it might call into question the modern concept of what an ‘artist’ actually is.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I own my paternal grandmother’s wooden tatting tools, which are carved with decorations and worn with use. I have no idea how tatting is done, so for me they are magical because they hold the secret of a dying art and the culture of a very different time and place. I also own a traditional bright blue stonemason’s outfit that my maternal grandfather never wore and kept especially for me, as he understood my interest in workwear.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I might bury my head in a new book or magazine at the library, go to an exhibition or walk down a street that I have rarely visited. I have vowed that on my next spare day I will go to the main railway station, board the next train, get off at whichever suburb has the least familiar name and explore it.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would like to be living in a peaceful and beautiful home by the sea, with a wonderful family knowing that there is a bunch of things out there in the world that are loved and that I am proud to have designed and/or made. And to be able to afford a holiday almost every year to explore a country that I have never been to would be wonderful.

Featured Seller Archive

Fine art print -- printed to order -- The Big Burger
Fine art print -- printed to order -- The Big Burger
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
As seen in Frankie mag - Original artwork on wood: Mr Mortadella I
As seen in Frankie mag - Original artwork on wood: Mr Mortadella I
SandraEterovic
$130.12 USD
LIMITED EDITION - signed and numbered - fine art print - Read My Mind
LIMITED EDITION - signed and numbered - fine art print - Read My Mind
SandraEterovic
$93.84 USD
Hand painted mirror - New Guinean mask inspired
Hand painted mirror - New Guinean mask inspired
SandraEterovic
$51.26 USD
Original painted bat: Sweet Girl Wearing Persian Rug Sweater
Original painted bat: Sweet Girl Wearing Persian Rug Sweater
SandraEterovic
$212.13 USD
Original painted bat: the Fortune Wheel
Original painted bat: the Fortune Wheel
SandraEterovic
$196.36 USD
Organic Cotton Hemp Doll  - Sir Dino Pineapple
Organic Cotton Hemp Doll - Sir Dino Pineapple
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
LAST ONE -- Love Me As I Am- embroidered cushion no. VI
LAST ONE -- Love Me As I Am- embroidered cushion no. VI
SandraEterovic
$109.61 USD
Fine art print -- Man and Cow
Fine art print -- Man and Cow
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Fine art print - Lady with Village on her Head
Fine art print - Lady with Village on her Head
SandraEterovic
$19.71 USD
Original painting: Lady with a Lizard
Original painting: Lady with a Lizard
SandraEterovic
$433.72 USD
Original painting: Young Girl with Turnip
Original painting: Young Girl with Turnip
SandraEterovic
$433.72 USD
Digitally Printed Cushion - Yeah No
Digitally Printed Cushion - Yeah No
SandraEterovic
$101.73 USD
Hand painted mirror - Stylish Fellow with Beret and Bowtie
Hand painted mirror - Stylish Fellow with Beret and Bowtie
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
LAST ONE - Organic Hemp Cushion - Erupting Volcano No.16
LAST ONE - Organic Hemp Cushion - Erupting Volcano No.16
SandraEterovic
$109.61 USD
Fine art print -- Lady and Parrot
Fine art print -- Lady and Parrot
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Fine art print - My Brand New Monkey
Fine art print - My Brand New Monkey
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Fine art print -- printed to order -- "Good For You"
Fine art print -- printed to order -- "Good For You"
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Fine art print -- printed to order -- "Bad For You"
Fine art print -- printed to order -- "Bad For You"
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Hand painted mirror - Redhead with Braids
Hand painted mirror - Redhead with Braids
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
Fine art print - Tattoo Sailor Man in Love
Fine art print - Tattoo Sailor Man in Love
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Original painting: Bag o Money, part of the Art of War series triptych
Original painting: Bag o Money, part of the Art of War series triptych
SandraEterovic
$287.83 USD
Original painting: Napoleon's Dumb Bell, part of the Art of War series triptych
Original painting: Napoleon's Dumb Bell, part of the Art of War series triptych
SandraEterovic
$287.83 USD
Payment request for MG only
Payment request for MG only
SandraEterovic
$153.77 USD
LAST ONES -- Fine art print -- Around the world in an outfit
LAST ONES -- Fine art print -- Around the world in an outfit
SandraEterovic
$14.19 USD
