featured artist :: flight path designs

from the archives: 12.04.10

name: Naomi Joy Yamamoto
company: flight path designs
links: etsy | facebook | twitter

What do you make?
Handcrafted graphic leather goods

How did you get started?
Totally by fluke. I didn’t intend on getting into this! Seriously, I went to art school in Calgary where I did a Bachelor of Fine Arts. At the time I was doing installation based artworks, exploring social stigmas of identity. When I finished school I ended up sharing a studio with my friend Kari Woo who at the time was just beginning to go big into doing her silver jewelery line full time. I had a studio, was out of school and needed to figure out what to do with myself.

One day, totally by chance I ended up buying a piece of leather and felt so inspired by the material. Kari was super supportive and influential in getting me involved in the handmade movement. I started first making handbags and branched out into belts and buckles-which are the bread and butter of my business three years later.

photo credit: sharalee photography

What are your favourite materials to work with?
I really like any material that is organic and malleable-leather, felt, fabrics.

What is the hardest and most favourite part of crafting?
Hardest would be time management for me. I get easily distracted and can be easily swayed from doing what should be a priority. Favorite is having the time and space to come up with new designs. I love that part of this job. I find that its important for me to be constantly re-inventing my work to keep things fresh and interesting.

Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
Listen to your intuition, always do your research, take care of your body and soul, form a community of like minded individuals and keep inspired however you can.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
If I had to choose, I would say I approach my work as an artist, but I consider myself a designer foremost. Design is the big passion and source for my work.

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