Friday, August 19, 2011

Guest Post: Femme Liberte and Giveaway

I'm really excited about today's guest! I've known her since high school and she is very talented. I will now turn the time over to Krystal!

Hi! My name is Krystal Figueroa and I am a freelance artist and fine art instructor. I am also a singer, writer, and poet, and I enjoy creating things that bring happiness and inspiration to others. I'd like to take a little time to tell you about myself, my love of art, what and why I create, and FemmeLiberte. I have been creating art for as long as I can remember and perhaps even before I could remember (ask my mom). I cannot emphasize enough how vital art is to my sense of being; it allows me to express myself and affect others in ways that words never could, and it creates a sense of joy and freedom that brings about connection, healing, and deeper understanding of self, others, and the world around us.

I began mainly as a self-taught artist, although I can still recall my uncle, a talented and seasoned artist in his
own respect, teaching me in his free time how to draw a rose, a swan, and the human face. From that point
on, I learned by observing, researching, and doing, and just like most things I learned on my own, I experimented with various media using a trial-and-error process until I got the results that I desired. Art has always been a great love of mine, but up until recently, it was always something that I did for fun, on the side, not to be taken seriously or pursued as anything more than a past-time. I had always thought that there wasn't any stability or professional success to be made with a career in the arts, at least not without an extraordinary talent and formal training, neither of which I felt I had any claim to. I was always doodling, drawing, and when I could afford to, I would buy paints and brushes and try my hand at painting. During college, I studied psychology as my major, but in my free time, I was watching my roommate and best friend, a studio art major, create all kinds of projects for her class assignments. It wasn't long before I asked her to teach me a few things, let me work on my own projects alongside her, and even let me tag along to work in one of the campus studios. The more I created and shared my work with others, the more positive feedback I received, and the more I started to believe and gain confidence in my abilities as an artist.

Two months ago, I was working for an after-school program at a public middle school, and we were looking for project ideas to share with the students to keep them engaged and entertained in the program. My supervisor found instructions online on how to make bi-fold wallets out of duct tape. It was a major challenge at first, as I had to not only teach these kids how to make these wallets, I had to teach myself as well, and distributing pieces of duct tape among several impatient middle schoolers was a challenge in and of itself! I also discovered during this process that duct tape now comes is all kinds of colors and prints! (I currently have 17 colors and prints in stock, and I'm still collecting more!) It was only a matter of time before I had the process down pat, and I began to realize that the possibilities with this new medium were endless. Through my trusted trial-and-error method, I began fashioning my own duct tape clutch purses using duct tape I found at Walmart, Target, and Michaels, and purse findings from Jo-Ann. I love purses and accessories, but I've never been one to break the bank when it comes to buying such luxuries, so when I learned that I could make these things on my own and make them uniquely my own, I was all about it!

What I didn't expect was the overwhelming positive response from others for my duct tape creations. Most people I know have never seen anything made out of duct tape, let alone something that doesn't look like it's made out of duct tape, so it has definitely been fun seeing people's responses to my work. I started off making clutch purses and giving them away as gifts for family and friends, and eventually I began selling them through word-of-mouth and online. I now make duct tape wallets, purses, cell phone cases, jewelry, and hair accessories! When I realized just how popular my duct tape creations were and that I could actually turn my hobby into a professional venture, I decided it was time to take it to that next level. I decided to create an online/at-home shop and custom-order service for my unique handmade accessories and original artwork, and I named it FemmeLiberte.

FemmeLiberte was a username that I had come up with a few years ago when I was in a process of self-discovery. FemmeLiberte is a combination of two French words, "femme" and "liberte," which mean "woman" and "free," respectively, so FemmeLiberte essentially means "free woman." It's who I am and who I want to be. Freedom can mean so many different things to many different people, but ultimately, it is something that we all desire and seek throughout our lives. Through my work, I want to embody, express, create, and inspire freedom in myself and others, even if it's something as simple as helping someone feel just a little more attractive after putting on one of my accessories or something as great as inspiring a child to create art and help other people. My mission is to create quality, one-of-a-kind products that inspire fun, creativity, confidence, passion, strength, joy, love, and a sense of freedom that comes from being uniquely YOU! If by reading all this, you've been inspired to buy some of my creations or to simply CREATE and SHARE, then my mission has been accomplished! Thanks for your time and have an amazing and creative day!

- Krystal

Wow! Thank you Krystal for sharing! Be sure to visit her Etsy shop Femme Liberte
Now what's a guest post without a giveaway!? That's right folks Krystal will be hosting a raffle for a giveaway of 4 duct tape bows of the colors of your choice! You must be one of the first 20 people to do the following (it's a little different from my usual giveaway rules) to be entered into the raffle:
1. Like Femme Liberte on Facebook and leave a post on the wall saying that you were referred by this blog and that you
also 'like' The Pink Senorita on FB.
2. Like The Pink Senorita on Facebook

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1 comment:

Krystal Figueroa, FemmeLiberte said...

Hi Danesa! Thanks for letting me guest blog today! I just wanted to clarify the rules of my giveaway: The first 20 people to "like" my page and say they were referred by you will be entered into a RAFFLE for the prize of 4 hair bows of their choice! As much as I'd love for all 20 people to have my bows, I just wouldn't be able to give away that many at the moment! Sorry for the confusion! Good luck, everyone!