I would like to introduce you to a very creative friend of mine and lovely woman, Tanya Samotoshina. Tanya is an international award winning artist who creates beautiful Collectible teddy bears and toys. I first met Tanya in 2012 when I was sharing experiences of my ribbon embroidery masterclasses in St Petersburg, and later on skype learning with me (read here). She is an extremely talented and diligent student who is an absolute pleasure to create with. Below, we are holding Tatyana's embroidery she studied during one of my masterclasses- it was perfect work.
This year, I again met with Tanya for masterclass promotions of my fabric prints in St Petersburg- I will write more about that on another post. During that time I was very fortunate to be invited to her home studio with views of the sea! I met with Troy, her lovable dachshund who inspires some of her work, and was lucky to see her many beautiful creations, toys, bears, paintings, embroideries- yes I told you, she is very creative!! And I was also privileged to start my own collection of Tanya's works, bringing home one of her collectible toys, Mrs Tiggy-winkle from Beatrix Potter, who sits at my sewing desk. She is wonderful company and reminds me fondly of dear Tanya.
Tatiana's Gold work...lovely isn't it?
I asked Tanya to share some of her advice and experiences as a bear and toy artist, and hopefully it will inspire some of you and brighten your day...her collectible toys always give me a smile and fill my heart with the warmth from Tanya- I think that is what makes her a fantastic artist.
Tanya Samotoshina, international award winning Collectible Teddy and Toy Artist (St Petersburg, Russia).
Please introduce yourself and explain what do you create?
My name is Tanya Samotoshina. I create collectible toys and teddy bears.
I create collectible toys. In this case I use two techniques - Teddy Bears (sewed mohair) and needle felting wool toys. Sometimes, these two technologies are used in combination in one toy. For example - Teddy bear has wings of wool Felt
Or Teddy Bear has little face of wool...
Why did you start creating what you make?
I've been doing this art because I want to be in our troubled world was more positive. Because all my characters are smiling. I am very pleased to see that adults and children smile at them in response. Also I like to communication with other people passionate about these toys. My passion has allowed me to develop friendships with many wonderful people in my country and in other countries.
What has been your most successful moment in your creative work?
I (and my animals :))) received awards at various competitions. Most successful moment was winning at the prestigious international contest "Golden George" in 2013 and in 2014 (Germany). This year, I received two awards in different categories have been awarded my toys Mrs Tiggy-Winkle (Beatrix Potter)
Also, the dog Sparky (based on the cartoon of Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie")
And my Bear "clown MO" began advertising face of of the forthcoming major exhibition "Hello Teddy", which will be take place in December 2014 in Moscow.
Can you share you biggest mistake or failure when you created something in your art form? And how did you solve this problem?
What could be called a major mistake in my work? I do not know ... people are buying my toys - and for me it means that they are not bad toys 😉 Maybe it was a mistake to start making woolen dachshunds because now I too often have to do them to order? (This is a joke!) But seriously, at the beginning of my career, I sewed a couple of sad and specially aged bears. Because they now the fashion. But they called me sad emotions, and it is - not what I want from bears. So my next Bears were already happy and had a smile.
What was the first creation you sold?
I learned to sew teddy bears and needle felt the same time - in 2008. About a year later I started selling my author's toys.The first creation, which I sold was a small bear of Needle felting. He seems to be "flying" on balloons.
Generally, the theme "flight" is often present in my toys. Sometimes they "fly" on balloons, sometimes my woolen Bears have wings, sometimes bears have helmet Pilot . Therefore, I stand at the exhibitions under the name "Fly Bears".
What was the first creative project you made in your chosen medium, and have you still got it?
My first project - "wool dachshunds." These dachshunds have become my "calling card" and always popular with dachshund dog fans I also have a pet - a dachshund. He was a source of inspiration
When did your passion for your art turn from hobby to selling your work?
Art has become a hobby for me in earnings of approximately one year after the beginning of my work. At first, I sold my toys through the shops and galleries. Currently I use the internet and exhibitions (1 or 2 exhibitions annually). I mainly sell toys ready, but sometimes do to order.
What inspires your work?
I have several sources of inspiration. First, it is a visit to specialized international exhibitions and participate in contests. Exhibition - it is an invaluable source of inspiration and experiences, as well as a lot of interesting dialogue between artists. And I am inspired by animals (communication with real pets, animal pictures), books and illustrations (eg, creativity Beatrix Potter).
Or from movies and cartoons (eg, creativity Tim Burton) Very often the impetus for the creation of toys becomes a desire "to bring to reality" book or movie character. I want to see familiar characters like "descended from the pages to life." I think it wants "a child in my soul" (it-the lyrics)
I think that in the creation of toys (as in any creative work) we must move forward, to learn something new (although this is usually - "the road of trial and error"). At the moment I have some plans for the future of my bears - perhaps it will bear-nature like in this photo, as well as toys of wool I want to try something new - moving parts in toys.
Who inspires you as an artist? And why?
I am inspired by so many artists ! I'll try to name some of the most favorite Karin De Lorenzo (Germany ) , Jemma Kadzh ( Russia ), Tatiana Barakova (Russia) ,Jutta Mishels (Germany ), Barbara and Andy Cunningham (England). Also I have a good collection of different authors bears.
What is your favourite colour?
Favorite color at all - blue, and my bears favorite color - white (I learned this when looked around at the my collection bears of different authors
What's the last great book you read? Or your favourite song?
I recently read a great book-Yan Martel, "Life of Pi". I have a lot of favorite songs. For example, love the creativity Elton John and his song for the animated film "The Lion King".
What's the most indispensable or important item in your studio?
I do not have a separate studio (unfortunately). So my studio - this is my apartment 😉 What's the most necessary for creativity? :
1. Good tools
2. Reserve materials
3. Panoramic view (now - the sea, but before that - on trees)
4. The presence of Troy (this is my dachshund dog)
Lastly, can you share one tip or hint for a beginner in your art form?
I have a couple tips for beginners in the collectible toy:
1. Makes toys when you have a good mood and then your creations will be positive view
2. First, think about the future toy, image it in your head, and then start to do in real life
If you would like to see more of Tatiana's beautiful bears and toys, or wish to contact her directly to start your collection of her award winning bears and toys: tbysATmail.ru, please follow these links:
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Tanya, it's not difficult to fall in love with her collectible bears and toys! If you would like to leave her comments, please add them below, Tanya will respond....share this post with your friends or pin!