If you’re a queen or at least a fairy princess, you might still be searching for your dream vanity. In today’s modern world where creativity starts to disappear and craftsmanship is fading away, there are still a few artists left who come from a different world. Their vision carries on the history, charm and mystique of the past.
One of those artists is Kateryna Udovychenko whose beautiful mind creates the most glamorous home accessories that transform your home into a dream world. She uses the decoupage technique she fell in love with in her workshop for arts and crafts.
Kateryna, your work is out of this world! What inspires you and which eras are your favorite to draw inspiration from?
Thank you very much for your sensitivity to my art! Oh, inspiration is my everything! It’s like an engine for a car – if it works well, you can go around the world and back. If not, there is only mindless drudgery available to you. My work, in most cases, reflects my mood, and my mood is driven by an understanding that people appreciate and need what I do.
Sometimes, a color combination or a tone can start the engine of my inspiration and imagination.
My inspiration is drawn from different sources, often by a combination of them, but ultimately the roots go to the sense of what I do and for whom I do it.
My favorite eras to draw inspiration from would definitely be the rococo and baroque eras! To me, items from that time are full of charm and beauty. In my work, I apply some ornamental elements of that era. However, pure/true replication of the rococo style is not my way. While I do appreciate that era, my true nature is modern. The work I create reflects my own idea of what beauty and harmony is.
When did this passion of yours start?
Back in 2012, I was working as a legal adviser and was too far away from arts and crafts. To be honest, I had no energy left after stressful workdays.
One day I realized that part of my life shouldn’t continue anymore. I wanted to enjoy what I did. I wanted to see a physical result from my efforts (not just paper agreements, corporate law consultations, and abstract knowledge). I wanted to bring as much beauty as I could into this world.
So, that new direction appeared to be more important to me. We live only one life with this body, and it’s our obligation to do the most with what we can using our heads and our hands to make ourselves and others happy, and, finally, make this world better. I believed this was more important than making money.
I was driven by those ideas when I decided to visit some crafting master classes “to try something new”. The first class was on scrapbooking, and then I went to a decoupage class. The decoupage class really impressed me. I learned that using an ordinary kitchen napkin with a print on it could be used to make an exclusive piece of home décor- a box, a key holder, a vase, a piece of furniture and so on! Any kind of base/shape/primary part – wood, glass, plastic, or even metal – is suitable for that. And that finally won my heart. I decided to go deep, as much as it was possible, in discovering this technique.
Do you remember what the first item you made was?
The first decoupage item I made was in a studio in a master class. It was a small jewelry box with red roses on the top. I still keep it with me. During the first couple of years of my decoupage practice, I made very primitive works, which I can hardly call beautiful now. It was no wonder as I was new to the craft. Also, I preferred to study by myself, so the studying process went slower than normal.
You seem to also be an amazing photographer. Would you consider yourself an artist overall?
Yes, it all goes together. Currently, it’s not enough to be a specialist in one area to be able to transfer your ideas to the world (unless you have a lot of money to hire a team of professionals). Decoupage craftswomen used to joke that we are like a one-woman army; in addition to producing our works, it is necessary to be a good photographer, a copywriter, a PR specialist, a marketer, a web site developer, a social-media specialist, a client-communication specialist, an entrepreneur, an accountant, and a packer all in one. The more specialties you master, the more chances you have to sell your crafts. That’s why I had to learn photography and even cinematography in order to make video tutorials by myself. However, video editing and Photoshop are still beyond my capacity.
Do you feel that people today appreciate history and craftsmanship?
That depends on the country and culture. In my country (Ukraine, Eastern Europe) handmade products are not highly appreciated. There is a thought that anyone can make handmade items, thus, this job is not worth paying someone to do. Of course, there are some areas of craftsmanship that are popular there. Decoupage is not one of those.
As for history, I would say that nowadays society is not concerned with history.
What do you hope your products bring into women’s lives?
Any handmade product contains the warmth of its creator’s hands and heart. I always keep that in mind while decorating my work and try to think positively at that time. But what is more important, in my opinion, is that my products make a woman feel SPECIAL and UNIQUE. Why? Handmade items like mine are usually made uniquely with only one copy; sometimes they are made to meet a client’s customizations in regard to color, design, size, household use, etc. This means that by buying handmade, you have become the sole owner of something unique – isn’t that true evidence of your individuality?
What is one item you really hope to make one day?
The reason I adore both decoupage and decorating is that these skills give you the tools to make almost any item/thing you can imagine. The only constraint I have is my own imagination. However, there is one thing beyond my capacity in this area: I really hope that one day decoupaged items (and hopefully my own work) will be recognized as art.
What type of woman do you have in mind when you design your products?
My clients are women that feel like queens and thus need items fit for a queen. I help them to create that environment even if my jewelry box or mini-cabinet is the first item in their royal collection.
In addition, almost all of my boxes are completely unique, as I alone create the designs, and I won’t replicate them (except in rare cases). That is one more reason you have to feel like a queen.
So, why not to upgrade your vanity with one of my boxes?
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