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Friendship bracelets to fashion... Artist of the week!(Image: Autumn Swindahl / Seattle Refined)
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Artist of the Week: Autumn Swindahl

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Autumn Swindhal: I've been making jewelry since I was a young teen. I started by selling friendship bracelets around my middle school for $3! I sell handmade accessories, jewelry, and women's apparel. On the side I love to paint and dabble in other crafts.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
As a fashion designer I am always staying up to date on what's trending and soon to be on trend. I find what my target market is interested in, and think of ways to make it a design of my own. From there I seek my materials, I buy all of my beads and supplies locally from small shops. I piece things together, sometimes a few different times to see what looks the best. I also consider a lot when I create something; how will this make someone feel when they wear it, how is this different than what's already out there, etc. Then a really fun part for me is photographing my products! That is a creative process all by itself.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
Living in the Pacific Northwest all my life, nature has been a continuous inspiration for all of my designs and work. I have an immense appreciation for the earth and all it has to offer us.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
Nature for sure, and all things related to wellness!

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
I designed a really beautiful coat last year made of black denim with a velvet brocade. It was a challenging garment to make, but probably the one I am most proud of! It traveled all over Paris with me last September and gets a lot of attention.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
I spent some time volunteering in Costa Rica with the community and helping sea turtles. Traveling there I realized I found my second passion, to help people and animals. There are too many problems that need our attention and I decided to make it part of my mission to use my art to give back. I hope to contribute to causes like poverty, animal welfare, natural disasters, and much more. I made a promise to always donate 10% of profits to a different foundation, changing each month. I found a way to create beautiful things and help people at the same time - two birds, one stone! Hence Two Birds Eco Shop.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
I sell all of my items on Etsy - Two Birds Eco Shop. I have a Facebook page and Instagram where I post about new accessories or any events that I may be participating in. Facebook: @twobirdsecoshop Instagram: @twobirds.ecoshop.

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I am preparing for a big art show next month that I need help crowdfunding my way into. I need to sell a lot of tickets in order to participate! There will be a fashion show, live performances, and dozens of local artists showing their work. I will be there selling my latest jewelry pieces along with a new collection of women's clothing for Fall/Winter. It takes place December 19th and 20th! More info here: rawartists.org/twobirdsecoshop

Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
25% creamer, 75% coffee !

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