Large A3 Fine art print - The Lonely Hipster
Large A3 Fine art print - The Lonely Hipster
SandraEterovic
$37.85 USD
Fine art print -- Boy and Fish
Fine art print -- Boy and Fish
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Fine art print - Perpetual First Date Man
Fine art print - Perpetual First Date Man
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Original painting: The King's Spinach, part of the Art of War series triptych
Original painting: The King's Spinach, part of the Art of War series triptych
SandraEterovic
$287.83 USD
14 small original paintings: Baby Accoutrements
14 small original paintings: Baby Accoutrements
SandraEterovic
$117.50 USD
A little hand painted house on fire wearing slippers
A little hand painted house on fire wearing slippers
SandraEterovic
$98.57 USD
Small wooden sculpture - Erupting Volcano Wearing Rainboots
Small wooden sculpture - Erupting Volcano Wearing Rainboots
SandraEterovic
$93.84 USD
Hand painted mirror - Moroccan Fez
Hand painted mirror - Moroccan Fez
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
Printed to order -- Large A3 Fine art print -- my studio wall
Printed to order -- Large A3 Fine art print -- my studio wall
SandraEterovic
$45.74 USD
A hand painted house on fire, No. 2 in a new series
A hand painted house on fire, No. 2 in a new series
SandraEterovic
$130.12 USD
Hand painted mirror - Spring Daisy Garland with Red Lips and Cheeks
Hand painted mirror - Spring Daisy Garland with Red Lips and Cheeks
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
Fine art print - Man of Flowers
Fine art print - Man of Flowers
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
ONE ONLY - mini Organic Cotton Hemp Doll  - Monkey Lungs Socks
ONE ONLY - mini Organic Cotton Hemp Doll - Monkey Lungs Socks
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
The Dress + Apron.  Hand painted onto plywood
The Dress + Apron. Hand painted onto plywood
SandraEterovic
$101.73 USD
Handpainted mirror - Red Lips Smoking Pipe
Handpainted mirror - Red Lips Smoking Pipe
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
Hand painted wooden sculpture -- Red Fly Agaric Mushroom with Eyes
Hand painted wooden sculpture -- Red Fly Agaric Mushroom with Eyes
SandraEterovic
$67.03 USD
Knitting PATTERN - Confetti Rags to Riches Scarf - Knitting PATTERN
Knitting PATTERN - Confetti Rags to Riches Scarf - Knitting PATTERN
SandraEterovic
$3.15 USD
Fine art print -- my studio wall
Fine art print -- my studio wall
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Original painting: Ryan, tiny portrait, one of a pair
Original painting: Ryan, tiny portrait, one of a pair
SandraEterovic
$39.43 USD
Hand painted mirror - The Big Mouth!
Hand painted mirror - The Big Mouth!
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
LAST ONE - fine art print - Olga the Beautiful Red Bird
LAST ONE - fine art print - Olga the Beautiful Red Bird
SandraEterovic
$14.19 USD
Fine art print -- Lucky Fisherman
Fine art print -- Lucky Fisherman
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Original painting: Tilly, tiny portrait, one of a pair
Original painting: Tilly, tiny portrait, one of a pair
SandraEterovic
$39.43 USD
OOAK Hand painted wooden sculpture - Sitting Person with Red Star
OOAK Hand painted wooden sculpture - Sitting Person with Red Star
SandraEterovic
$109.61 USD
A4 Fine art print - The Hungry Eye
A4 Fine art print - The Hungry Eye
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
Hand painted wooden sculpture - Bird of Paradise No 1
Hand painted wooden sculpture - Bird of Paradise No 1
SandraEterovic
$109.61 USD
Fine art print -- Lady and Flowers
Fine art print -- Lady and Flowers
SandraEterovic
$22.08 USD
LAST ONE -- The Lonely Hipster - embroidered cushion
LAST ONE -- The Lonely Hipster - embroidered cushion
SandraEterovic
$109.61 USD
OOAK Wooden Australian Rules Football Player - Fitzroy
OOAK Wooden Australian Rules Football Player - Fitzroy
SandraEterovic
$109.61 USD
Hand painted mirror - Gentleman with Green Hat and Moustache
Hand painted mirror - Gentleman with Green Hat and Moustache
SandraEterovic
$43.37 USD
Large A3 Fine art print -- Boy and Fish
Large A3 Fine art print -- Boy and Fish
SandraEterovic
$37.85 USD
OOAK Hand painted wooden sculpture - Patchwork Man II
OOAK Hand painted wooden sculpture - Patchwork Man II
SandraEterovic
$117.50 USD
Hand painted mirror - Blue Braids
Hand painted mirror - Blue Braids
SandraEterovic
$31.54 USD
Original artwork on wood: Why?
Original artwork on wood: Why?
SandraEterovic
$130.12 USD
OOAK Painted wooden figure -- Grandpa's Retirement Fund -- a one dimensional piggy bank
OOAK Painted wooden figure -- Grandpa's Retirement Fund -- a one dimensional piggy bank
SandraEterovic
$70.97 USD

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