Saturday, February 27, 2010

Artisan Interview - Diana Ledesma - Designs by Catalina

Hi, Diana Ledesma, thank you so much for agreeing to let me interview you. We’d like to get to know you a little. You have an Etsy Shop, Designs by Catalina, where you handcraft one of a kind gifts, jewelry, keepsakes, and more! Very nice shop!
  1. You have a background in Fine Arts and a degree in Graphic Design. Wonderful! How did you get started crafting?

    Ever since I was three years old, I would watch my older brother color in his coloring book. I was so impressed on how well he did I wanted to out do him! Art has been one thing in my life that I have always done well and it always seem to come easy. I call myself a "Jill-of-all-Trades" because I enjoy so many different types of art. Such as, photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, polymer clay, weaving (beads and fiber), jewelry design, graphic design, batik, woodworking, just to name a few! I always enjoyed making gifts for family and friends and was encouraged to sell my work. I'm not involved in ETSY to make a lot of money. I just want to share my passions with others.
  2. What inspires you in crafting?

    Everything! I see a beautiful sunset and I want to paint it. I see my Maltese sleeping peacefully and I have to photograph her. I see a loved one sick I make a rosary for them. I have a drawing diary which I draw most of my ideas in to keep a record of what I want to explore. If I have a "crafting block" I go to my drawing diary to get re-inspired. I just wish there were 48 hours in a day!
  3. What is something you have learned in your business that you would like to share with us?

    Many people have told me I don't ask enough for my work. My prices are too low. That maybe true, but I want people to be able to afford my work not make a killing. With our troubled economy, to find good quality gifts, one-of-a-kind pieces, and custom designs shouldn't be hard on the budget. Most people just don't have the expendable income like they used to have. But, we all need a little "pick-me-up" that won't break the budget. A gift that really shows how much we care and not have to go into debt to achieve it.
  4. Diana, you are currently involved with polymer clay picture frames for Primo’s Pawtourage doggie gift bags. You are doing a Maltese dog design right now. What dog breed would you like to do in the future?

    I have just started sculpting dogs out of polymer clay and the Maltese and Beagle are my first breeds. I have been working on a German Shepherd and I would like to try an English Bull dog. A lot of time and research goes into my sculptures so to add a new breeds may take some time. I don't use any molds. Although, I have thought of making my own molds that I design. That way I can still say they are an original piece made by me.
  5. Do you share your home with dogs or other pets, if so, what kind and tell us about them.

    I have a special rescued Maltese that spent her first six years of her life locked in an awful puppy-mill. I have had her for almost fours year now and she has been wonderful! The lady I adopted her from once told me that, Princess Daisy, would most likely never be a "normal" pet. She was so traumatized that she didn't think I would be able to turn her around. But, as luck would have it, she learned to trust me and in turn loved me for it. I would say she is about 95% close to being a "normal" pet! And she has the "Diva" attitude down pat!
  6. Where would you like to be in 5 years with your crafting business?

    I would love to still be making my unique items and learning new things. In the two years I have been working with polymer clay, I have learned so much that I can only imagine what I would be creating in five years! I wouldn't wish to be "rich" in money but to be "rich" in friends. I have made so many friends that have shared my interests in rescued animals and jewelry making and polymer clay that I feel even more inspired to keep designing!
  7. Tell us a little about you…are you married and does your husband/family help in your craft, what are some favorite things to do when you are not working?

    I am married to the best husband in the whole world! He had encouraged me to create to my heart's content! He has a good eye for jewelry design and all my designs must pass his approval - my rule! He has been known to mix clay for me and make his own beads and then tells me how he wants me to finish "his" design! He will shop with me and research ideas to help save me time. Now, how can anyone say he is not the Best Husband in the world? I have three sons, all at home, in college and working! They will give me their opinions and suggestions which I most appreciate.

    My favorite thing to do when I'm not working is to find myself in my basement office which can be seen at the Polymer Clay Tutor Blog: I have learned so much from Cindy Lietz that I have to give her some credit. Thanks, Cindy! She was kind enough to "Spot Light" my studio on her blog last July. This is where all my creativity happens and put into motion. Of course, my Princess Daisy, is always at my side!

    I, also, enjoy Detroit Tiger Baseball, gardening, walking Daisy, teaching her new things - she is ten years old so you can teach an old dog new tricks! I, also, enjoy keeping in touch with friends and family on FaceBook.
  8. One of Primo’s Pawtourage projects is a donated bag to the American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle at their National specialty in May in Atlanta . Have you done other charity work? Would you like Primo’s Pawtourage to contribute to other dog breed rescue efforts?

    I feel since I can't rescue all the animals that need help by myself, I could help those who are trying to save all the ones they find. Those who spend all their waking hours saving abused animals need our help and admiration. By contributing to, Primos Pawtourage's American Maltese Association Rescue Raffle, we can help to save even more abused animals.

    I have helped the Michigan Humane Society by having Daisy's photo entered into their annual calendar contest. Her photo is shown on "Black Friday" November 26, 2010. I, also, had ran a sale, last December, in my ETSY shop, designbyCATALINA, where 25% of all my "Princess Daisy Collection," doggie jewelry, sales were donated to the MHS or to an animal rescue of their choice.

    Since many people in my family have either died or been diagnosed with some form of cancer, I will in the near future, set up a special section in my shop where the proceeds will benefit Cancer Research. My husband was diagnosed with cancer four years ago and is cancer free, so far! Thank God! Now, if only we can help to save everyone, who has been touched by cancer, what a wonderful world this would be!

    Thanks to Primos Pawtourage for letting me be a part of a great Team!

    Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about you. It is fun getting to know other crafters and thank you for being a part of Primo’s Pawtourage Team!

1 comment:

PolymerClayTutor said...

Great interview Jackie! I love getting to know Catalina a little more. It was fun to do a spotlight feature of her and her awesome studio. She really is a fun and talented person and reading her comments is like listening to an old friend. Thanks for sharing this interview with us! ~Cindy Lietz