Today's Wonder is fresh off the celebrity boat, having been featured as a Win a Day on the Blog winner last week over at the Hero Arts blog. This is a very coveted spot and only open to six artists every quarter - and this is from a pool of over 2,000 members, so that should tell you something about her creative abilities.
Please meet Maria Fika Evalina, better known to many of us simply as Fika.
So does anyone else think our little beauty is like... fourteen? I'm going to include a second picture of Fika because it's so fabulous:
Fika lives in Indonesia. Did you know the name Indonesia derives from the Latin Indus, meaning "India", and the Greek nesos, meaning "island"? Did you further know Indonesia consists of 17,508 islands, about 6,000 of which are inhabited? With a population of around 230 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country, and supports the world's second highest level of biodiversity (Brazil is #1). And the people are as diverse as the flora and fauna: there are approximately 300 distinct native ethnicities in Indonesia, and 742 different languages and dialects!
The influences of Fika's culture and physical surroundings are something I envy. Her eyes were raised in an environment that is very different from mine. She's surrounded by a myriad of color combinations and design sensibilities that are much more exotic and visually stimulating than those found in my white bread world. So often when she creates it's like a breath of fresh air. Like this colorful marvel:
Fika can use the color red as a grounding "neutral" and the result is a vibrant, energized visual treat! (If I tried to pull this off it'd just end up looking like a bloodbath - no pun intended.) A Fika trademark is her attention to detail. Check out those bath bubbles, for instance!
Or how about this beautiful (and very clever) work of art? She made this by recycling some product packaging! Just look at all these beautiful bursts of color! And, again, look at all the details - from the "sand" to the gem "bubbles" to the little tiles representing sea plants! And I love how she used that background stamp - I never would have thought as an underwater background, but it's perfect! (Using a stamp in a non-traditional way is another one of Fika's tricks, btw.) About the only thing wrong with this birthday card is that the present will definitely be taking a backseat!
Show me a little girl who wouldn't squeal when she opened this? On second thought, show me a big girl who wouldn't do the same! Fika also gets out of the world of flat paper to make these exquisite dolls:
I don't know if she sells these on Etsy, but I suspect she ought to.
I'm certainly not the only one who feels Fika's work is praiseworthy. She's won quite a few accolades in the Hero Arts weekly blog challenges: HA Website Inspiration (3rd Place); Sneaky Inspiration (Honorable Mention); Photocard (3rd Place); Unexpected Holiday Color Challenge (1st Place); and Catalog Sneak Peek (1st Place). And, as I already mentioned, she was in the most recent batch of Win a Day winners. Although she has yet to be published, I think that will be a thing of the past in the near future. (I bet if she submitted that little doll card above to Cards magazine it might even make the cover. I mean, talk about original and fresh!)
Fika's got a very nice studio space. When I saw her desk, my eyes widened, but I was not surprised after considering its owner. Fika strikes me as being the sort of tidy and careful person who could have a glass desktop!
She also has some sort of a cabinet unit for her supplies and tools. I wish I had a picture of the whole thing, but you can tell it's a very cool piece of furniture.
Well, let's get to the good stuff, shall we? With no further ado, please raise your Diet-Cokes to Maria Fika Evelina, a Grand-Duchess of Detail!
I never pre-sketch a design. I love daydreaming about my future cards, and just creating them based on my imagination or challenge requirements. It takes 2-6 hours to make a card. I rarely make a page, but if my photocard counts, I spent 8 hours making it.
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
I usually make 2 or 3 cards at the weekend, but sometimes only one - it depends on my creative mojo.
3. How has your process evolved to make you a leaner, meaner crafting machine? (In other words, what are some lessons you've learned or tips you can share that allow you to make better and faster design choices?
I have three tips to share: First, more practice (like the old saying, “practice makes perfect”). :~D Second, you must know what is your speciality or style and make it shine -just do what you love and love what you do. Third, learn more techniques and get inspiration from the Hero Arts blog and Flickr group or from other super-talented stampers’ blogs.
All sounds good to me!
4. What's your stand-by, FAST dinner solution for those times when you really want to get to your scrap space ASAP (or stay ALAP)?
It’s instant noodles - even my DH can cook it by himself in less than 5 minutes. Or I just call in a delivery order from the nearest restaurant.
5. If you were stranded on an island that had a billion supplies but NO tools, what ten TOOLS would you HAVE to have? (All the stamps in the world are available, so you don't need to list them as one of your tools. EX: we've got all the embroidery floss in the world, but you're going to have to bring your own needle if you want to use any of it!)
I would bring my Cuttlebug (in my real life I don’t have this - I use my dies manually - but on a dream island I hope I have it), scissors (small and large size), cutter, ruler, heat gun, craft punches, pencil, acrylic block, sponge and my Copic markers.
6. If you were still on that island, what kind of noise would you want (if any) in the background? List as many as five different favorite musical artists.
I love to hear various songs (pop, jazz, a bit of rock) but my favorite is love songs. I also like some natural sounds like the sound of waves or birds or a waterfall. I love so many artists, such as Richard Clayderman, The Corrs, Celine Dion, Savage Garden, Il Divo, Josh Groban, Christian Bautista, Lady Gaga, oops it’s more than five… ;)
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
I want to go to the USA; attend CHA; visit the Hero Arts company; meet and learn from the Hero Arts artists; and craft with my Hero Arts Flickr group friends. (I even dreamt about it! In my dream I got an invitation from Hero Arts to visit their company together with my best friend Vera. All tickets and accommodations were provided.)
*Grin* That's a pretty sweet dream to have, alright!
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
Sewing, masking, and creating masculine cards. It’s so hard for me necause my head is full of pinkish stuffs.... LOL!
Okay - I had to laugh when I read that because I got this picture of your head with cotton candy poking out of your ears. But I suppose you mean you really like using the color pink?
9. What cameras have you tried, which one is your favorite, and why? (You can shorten this to just the one you're using now if you like.)
My Sony Cyber Shot DSC-T2 is my first camera, and I love it because it’s small, handy, and has a micro function.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
11. Give us a quick description of your pets.
I don’t have any pets right now, but when I was a child, I had a dog named Bonnie. He had big brown eyes and white fur and was so loyal; he always waited for me at the door of my house until I came back from school.
12. Give us a quick description of your job.
I work as an accountant at a TV station. Every day I play with lots of numbers - in my job meticulousness is so important. Lots of pressure and working long hours also are required at the closing period and especially at this time when several colleagues and bosses leave us.
13. Give us a quick description of you family.
I’m a wife. My husband’s name is Widya. We were co-workers when I worked as an auditor in my previous company. It’s the third year of our marriage. I love him so much as he’s so patient, understanding, caring and supportive of me in everything I do.
14. Got a fun or little known fact about yourself you’d like to share?
I can sleep anywhere, (in the car or bus while sitting or standing) and I love sleeping with my Hero Arts catalog or stamps and dream about them.
Now that's a true fan! If anyone in the Hero Arts marketing department is reading this, I recommend a photo Fika curled up asleep with her arms wrapped around her HA catalog!
15. What’s your favorite stamping technique?
Cutting the images, coloring and layering…
16. What do you find more satisfying - the process or the product?
I think both of them are related to each other. Good products and a good creative process equal an awesome result.
I sooooo agree!