Interview for Local Femme's pop-up market
My name is Rebecka Jonasson and I am a tattoo artist and maker from Västerbotten in Sweden. The English language has a very good descriptive word for what I do as I have a hard time sticking to one artform. "Maker". There is a large community on social media for those who identify as "makers" where craftsmen, artists, metalworkers and d-i-y-ers meet.
Since I was little I have been interested in art and storytelling in various forms and that was partly why I became a tattoo artist. But art came first. To draw and paint first on paper, then on skin.
A big advantage of working in such a creative profession is that it provides inspiration to do more. The interests that lay dormant got water through that inspiration. Scrap-metal, rust, rocks and nature grew with me and still do. But it can sometimes be difficult to put your finger on what influences your craft.
A year or so ago, I saw a Youtube video of a creator who made a fantastically fine side table with wood and welded steel.
In the video, he mentions Wabi-Sabi and I immediately became curious. It turned out to be something that not only described my inspiration but also largely my outlook on life. To appreciate the beauty of the imperfect, nature as inspiration, rust as something beautiful, gratitude, peace, happiness. So without going too deep into the Japanese saying, Wabi-Sabi, that's exactly what inspires.
I am grateful for how many people there are who want to share their experiences and knowledge. I have realized that there is a great community in it - not to hold too tight in what you can contribute, no matter how small. On various platforms, people around the world share valuable insights and knowledge. You no longer need a shiny diploma on a completed degree, you can make contacts and learn things from the couch while you create!
I have taken courses in, among other things, drawing, entrepreneurship and leadership, have a semi-completed university education in digital media and of course it has given me a lot! But I still have to say that in the end, the greatest knowledge and self-confidence still comes from other creative people. Youtube is a fantastic source of knowledge, podcasts with people who motivate one to dare to test is another. Instagram and Pinterest are two other sources of inspiration - do I dare to admit that I have over 1000 pins saved for just that? So if you feel compelled to start creating jewelry, painting or photography, start there. Gather knowledge and inspiration and listen to those who have done it before you - dare to try!
One of many role models for creating is Laura Kampf, a youtuber who mainly makes furniture and decor in wood and steel. Her videos are always entertaining and inspiring. It does not necessarily have to be that I make furniture or interior design, even if it´s
sometimes the case, but it is that she inspires the making itself. She does it honestly and with a contagious joy!
She's one of the reasons I started with Youtube videos. So thank you Laura!
Another great source of inspiration is the Crafting a Revolution podcast (formerly Maker Mom podcast) with Katie Freeman. She interviews various female and non-binary makers around the world and the episodes are always full of inspiration and interesting people. I have found many incredibly skilled creators through the podcast and really appreciate that there are people like her who want to share and highlight creators who might not otherwise have such a place. Kind of like this market from Local Femmes and the amazing people behind it!
Thanks to Katie, Stina and Therese for the important work you do!
So where does it all lead then? Everything creative and fumbling with brushes, grinders, cameras and scrap? My answer is - no idea! What I hope for is that by being a small part of the community that exists today can create new contacts and hopefully one and another friend. To be able to contribute to the inspiration and joy that live there and tell stories through my work. To be able to continue with what I love - to be creative and to create!
You may be holding a stone that has been carefully selected in the forests of northern Sweden, which has been sanded and polished and carefully followed through what you are doing now. Nature has echoed from the ground in the forest to my hands and into your life - for that, I thank you.