This is the part of the site where I tell you a little about me, my work, my plans and my inspiration. First of all, welcome to the online version of my studio, my lab and my shop. It can get a little crazy in here but I promise the dust is sparkly.
Who Were You Again?
Yeah. That. I’m Elaine Robitaille. I currently live in Swift Current, a smallish town in southwest Saskatchewan, under the Big Sky of the Canadian Prairies. Our household consists of my partner in crime, an equally geeky but not so crafty guy, my teenage sidekick (aka my daughter) and our mascot, Sam The Siamese Cat. And me.
I’m that weird mix of crafty and technical and you’ll find aspects of that in both my computer and art work. My professional training is in computers and I spend good chunks of my life making computer related things – web pages and scripts and business solutions and graphics. Not that there’s a real distinction – it all rolls together. Which is how I like it.
So What About The Work?
Ages ago, my granny let me start selling my creative efforts at craft shows with her. I was hooked! There were people – mostly sympathetic friends of my grandmother, I’m sure – who were willing to pay me for my crafts. Something I loved to do made money! Like far too many lil creative people I had been told that you could not make a living doing arts or anything fun. It was one of those secrets of growing up that you could do work that you enjoyed a lot of the time and still make money doing it.
I got into polymer clay because I’d spent far too much money buying expensive beads for my jewellerymaking habit. I’ve had a blast with polymer clay for more than 15 years now and the love is still strong. In addition to clay and jewellerymaking, I dabble in
What Inspires Me
Inspiration is a funny thing. My ideas seem to hatch from a a bit of everything – fantasy novels, nature, spicy food, the colour blue. A turn of phrase. An event in the paper. A movie. My daughters laugh. I have more of an issue in getting the inspiration (those dang idea bunnies) to slow down enough for me to write them down.
What’s the Plan Stan?
Right now I’m teaching classes to whoever holds still long enough to hear me ramble, writing tutorials to spread the clay and craft love, selling online to pay the bills, doing shows to meet people (oh and pay the bills), experimenting in my studio. I’m having fun with all of the crazy things that go along with the entrepreneurial half of being a non-starving artist. It turns out, I enjoy a lot of the business part of this.
Eventually, my goal is to have my own little place outside of my house where I may hire minions, have a store front and class room of my own and preach the benefits of buying (and learning) handmade, particularly handmade local. I am a firm believer that the further removed from you are from the people around you, the easier it is to let bad things go by without notice. One solution is to improve the relationship you have with other, regular, normal folks so that bad things happening to them becomes as intolerable as bad things happening to your child. The Internet is a wonderful tool for this since you have the chance to meet the regular, normal people on the other side of the planet as well as the ones down the block.
And if that sounds insanely naive… well, you’ve read this far haven’t you? Perhaps about a small town artisan in a place you didn’t know much, if anything, about.