Friday, March 18, 2011

A Day In The Life With Maxime

Good morning and Happy Friday.  Today I venture back to “A Day In The Life” as I spotlight another artist from our Etsy threads.  Back when forum threads were visited by anyone and everyone, she would pop in and visit for a while, then disappear again.  After a while, she became a regular in our “Promo Fest” chats.  So go grab your cuppa joe, sit back and come meet   

Maxim, owner of

Duuude:.  How long have you been making jewelry? And what about your watercolors?        

Maxime:  I have been making jewelry on a regular basis for three years now, but I had basic classes in elementary school, which I really loved. Although, at that time I could not find the beads I wanted and I also I had a bigger passion then, so I spent most of my time drawing, trying to refine my skills and try up some new stuff. Now I look at it and go, oh my god, those drawings are so bad! But hey, I did not gave up, and from there I went to art school, learned tons and tons of great and new stuff, and that’s basically what I want to do in life : create !
I have been painting for six years now, on an official and regular basis. I still haven’t mastered all of it – it is really harder than it looks! So let’s make it simple:  drawing for as long as I can remember, picked up jewelry making three years ago and painting for six.

Duuude: What inspired you get into these two areas of artistry and crafting? 

Maxime:  What inspired me… well it is hard to say! I have tons of artist that I love, more than I can think of, some are comic artists, others classic master painters, some great artist posting their artwork on the web, photographers, you name it! For jewelry I am inspired by vintage pieces – they are so feminine and beautiful! – Foreign cultures and nature. I am simply amazed every time by her!  I especially love her color combinations, so pretty.

Purple and Green Chrysanthemum Ring
Purple & Green Chrysanthemum Ring
Duuude: Tell us a little bit about your process for making your jewelry.  Do you have a favorite material you like to work with?    

Maxime:  The hardest part is for me to stop looking up and buying beads! There are so many great colors, shapes and bead styles out there. I love working with Swarovski and Czech glass beads, I mainly use those two in my shop right now. They are sparkling, of great quality and I love their finish! I want to add more Crystals, Preciosa, sterling silver and pearls.  There are too many great things out there! My favorite material needs to be clear, have a great variety of colors and need to sparkle, which ever the way.
Poison Ivy Original Artwork
Poison Ivy

Basically the way I work is I shop for beads, and once I find either what I am looking for or great beads, I just go home and start playing around with it, see what I can do with them, try out various patterns. Sometimes they stay hidden in my drawers for months, but I keep thinking about them, and one day, and idea just grows in my mind, so I sit down and let it come to life.  And sometimes I get lucky and hit a great pattern the minute I start putting them together.

As for watercolors, sometimes I simply sit down with my colors and a sheet of paper and experiments for a couple of minutes before getting the direction I wanted, sometimes I just sketch for hours and once I have found the drawing I want, I trace it down and start inking and coloring it. The number of hours spent on it and materials greatly decide the price.

Here I’ve included pictures of one of my two favorite medias, Holbein watercolor and Swarovski crystal 
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I have so many favorites in my shop, I love them all! Let’s see, I would say my top three: Poison Ivy Watercolor, Swarovski Chandelier Earrings and Purple & Green Chrysanthemum Ring.

For my art, I love high quality handmade papers, such as Fabriano and Arches, or canvas, Holbein Watercolor, Winsor & Newton Oils and Golden Acrylics.  Not to forget, great quality brushes, such as Rapahel and Winsor & Newton, especially their Coatman and University collections.

Duuude: Where do you typically get your supplies?

Maxime:  I so wish I could get those beads easily in Montreal.  But they are super hard to find – especially the glass teardrops. Well, I am not going to reveal my spots, but I do order from great beads stores on Etsy, which I totally recommend, with wholesalers in the US and both here for now. Maybe one day I’ll find what I completely need in one place – sigh. But I have to say, I am always making impossible request to a specific Etsy seller and she is such a sweetheart! She always tries to find it out for me and makes great suggestions. I am so glad I found her! She helps me make your perfect bead order come true.

Duuude: Where do you get your ideas for your items?

Maxime:  I don’t really get my ideas from somewhere in particular. I flip through magazines, try out lots of stuff –you should see my boxes full of tryouts that never made it through! – look in jewelry stores, like the Swarovski store downtown.  I look around, check out flowers, and simply get inspired. There are simply no particular sources, except maybe nature!

Glamourous Purple Chandelier Earrings
Chandelier Earrings
Duuude:  Where do you sell your items? Being in Canada, do you have any “farmers markets” or “shows” that you can do to sell your products? (I’m not familiar with how things are in Canada and some of our readers might like to hear about it)

Maxime:  Well, I am pretty sure that craft fairs in Canada and elsewhere are pretty much the same. Right now I don’t have the time to run after craft fairs and to the selection process since I am so busy with school.  It is definitely something I want to add more to my schedule in the upcoming year. Right now, I am scheduled for a craft fair in Montreal, in school, which is super nice.  I have met so many great people last time and it turned out to be a wonderful experience.  It will be in mid-April, I’ll put up the details on my blog so if you want to come and chat with me, I would love to.  For those who are unfamiliar with craft shows, for what I know so far, it is pretty simple. You submit a letter saying what you are doing, what for… etc and then you get called up by a selection committee where they will choose a certain number of people. Then, a couple of moths after, you have the craft fair, where you come packed up with your items, displays, table cloth…. It could be for a day, for a week, a weekend; it varies as much as for the prices. As far as I have seen, the general price is 150$, it is sometimes for 2 days, sometimes for 1. It all depends also to which fair you are going, some are more expensive, but have greater visibility, some others have no selection committee… But usually you have a committee of some sort. 

Duuude:  Anything else you'd like us to know?

Maxime:  Well, I love to bake sweets, to decorate and I love to read.  I will finally be a graduating student from the Illustration and Design program at Dawson College, and you are very welcome to stop by and peek at my work in May. Here is more info:

I also sell original, framed artwork, both painting and drawings at the marvelous restaurant Le Papillon Blue in downtown Montreal. (200 St-Jacques Street West) Please come stop by!  
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I love to create unique custom pieces. May it be an artwork or jewelry for your special occasion, I would be delighted! Please feel free to contact me anytime.

Duuude:  Do you have a blog or any other sites that you are involved in that you would like to share with us?

Maxime:  I have a twitter account where I post events, new items and exclusive sales.

I also have a blog which you can find out more about my work and some great finds

Well, thank you for sharing so much with us Maxime.  You are definitely one very busy person.
So stop by her shop, her links and show her so ACJ love. 
See ya next week
~~ Duuude ~~


VintageEmbellishment said...

I love these interviews and this one is and beautiful jewelry creations and getting to know the person behind the jewelry just makes it better! Thanks!

Peppercorns said...

Great interview Duuude and Maxime. I love the beautiful jewelry. Thanks for letting us get to know Maxime better. ♥♥♥

goodgosh said...

I've always been intrigued by her rings ~ I've never seen anything like them!
Great interview!

Kirameku said...

Thank you so much for your kind words guyz ! * big hug *