Michelle Sanchez jewelry has a quiet allure that rejects fleeting affairs from the eyes of viewers and patrons. A designer for M!ecstatic Art & Jewelry, her free-flowing artistry is not relegated to her own projects. Something of a renaissance woman she works as a curator for Chimera Art & Culture Magazine, help to discover and promote new artists, and participating in a variety of local arts events. Cocktail Molly got the opportunity to serve Ms. Sanchez a few questions in between her various projects.
What are the specific duties performed by a curator of a magazine? (and if you would give a brief summary of what your magazine is about)
Chimera Art & Culture Magazine is a Houston-based magazine dedicated to sharing local art of all mediums and disciplines. We have recently released the third issue which focuses on Surrealism. It is the second print issue for which I’ve helped find the artists to be featured.
My work for Chimera began in 2014 when I was approached by Eduardo Herrera, a graphic designer and photographer, at Avant Garden- where you also discovered some of my work. (I guess that’s the beauty of Houston! It has all kinds of great havens for meeting creative people.) I have always wanted to have an excuse to pick the brains of all the creative people that I know, so the magazine gives me a chance to do this while simultaneously helping artists share their work. My role is to help find artists who are making an impact in the underground art world. Once we choose an artist to feature, Eduardo and I conduct video interviews with them, which can be found on YouTube.com/Chimerartmag.com. We also share local events related to art, along with other information on Facebook and the Chimera blog.
Of everything that I have done creatively, this is probably my favorite thing to be a part of because I feel that it is incredibly important to help artists document their work. I get a great sense of satisfaction helping others share their work because they are so passionate about what they do. I believe that great work deserves recognition. Also it is a place-marker in history – whether it be our personal history, the history of Houston, or culture at this time.
Tell the readers what inspires your sense of fashion and how it influences your creations of jewelry & crafts.
I have to give my mother credit for my interest in fabricating my own wearables. She would construct these beautifully intricate costumes for my sister when I was really young, so I would watch her do that and be impressed by her ability to create an entire outfit from scratch. It only makes sense that I would make my own accessories later. I sold purses that I custom made in high school sort of by accident and somehow ended up working with metal to create jewelry later on.
As far as fashion goes, I could probably tell you about five names of designers in the fashion industry to be honest, so I’m pretty faulty when it comes to “knowing” fashion. When it comes to inspiration though, I like to dive into other cultures. I love Indian, Arabic and Indonesian designs because everything is so intricate with details inspired by nature, patterns and even spirituality. I am also inspired by French and Italian style because everything is so tailored and sleek, and I never want my designs to be over the top or gaudy. I like to keep things classy by creating pieces that can be paired with anyone’s unique style whether it be a cocktail dress, a t-shirt, or nothing at all!
How long does it take to create an item?
Mm, my ideas vary so the time it takes to make something varies. On average a ring can take an hour or two, but other pieces may take me a day or week depending on how intricate the design is.
Do you have a particular method to perform your work? Is there a routine or just free-flowing inspiration?
I like to describe my sense of design as being inspired by “chaos, nature, free forms, and loose thoughts!” I think it’s a pretty accurate reflection of my mind. I have a wide variety of ideas that somehow link together. I usually just pick up some metal and start forming a piece, and eventually I start to have a vision of what the piece will become. Most of the time I have a color scheme I want to use and work around that. I rarely draw out what I want to create. Any drawings I do are usually ideas that come to me right before I fall asleep, so I have to record the idea before I forget it in the morning.
What shows will you be involved in next. Will you be concentrated in the Greater Houston and Texas regions or will you be expanding to do shows in other cities and states?
Houston is my headquarters, but I do ship internationally from my website.
I’m originally from Georgia, so I would like to have my work distributed there as well at some point. For now, I work through the website and participate in local events, but I am currently working on new designs that I will present to different local distributors. We’ll see what happens! You can find me April 12 for Mini Pops Monthly, an event put on by Pop Shop America & Pavement Clothing (1657 Westheimer St, Houston, Texas 77006) I will be there with a handful of other creative people.