viktorija semjonova selfportrait SQ.jpg

Hi.

Welcome to my blog. Here I write about my work, process, art materials, travel, places to drink coffee, things to read and inspiration.

The end of plastic brooches

Photo by Diana Stainton

I've been making shrink plastic brooches since the very beginning of Andsmile (somewhere 2012). In the beginning they were all hand drawn with sharpie markers, cut by hand, baked, varnished and attached the backs. It was cheap and very flexible way to make products. I'm so so grateful to the people who bought the first brooches & kept buying my work till now and to the material which allowed me to create work I wanted without major financial risk or investment.

Frida, Margot & Richie are printed and Matryoshka & Teapot are hand drawn.

Frida, Margot & Richie are printed and Matryoshka & Teapot are hand drawn.

At some point I switched to printed shrink plastic which allowed me to make more brooches and have my original watercolour drawings reproduced. But part of the process still remained the same. Each brooch was hand cut, baked, individually flattened, varnished and backs attached individually.

I love making & working with my hands so it was a nice balance of a chance to draw & work with my hands.

But as sometimes things happen, huge issues started to appear with shrink plastic, the thickness of material changed from batch to batch which meant that results would be even more unpredictable than before.  But also the qty changed and I ended up making brooches all the time. Which was awesome and made me happy but there was no time left to draw & illustrate.

Soo.... the decision had to be made. I've completely stopped making brooches. Last wholesale orders are ready to go to my beloved stockists and the rest of the brooches are packed up for lucky dip boxes, which are the last chance to buy handmade shrink plastic brooches by Andsmile :)

It is scary, I'm not gonna lie as a huge chunk of my income was based around brooches, wholesale and pop culture. I'm totally dependent on what's going on in my etsyshop. And every single sale is allowing me to pay bills, buy food & to draw. Thank you for all your support throughout the years and I hope you will like what I'll create in the future and where I'm going with Andsmile.

I'm excited about the future, so happy to start a new adventure & to draw more ;)

Travelling kit

An Ode to Gouache