Irina Kunakh, Teddy-bear artist
31.01.2014 1012 0.0 0

I was born and grew up in a hot and sunny Uzbekistan - the country of bright colours, noisy bazaars and merry people...

As far as I can remember I have always created something. Floristics, making pictures from coloured rice, makrame, knitting, tatting, cross-stitch, sewing up toys and clothes - here is an incomplete list of my childhood hobbies. But, though it is surprising, I got to know about Teddy bears only in January, 2008. It was then that I made my first bear by a master-class found on Internet… and I was lost. This amazing activity caught me so tight I can’t imagine my life without it.

I use different materials to create my works. Mohair, alpaca, cotton, viscose, plush - I use everything that is nice to look at and to touch, that awakes my fantasy and make my heart bounce. It is difficult even for me to identify the style of my works.  It is simply because I am interested to try everything - so I do try! I have classical bears, and modern ones, strange ones and bears that look like real ones, funny souls and romantics, babies and grown-ups.  But, when I look at them I smile and feel happy. They help me come back into my childhood, light and care free, - even for a little while. And that is the most important thing that unites them. Maybe, it is "my style” after all.

In the beginning of my creative path, just like all the beginners, I was worried about how to make an ideal pattern of the bear I can see so clearly in my mind. But, to my greatest dissappointment, the transition from a 3D image to a 2D flat pattern wouldn’t go so easily for me. And I didn’t like the variant to sew first and then to correct the test layout. I wanted to sew bears and not to throw them away in the dustbin. And it was then that play-do came to help. Rhymes, fairy-tales, nice music, childhood memories plus sleepless nights - and here it is, a ready play-do layout of a future bear. You only have to use it and make your patterns - and bring it to life. With the years going by I have improved my "method”, and now I regularly give seminars and teach it to everyone who wishes. Thanks to these seminars I have met lots of interesting people and have been to different places of our country. I am proud of my students’ success and watch their artistic growth with great pleasure because I have also invested in it a bit!

Once I was asked such a question: "When does creativity become art?”

And indeed, when does it?

When you live your business.

When your work is a holiday and pleasure you can’t leave for a second.

When things you make resonate in the soul of others.

Making people happy - that is art indeed!

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