Thursday, April 1

Designer of the Month - Nora Karen


Here at iLoveToCreate, we are always in amazement at the cool things people make with our products. When we stumbled upon Nora Karen's Flickr stream, it was apparent that not only did she love to create, but she loved to create with our Tulip® Fabric Paints! Her shoes and apparel creations are fabulous (and also we must mention...very droolworthy). They can be purchased in her Etsy shop! We wanted to find out more about her and what inspires her to create her one-of-a-kind creations and we share this with you below. Enjoy!

1. What do you love to create?
I love to paint anything in the apparel world... from shoes, to clothing and accessories. I also love to create canvas and paper goods.

2. What is your favorite iLoveToCreate product?
I use these all the time: Tulip® Fabric paint and markers and fancy Glam-it-Up crystals.

3. Do you have a favorite piece that you have created?
Altough all my pieces are very dear to me, I enjoy so much everytime I paint a peacock. There is something about it, maybe the royalty in its posse.


4. How long have you been a fashion artist? Do you remember the first piece you created?
I've been a painter since I was a young girl seated on the porch of my house. I started on 2001 seriously working for a fashion designer and my first best seller was a pair of jeans made to commemorate September 11th.


5. You are a 3-dimensional paint master! Do you have any painting tips that you can offer to others who use it?
My technique is freehand painting so it is hard to measure and add rules to it, but one of the most important things is to be careful because fabric paint can't be removed without leaving a mark.


6. The main focus of a lot of your pieces are peacocks. What is it about these beautiful birds that inspires you so much?
Well, like I said before, I'm attracted to its royalty. They are like the kings of birds. In Spanish we call them "pavo real", something like "royal turkey". There is a very popular saying about the peacocks being proud and that must be true. About 2 weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Anna Maria Island on a business trip and the owner of one store told me there were peacocks strutting around in the area. I found them at the back of a barn and took pictures like crazy, but they were moving fast from my sight. I guess they are "all that" for an ordinary voyeur!


7. Are there any artists old or new that you look to for inspiration?
At young age I was motivated by Salvador Dali and his surrealism.
Now as a Floridian, I have visited the St. Petersburg Dali Museum and it was so spectacular.

8. Are there any current fashion trends that you are obsessed with?
I'm always looking at the Designs of Roberto Cavalli, John Gallianno, Emmanuelle Ungaro and Christian Lacroix. They all love color and prints just like me!


9. What is the craziest custom creation that someone has asked you to make?
About a year ago, I found a pair of vintage shoes at one of the vintage shops that I love very much (I also own a vintage shop too, there are so many great treasures there as well). The shoes were peacock blue, kind of a rare greenish color and they had a watermark. I tried to clean them, but the cleaner I was using had alcohol and removed the dye of the dyeable shoes. I was mad at my mistake, but I'm tough, and I wasn't going to throw them away! I was going to paint a peacock there! The shoes ended up looking gorgeous! From that moment I had many orders with peacocks on dyeable shoes and I consider that a success coming from a mistake.


10. How long does it take for you to create a custom garment? What about a pair of shoes?
Custom orders take hours. A garment like a denim dress takes about 6-7 hours, a pair of shoes about 4 hours. They have to be finished in many steps, since every color needs to dry before going to the next one. I work in the morning light and sometimes one order takes me 3 mornings or more.


11. You are from Buenos Aires and now live in the U.S. What is different about arts and crafts and fashion there as opposed to the U.S.?
Buenos Aires is very European and also very expensive. So clothing is classic, something you can wear many seasons or years. The government had been military for ages, so people still tend to wear dark colors, simple and elegant, but not flashy. I was flashy anyways. In the U.S., clothing is much more affordable ,colorful, and available for all sizes and heights. It shows the free spirit of this nation. I couldn't be happier! Living here is such a blessing!


12. What is the secret to your success with your Etsy shop? Do you have any tips for other fashion artists getting started on

I don't consider myself successful yet. I believe that when my art becomes full time career and my only source of income, I will be, but thanks for saying that.

My tips are for selling on Etsy are:
– Promote like crazy. It doesn't need to be paid; there are many ways for free promoting without it being spam.

– Be a perfectionist, be communicative, and ask many questions before starting any project.

– Don't expect everybody to be happy with what you do, but try your best and as hard as you can.

– Your shipping has to be as neat as your art. People look at the outside. God looks at the inside.

– Joining Etsy teams are very helpful. One of the ones I joined is "oneadaychallenge" and it is always pushing me for more. I have to create one item a day. It's exciting!

– If you have enough time and guts visit local stores to sell and to learn. Try what is best for you. Check your sales. What do you sell more? Get a Google Analytics account and see where people and views are coming from...There is so much you can learn!!


Thanks Nora for sharing your creations with us! We absolutely love to see what you create!


beadifulbaublesSC said...

what a lovely feature on Nora! Plus a fabulous person with gorgeous products and a beautiful heart! great job!

Elle said...

Nora is such a talented artist, but she is also an amazing mom, sister and wife. I've met her through Etsy, and love watching her and her shop evolve. She found a winner with her shoes for brides!

ginny said...

How wonderful to see the sweet and talented Nora featured here!

Fen said...

I have Nora's peacock shoes and love them!!!

Asianexpressions said...

Nora is so talented. I love her work.

Debra said...

Great feature.
Nora is quite something. Her wonderful creations stand alone and her warmth shines right through them. All the best Nora, you deserve it x

A Painting a Day by Kristen Stein said...

It's wonderful to see Nora featured on your site. She is an amazing person and a talented artist. Her peacock art is amazing and I love her handpainted clothes and shoes.


Beth said...

Nora is as wonderful as her art! I am so happy to see her featured here!

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