July Featured Artists - Alexandrea Staples of Staples Ceramics & Tabbatha Quintal of Whiskey Rebellion Clothing


I first found Alex on Instagram, and my mind was blown by her amazing work. All of my reusable coffee mugs are from her! From planters to mugs, her art supercharges what I eat and drink. Tabbatha, who I also came across on Instagram, is an amazing creatrix of the most rock n roll baddass clothing. Her work evokes such a strong feeling of empowerment and nostalgia. Check out these magical mamas!


 

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, ALEXANDREA!

My name is Alexandrea Staples, but I go by Alex. I'm 20 years old born and raised in Northern California's foothills. I'm the youngest of two older brothers. 

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK AND CREATIVE PROCESS // WHAT MOVES YOU THE MOST? // WHAT DOES CREATING DO FOR YOU?

This may sound cliche, but nature is my biggest inspiration. I grew up hiking/backpacking/camping throughout the region I'm enveloped in. A lot of my style and design comes from native plant/animal life around me. Both of my parents worked full time, so I spent a lot of time with my grandparents as a child. My grandfather was always gardening, tinkering random projects, or in the kitchen baking/cooking. During those years I was always using my hands. I believe that all the time spent outside molded me into being a ceramicist so that I can continue playing in the mud. My creative process stems from a lifetime of making. To put it simply, I can't picture a happy life without using my hands.

I feel very moved doing my craft because it is something that humans have evolved with. Making pots is something every society does and connects with. The process itself is quite moving, taking a squishy ball of clay and transforming it into a useful "stone" object that we can eat/drink/decorate with. Then there's the steps of glazing. As a ceramicist you are not only a sculpture but you are also a chemist, especially if you make your own glazes. 

Creating gives me freedom of expression. I can take my thoughts and ideas and transform it into the physical realm. Creating gives me meaning into my life. I'm not the best at vocalizing my thoughts/feelings so creating is like a form of therapy for me, especially since I'm constantly using my hands in the process.


DO YOU EVER FEEL VULNERABLE PUTTING YOUR WORK OUT THERE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?

I absolutely feel extremely vulnerable putting my work out there. Each piece I make is a little slice of my journey and growth. I have always been very hard on myself and have also been a perfectionist since forever, so showing off my work has always been a challenge. My lovely partner encourages and inspires me everyday to persevere. Having a strong support system has tremendously helped me push through all the hard times when I feel discouraged. I always have to remind myself that I can't succeed if I never tried in the first place.

DO HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OTHER CREATIVES?

As a creative, or just a human living in this plain of existence, if you really want something you just have to start doing it. Waiting and telling yourself you will be more ready in the future is procrastination. You're cheating yourself if you don't live right now to who you really feel you need to be. Overall, you have to learn to be comfortable with failure.

WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR ART TO DO FOR OTHERS WHO EXPERIENCE IT?

I want my art to unlock appreciation of being human. Handmade goods are not perfect and never will be, just like humans. When you appreciate being human, you practice and understand forgiveness in yourself and others. In a day and age of mass produced objects and electronic screens throwing an abundance of advertisements/facts/news at you, it's important to take a step back and feel grounded. I want people to appreciate the simplicity of making seemingly useless dirt and elements into a useful piece you can use and admire day to day.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW?

I did not used to want to be a creative. I was always creative but I never thought perusing it would suffice as a livable income. If I hadn't put my art out there in the first place I never would have known that other people actually enjoyed it too. 


My partner and I have fairly recently manifested our two creative mediums under one official business (mostly for tax purposes). We decided to call our combination of arts "Ambivalent Arts". Ambivalent because of the negatives and positives of working for yourself making art, especially in this day and age of the crazy world we all live in.


Most days I'm really just a silly little shy lady being a hermit in my mud cave, what you see online is only a fraction of what goes on behind the scenes!


 

YOU CAN CHECK OUT MORE OF ALEXANDREA’S WORK AND STORIES ON HER INSTAGRAM AND HER ETSY

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, TABBATHA!

My names Tabbatha Quintal. I grew up in a town about 1.5 hours South of Sydney, Australia called Wollongong. I'm one of 6 siblings (which is the coolest thing ever)! and I'm also a twin. And no, we're not identical, in fact apart from having almost the same brain we are so different in every sense of the word. But she gets me and I get her. I usually know her next move which is pretty funny. From Wollongong I moved to Sydney when I was 17, then to Perth when I was 19 and then back to Sydney when I was about 23. I mention all this moving because it was the crucial time for me to learn about myself. I met so many people and grew so much as a person, gained confidence and so began my sassy fuck 'em attitude. Wear what you want, do what you want, and always be you is something that I always remember (sounds cliche because its true).

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK AND CREATIVE PROCESS // WHAT MOVES YOU THE MOST? // WHAT DOES CREATING DO FOR YOU?

My mum is my inspiration. She tends to go through phases of becoming really good at something and then moving onto something else. When we were little in her spare time she would be painting or making collages, ALWAYS SEWING, patchworking or baking. She's so creative and also a perfectionist. I love that she moves on to something else as soon as she masters one thing, some might say short attention span but at least she’s pushing herself to see what else she can learn and create.

Dad made a conscious effort to always have music playing when we were growing up and this has a HUGE impact on my style and inspiration behind Whiskey. We were always playing The Kinks, Van Morrison, Neil Young and Blondie. Dads taken my sisters and I to see blondie twice, the first time I think i was only 14. On Sunday afternoons our whole family would go for a 'Sunday Drive' in Dads Chevrolet Impala and just cruise through town listening to music with the windows down. I miss those days. But these are the things that have shaped me and become my inspiration.


Creating for me is an outlet. I started Whiskey Rebellion when I was in a very dark place and was living a daily grind in Sydney (Im in Lennox Head , Northern NSW now). Everyday was exactly the same and I had tried so hard to shake things up, I was interning at Sony Music (I also studied Music Business) and basically felt like a failure trying to step out of my comfort zone. I wasn't happy, in fact I was severely depressed. So I spent some time with my mum and together we created Whiskey. My friends were my biggest support at first and then everything kind of grew through word of mouth until I started everything online. But THAT was my outlet. Seeing people get excited about something I was creating.

DO YOU EVER FEEL VULNERABLE PUTTING YOUR WORK OUT THERE? HOW DO YOU OVERCOME IT?

Ahhhhh yes!! But I also think everyone is so different and we don't all enjoy or like the same things, that's what makes the world go round. Its important to embrace all types of feedback thats what builds a successful business.

DO HAVE ANY ADVICE OR WORDS OF WISDOM FOR OTHER CREATIVES?

I sure do! Go at your own pace. And do whats going to work for you! I constantly have people saying 'you should do this' or 'why haven’t you done this yet' and they may not know that that can be offensive. But it is. I think its really important to look around you and keep an eye on other trends but thats not what matters. Focus on your creativity and what you love. Try and decipher if someone is trying to guide and help you or if they’re just telling you what they would do if they were you because most likely its just rubbish - you don't need to hear things that confuse you and can hold you back.

WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR ART TO DO FOR OTHERS WHO EXPERIENCE IT?

I think Whiskey Rebellion is a mixture of sassy, sexy, 60s, Woodstock and 70s vibes. Which is all over the place. But so am I. I want people to feel like they can wear whatever they want no matter what everyone else is saying or doing. Feel confident and sexy in what you wear because its so different. I've literally never followed any trends and I want that for everyone that follows Whiskey.

YOU CAN CHECK OUT MORE OF TABBATHA’S WORK AND STORIES ON HER INSTAGRAM AND HER WEBSITE!

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