It is my pleasure, as always, to introduce to you polymer clay artists. Polymer clay artists, designers, & sculptors are indeed a rare breed: always fun, unique, & joyful! Today’s polymer clay artist, Aniko Kolesnikova, is no different. It’s my honor to feature her today.
My name is Aniko and I am almost 27 years old. I was born to be an artist and I never let out my brushes out of my hands since I was 3 years old. When anyone asked who I am dreaming to be – I always said “An Artist”. Well, when I was little I thought artist is someone who ‘paints a lot and is poor’ as my mom said. I never knew anything about polymer clay or other media. (Although, I was quite successful with plasticine and organic clay.)
I was born in Latvia, Riga but my family tree takes me to Russia and Ukraine (So I am half Russian half Ukrainian by blood). I feel more like a citizen of the World because I speak fluently 3 different languages, lived in 4 different countries and seen so many nationalities.
Right now I live in UK for almost 3 years now. I call myself a chameleon person because I can adapt to circumstances, places to live, and country traditions. I always try my best to explore other people and try to understand them.
My original education is Architecture and Interior design but I worked only few years in this industry and understood that huge spaces is not something I am able to handle. I am more Macro person. But I am perfectly capable of making my house pretty decorated and clean. So my 7 years in university wasn’t all pointless stuff. J
I got introduced to polymer clay on my last year in University. We had a sculpting course for half of a year and they said – I have a talent.. I was quite pleased but I could not imagine where and how I can get with plasticine figures.
INSPIRATION & CLAY BEGINNINGS:
So time passed and I stumbled upon some amazing journals onDeviantartmade by my dearest friend and biggest past inspirationMandarin Moon. She told me about polymer clay existence and there I was … facing the whole new world of polymer possibilities. I started as a failure and some of my first clients even asked for their money back. Although it wasn’t myETSYexperience but more sort of person to person deals with my friends. Then I practiced more and more and now I am who I am. (I’ll let you) judge it for yourself.
ETSY SHOP HISTORY:
My ETSY store “Amandarinduck” was created in Aug 2010, but I have sold more than 5 years on ETSY. I had about 5 different shops from which I still keep three. One of them isAmandarinduckwhere I sell my polymer clay. Before this summer I was dealing with lots of different jewelry [semiprecious stones, gold plated jewelry, feather earrings, polymer clay] but now I decided to work with polymer clay only and I am mainly concentrating on jewelry and journals. Sometimes I do custom orders on jewelry boxes from clay as well.
My other shop is for Macro dreamy nature prints and it is called “Sunnykiss”. I also have third shop,Mandarin Feathers, where I sell feathers. Because I love feathers.
MY UNIQUE SHOP:
Well first of all I haven’t seen any journals like mine on ETSY. It seems like I am working in a different style then others. I can spend more then 48 hours on one journal and I will never finish it till it’s really done. No cutting corners, no time saving with push stamps, standard textures and things like this. It’s 100% handmade by my own hands. There is only one artist on ETSY I truly think is similar to me. This is my very first inspiration and a person who made me familiar with polymer clay – Mandarin Moon.
My shop’s name has different story. So please don’t think that I was so inspired by Mandarin Moon that I even took half of her name…It’s just a coincidence.
There are beautiful leather journals or mixed media journals, but polymer clay journal range is quite small and I feel like I don’t even have competition on ETSY. Again, here I am not trying to say I am a queen of polymer clay. I am just telling what my followers and clients say. Hundreds of comments on Facebook, thank you letters from my clients and even thank you gifts is a proof to my words.Amandarinduckis also a shop that makes it’s clients 110% satisfied. I give them not only their item, but also love and support (especially with custom orders), cute letter, cute package, extra gift each time they purchase something, and some of my clients just become my friends so they also come back to me again quite often. Not to mention that they also get a discount if they are return customers.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ITEMS IN YOUR STORE?
I do love making journals but at the same time I love making jewelry. I have few items I love and they mean a lot to me. They are nature inspired jewelry pieces, few of my jewelry boxes and almost all of my journals. Also I do love how different is my Prometheus collection is and Prometheus bangle is a favorite piece out of whole collection.
This is an absolutely accidental item. It was a challenge from my fiancé. He said to try something new and offered a theme “The Alien movie”. Well.. I like challenges… It makes me want to prove that I can do it, because even my motto is “Yes, I can”. So I made it and it attracted so much attention. All of my followers and friends, even males were all wondering how much it costs, can it be adjusted to man’s hand and so on.
But to be honest, each item is a story to tell just because I spend so much time making it. It’s like I live a separate story each time.
Well, when I tell to my clients and followers that I do custom orders I usually add something like “I can do everything you want”. So “everything you want” phrase would probably explain my custom services the best.
I do custom journals A6-A4 sizes, all sorts of jewelry and jewelry boxes and also some custom figurines for special ocasions. I prefer working in my unique sculptural style, where I create almost 3D objects, looking like fairytale alive creatures, natural fresh and blooming flowers or dark and gothic motives. I love creating a story in clay. Something that has a meaning. Even if I make an abstract composition – it still has a feel to it, a style, an idea. Flora and Fauna themes do inspire me the most. Elves, fairytales and magic objects are my passion, too.
The only thing I don’t do is standard polymer clay techniques like canes and everything you could do with canes. This is something my heart doesn’t lay to. Although I do some cane video tutorials – I would never be able to work 48 hours on a cane project…I am not a cane person.
Mandarin Ducky is having a giveaway. Please join her on her blog to participate in this awesome giveaway!
Would You Like To Be the Featured Artist for the Month?
Are you are a polymer clay artist? Would you like to be the featured artist for the month? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, please go HERE and answer the questionnaire and email your responses to me. Artists are subject to approval and are featured on a first come, first serve basis.