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My name is Robin Gavie and I am 39 years old. I live in Sweden, on the countryside near the ocean on westcoast, with my wife, daughter and cats. I work as a teacher in primary school which I love and outside work I spend my time with my family and close ones.
I started my art as an adult, not many years ago. We gave our daughter some beads for Christmas and as I was helping her I felt this feeling of creativity and I continued beading after we put her to bed. I have always felt like a creative person but never found my way of expressing it, but I felt it instantly with the beads and wanted to explore it more further.
In the beginning I made very classical and easy pieces, like different game characters, and now about two years later my projects have got bigger and more advanced.
When I was a kid, I loved to play Nintendo and that “8 bit”-feeling of pixel art have always been both classical and nostalgic for me. Right now I make beadart out of pictures I see but as I develop my skills I look forward to try to create my very own patterns. What inspires my artwork is mostly everyday life – it can be a quote that speaks to me, beautiful sites in nature or cool places in the city, something that happened that I want to express somehow.
My first beadwork was something from Nes - MarioKart. Then when I started photographing my beadwork I did a hamburger which I put infront of my TV with a suiting background. I was quite happy about those kinds of pictures at that time, but I wanted to bring my life to my pieces so I began to photograph them outside. The boy with the bike is my first real piece.
The biggest piece I’ve made was about 30 boards big. I was so tired of it at the end, but the photo came out good so I’m happy I finished it. It is an abandoned house in the forest, a pattern from pixelartist @indieshilov (twitter)
My workspace is a big desk in a small space of our house. I have a big window and some of my beadarts on the walls. I like to keep it neat and pragmatic when I want to be creative, I actually don’t want to be surrounded with too many things instead I keep it more minimalistic.
The tools are Artkals 160-color palette, pegboards, ski waxing iron and a tweezer especially for beading.
Normally a project takes around 1 to 4 weeks from start to finish, depending on how big it is and how hard it is to find the right spot to photo it.
The first thing I do is to figure out what I want to do. I search for patterns, from pixelartists, crossstitches, old gamesprites or I create my own pattern in a program from pictures. When I then start beading I go into this feeling of flow, it is actually quite meditative to bead and it gives me time to think about how I want to photograph the artwork. Sometimes I know exactly up front how and where to take the shot, but sometimes I need to work with the piece and it kind of grows as the piece grows. After the beadwork is done I get to the ironing. I want it totally flat without visible holes and that means the ironing takes some time. I have tried many methods and now I only use a ski waxing iron.
The last part is to photograph and after I have found my location I need to find a good solution for how to hang, stand or lean the beadwork, which can be very tricky sometimes. In the picture of the cat you actually see a two-piece beadwork where I hung the two separate pieces on each side of the branch.
I love this part of the photoshoot, to find good solutions to let the artwork blend into the surroundings. The photoshoot takes from 5 minutes to 3 hours, the golden dancer took 3 hours because I waited for the perfect sunset.
Many tell me that they think my pictures and beadwork are full of life and soul, and they wonder how I do that. I guess I just follow my instinct on what I find to be beautiful, important and fun to create. People also ask me about my ironingtechnique and how I succeed with my ironing. I have found a good quality brand of beads Artkal which are easy to work with and iron according to the tejping-method, and only use a ski waxing iron. You need to give yourself time and practice a lot to find the method that suits you the best.
My favorite project is a ballerina dancer. I have this idea of working on themes, where I make four different beadworks that goes together. This was my first ballerina.
I love that my artwork gives me time to go out in our nature, I have seen so many beautiful sites. It is very relaxing to spend time outdoors. I also find beading to be very meditative, I go into this sensation of flow after a while and then I sit for hours at my desk.
One of my favourite moment is when I take shot after shot after shot, and then suddenly I just feel that I just took the perfect one.
I try to do what makes me happy😊
You can find me at my Instagram profile @skapamedparlor
Best regards Robin Gavie
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