I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Viktorija and I was born and bred in Latvia. I moved to London around 6 years ago and fell in love with this amazing city.
tell us about your label and where the name "And Smile" comes from?
I make and sell little illustrated brooches and earrings along with postcards and prints. It took me a long time to come up with a name for my shop (I'm bad with words) and in the end I decided to name it And Smile as I would love people to smile when they see, touch and wear my products!
what is your background and how did you get where you are today?
I always enjoyed drawing and working with my hands and trying new things. As a teenager I attended art school with various subjects from painting to pottery and I guess the main thing I learned there was not to be afraid to try new things, be ready to fail, get hands dirty and work hard. And that's what I do! :)
where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by a lot of things from beautiful books, fairy/folk tales, hand made goodies, amazing people and even more amazing life stories, patterns, cute kitchenware, nature, animals, beutiful city I live in and all the places I visit as well as paper and stationery! I love japanese washi tapes and paper. I have a little collection of my own and even by looking at the washi tapes piled together makes my day better and brighter. I have a book which is always on my table and it is called "Isetatsu collection" and it's full of beautiful woodblock printed patterns, overload of colour and shapes, I tend to look through it and it helps me to concentrate, might be some kind of ritual! :)
what do you love most about what you do?
I love everything! I enjoy all stages from initial idea to drawing or making an actual thing, photography, the buzz from getting an order, I love packing as well as I get to use my washi tapes, twine and colourful paper! Of course I enjoy trying new things and experimenting but most of all meeting lovely people, both customers and fellow creatives!
what new things can we look forward to from "And Smile"?
Definiteky some colourful accessories and more hand painted cards and prints (lino cut and silk screen printing).
what is your workspace like and what is an essential aspect of your working day?
My workspace is quite small and I'm trying to keep it organized, which helps me to be more organized and productive. Every day is different but coffee in the morning and to do list are essential parts!
what do you think is the best thing about having a blog?
It's a great way of sharing your creative processes, inspiration and to show what kind of creative professional and person you are! Which I think are really important things, that's what I enjoy about other people blogs at least!
what do you love to do on your days off?
Exploring the neighbourhood and the city, visiting exhibitions and museums, eating lots of delicious food, working on personal projects and an occasional lie in of course!
tell us 3 handmade projects/brands that you really admire
HOMAKO, beautifull and unusual hand made jewellery.
Lisa Congdon, fantastic work and all in all very inspiring lady.
Imaginative Bloom, great place to look for inspiration and this platform supports and promotes creatives.
all pics are by Maksim Kalanep