Orin Drake is the artist behind Wicked Orin, a shop that can be found on both Etsy and Artfire. Much of the artwork are objects of fantasy: dragons ~ including some rather remarkable beaded dragon jewelry pieces; large, beaded spiders, and fabulous jewelry such as the piece shown above -- so enchanting that it looks as though it should be adorning the neck of the fairy queen herself!
Recently, Orin took some time away from creating fantastical art to answer a few of my questions... I hope you'll enjoy this opportunity to get to know Orin Drake a little bit better...
How long have you been creating your art?
"Seriously" (meaning I've consciously been creating, producing and improving whatever I've been interested in) for about six years. Apparently I've been working on it since I could hold a crayon, though. If it wasn't sketching or discovering water color it was crochet, sculpting whenever I could get my hands on clay, painting--I was just out to make stuff!
Where do you sell your art?
Right now I'm sort of going between ArtFire ( http://wickedorin.artfire.com/ ) and Etsy ( http://wickedorin.etsy.com/ ). It's a bit of a difficult situation; Etsy is far better known and I have a good deal of positive feedback and sales there, but ArtFire is more "comfortable" from my own artist's standpoint.
How do you market/advertise your store?
A lot of my creations have a definitively geeky slant, so hanging around gaming communities helps quite a bit. Otherwise, I have a DeviantArt account and a SheezyArt account, both of which get a pretty good number of people interested, and the DIYScene forums ( http://www.diyscene.com/forum ). There's also my own blog, I suppose, but... very few people see anything in my blog.
At what point did you decide to sell your art?
I'd like to say it was at the point where I realized people might actually buy what I make. But really it was when I realized that I could not get, let alone keep, a steady job unless I employed myself. I'm afraid the "triple threat" of being an artist, musician and writer don't really matter when you don't have any interest in customer service or three degrees in... anything, really. The curse of a college town.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Do what you love, and do it your way. Sure we can all learn and take friendly advice (when we ask for it), but there comes a point when you know what you want to do and you should never let anything get in your way. Most importantly, though, don't lose heart. There are probably going to be people who don't like what you do, and that's fine--but there WILL be someone who absolutely LOVES your work. Focus on what you love and what makes you happy, and that absolutely will carry through.
What inspires you?
Anything, everything! Sometimes it's actually a joke or a not so serious challenge ("Bet you can't do ____."). Other times I'll see something that I think is way too expensive for the work that seems to be involved (or the materials used strike me as ridiculously overpriced), so I'll try to make it myself. But most of the time... I don't really know. I like to default to the answer "video games and music", because that seems to hold true to just about everything. I have fun with what I create, and that seems the most important self-fulfilling inspiration of all.
Every artist experiences “creative block” – a creative dry spell – how do you deal with creative block?
Honestly, I usually drop in front of a console and play video games for a few hours, turn up some music or go watch one of my geeky favorites like a handful of Beast Wars episodes. Then I have to admit, I'm usually good to go after that. My dry spells don't usually last more than a day. I think I'm much too focused on doing SOMETHING, anything. Boredom is not acceptable.
How did you choose the medium you work with?
I have too many mediums! And the list is always growing. But I think it comes down to what looks fun. Jump rings looked fun, I've become quite good at some chainmaile patterns. Sculpting looked fun, and I still love making masks and dragons. Fabric looked fun, and I'm currently making more patterns after my little plush dragon turned out so well. Next up, leather and needle felting!
How do you wish to be remembered?
Just as someone who loved what they did, and loved to share that with people who had a similar connection with the creations. People always ask if it's hard to let go of a piece I've spent days or weeks or even months on... and no, it's not. I have confidence that the person buying it caught a similar "spark" when they saw it that I had when I created it, plus I get the funding to buy more materials and make more fun things. That seems like the way it ought to be.
Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?
I'm utterly uncultured when it comes to art. I have way, way too many artists that I follow and am lucky enough to be friend with quite a few of them. Some day I'll have to make a list! I'll really have to admit to my horrifying geekdom by listing Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura specifically, though. They're both character designers for Final Fantasy games, but they both have distinctive art styles that I adore. Amano's work is some beautiful combination of colorful, soft, and amazingly sharp and harsh--it's too hard to describe without really seeing it for yourself. Nomura's work has become cliche in the RPG genre--but he established the cliche because his work is just that distinctive. I'm certain that there are countless other artists whose work I've seen and admired and get little to no credit, sadly. Concept art for nearly anything makes me very happy.
What blogs to do you visit on a regular basis?
Mostly ones that have to do with video games and absolutely nothing to do with art, actually. I do like to take a look at Etsy's and ArtFire's blogs from time ot time, but the only really art-related ones I follow are Cute Plush ( http://community.livejournal.com/cute_plush/profile ) for all kinds of plushie/stuffed animal ideas, and Craftastrophe ( http://craftastrophe.net/ ), because... well, I have a sick sense of humor.
For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?
I absolutely have to recommend my incredibly talented friends--most of which unfortunately don't have shops open at this time. I'm afraid I might just have to recommend my links page ( http://www.reignofangels.com/jewelry/links.html ) to be updated whenever everyone gets all set up. In the meantime, if you're into geeky cross stitch, definitely go visit Schala-Kitty at Crafted With Zeal ( http://www.schala-kitty.net/zeal/ ).
Any final thoughts?
There's nothing wrong with admitting that you started to make jewelry because you love shiny objects.
Thank you, Orin, for your time... I enjoyed your art, and getting to know you a bit better!