Gettin' Made: Contreras to Popular Belief...
I'm really excited to share this indie artist and crafter with you; Melissa Contreras of Axelhoney is one of the reasons I got into the indie craft scene to begin with. We used to work together at t-shirt company Mighty Fine--while we we designed all kinds of licensed character tees during the day, I was always really impressed with everything she had going on with her own work on the side. We shared a table as the Lady Scouts at the holiday 2006 Felt Club and Bazaar Bizarre events in Los Angeles, and I was hooked!
|Melissa Contreras of Axelhoney poses with some of her creations|
After the jump, learn all about this influential artist and enter to win one of our best giveaway prizes yet!
OC Weekly: Tell us about your daily life - what's your day job these days? That's sparked some growth in the things you're making for your Etsy shop, right?
Melissa Contreras: I am working at a local jewelry store--Accents Jewelry on Main Street in Santa Monica. I work there 4 days a week, so I have some extra time to work on personal projects on my days off. My ideal is to be making a living off of my art, working for myself. The owner of Accents is a jewelry designer himself, and most of the people working there are inspiring jewelry designers. He is very supportive and truly wants us to succeed. We get to take his lost wax carving workshop and he is always there to give us advice and answer any questions.
|"Head in the Clouds" gouache painting by Melissa Contreras of Axelhoney|
OCW: Anything you'd like to share about you and your family?
MC: My husband is really supportive of me, and he has allowed me to do what I do. It's pretty amazing; I know how lucky I am - a suffering artist who works part time, has health insurance, and lives a bike ride from the beach. Don't get me wrong, we are not living like fat cats. But we are comfortable living within our means and we make it work. And if I need a little help paying the bills or am feeling a little down and defeated he is always there to help me out and lift my spirits. My mom has always been very enthusiastic and encouraging about my pursuits, even though I know there was a time where my parents preferred I got a degree in biology... There was a time when I considered a career as a lab plate artist. With the advances in technology, that field is probably obsolete now.
On the next page, find out how long Melissa's been doing what she's doing.