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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 !