Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Ania Kiper is the person behind two Etsy stores: miniArt where she sells handmade gifts and Anna's Kiper Photos - a gallery of photograph taken by her during her travels.

Tell us something about yourself?

For the last 4 years, I've been running the miniART Gallery specializing in handmade items for children. The items sold there I made by me as well as other artist that are part of the gallery. Since then, I've been doing what I've always enjoyed most. In other work after 10 years of working for somebody else, I started my own company and I'm working on two things that I'm passionate about: handmade crafts and photography.

What else do you do besides creating?

My work is directly intertwined with my interests. Sometimes it's hard to put the two apart.  The things that I do in my free time is also important for my work. I'm interested in art. I like going the museums and galleries as well as looking at art books.

I also enjoy reading, especially biographies. And lately, thanks to my daughter I've discovered wonderful children books. I love good movies and music. I'm a big fan of lattes drunk at one of kind coffee shops.

What made you want to become an artist?

I have never thought of myself as an artist so I've never actually thought of becoming an artist. I've always loved arts and crafts. At first I immensely enjoyed drawing and painting. Later, I discovered knitting and crocheting. I would also machine and hand saw simple garments. I had a notebook with my project ideas. I love that. That's how it was as long as I had enough time for it. Later I became engrossed in studying and then working, things that had nothing to do with what I was interested in.

I took on photography a little later. I bought my first camera when I was already a college student. At first it was just for fun and the camera was mainly for travelling.
Once I've become a mom, I've decided to give my career and come back to things that I used to like as a child - to art and crafts and to photography. I don't see my work as art, I think that's what artist are for. I feel that I'm more of a creator

Please describe your creative process  

At first there's an idea for something completely new item or a decoration or an idea for one item that I can make in many ways - just like my business card holders. When I first started as a full time craft ideas, the ideas where just piling up, especially at night when I was ready to fall asleep. I needed to keep a notepad by my bed, just to jot everything down so I don't forget it later. Now, it's not always that easy. 

Once I have an idea either in my head or on paper, I start collecting the items needed to make it happen. I need an item that I'm going to decorate and all the materials that I'm going to use. Next, I'm trying it out, fitting and measuring, a lot of the times an idea goes thru an evolution process and the end result is different from what I thought of at first. 

New items, if they're wooden, I file down and then I paint them. I glue down the decorative motive and I paint around it the background that I feel like it's missing. This way I finish up the motive. I also like antiquing or make it look shabby chic. At the very end I varnish the item several times. 

How does your day look like?

My day start very early. Once I've gotten my daughter up and sent her off to school, I start working. 

At first I check my email and respond to the ones that need immediate attention. Later, all my tasks intertwine. I work on my products, I take pictures, I spend time selling and promoting my items online. In the afternoon, I usually get my packages ready and then go to the post office. In the evenings, when not much is going on, I work on tings that require my full attention and take longer time.

Where would you like to be in 10 years?

In 10 years, I would like to have my own house in some beautiful place and in that house, I would like to have my own studio. I would also like to try other kinds of crafts. Lately I've been enjoying pottery and would like learn how to make my own items out of clay. 
In 10 years I would like to not have to worry about financial aspects about my business but just work for pleasure. This is my dream and that's where I see myself in 10 years.

What inspires you?

My photograph are inspired by my travels. In new places I get a fresh look at everything that's around me. I'm mainly inspired by architecture, its shapes and colors. I also enjoy photographing the things usually missed by others.
My crafts are also inspired by colors and shapes. I like finding new forms, original papers and all kinds of decorative motives. 

What are your favorite products? 

I love making things for children - like the ones for Galeria miniART. One of my favorite items is a box for the tot's treasures that's made in marine style with some antiquated edges. I have also made other items to match the treasure box. I also like the pastel hangers for kids' clothes, as well as my business card holders, especially the ones with Japanese motives on them. 

What are your favorite shops on Etsy?

I admire the most the items made out of virtually nothing, for example iasio's toys, Inameliart's illustrations and moligami's Japanese paper art.
I also like several stores selling art photography, especially the ones with Paris. Littlebrownpen is the store that first got me started on loving Paris.

If you'd like to find out more about Ania, feel free to check out her blog and her photo blog as well as follow her on Facebook.

If you enjoy this series and you are part of the Poletsy Team and would like to be the next one featured, please contact me via convo. Feeling Artsy


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