Thursday, 8 September 2011

Introducing...Malin de Koning

Welcome to the second in my new blog series - Introducing....This week it features a familiar face to many of you - Swedish jewellery artist Malin de Koning. Without further ado, I'll pass over to her.....
Hi there, before you start reading, I just want to say that Rebecca told me I could be as verbose as I like. Perhaps she regrets that now. Coz I can really go on you know. Anyway, I am very honoured for being interviewed here, and I thought the questions were fun and interesting, and they really inspired me. Thank you so much Rebecca!

Q1. How long have you been creating, and what led you to begin?
A1. I have always been creating. Since I first could hold a pen or put Hama beads on pegboards. I used to put way much more energy on the making of the houses for my Barbies, than doing the role playing games or changing clothes. I would believe there are quite a few of you who's reading this, who know exactly what I am talking about ;-). I remember getting rushes of satisfaction and pleasure, from drawing or combining beads, already when I was 4. 

Basically I think I did something artistic every single day throughout my whole childhood. Most often drawing, but also other things.

I started taking art evening classes, besides my ordinary school/high school/college, at the age of 15. Paying for them myself, with the money I earned working on holidays and weekends. It never crossed my mind to ask my parents for the money. It was my own thing. It's a bit fascinating thinking about it now, looking back. None of my friends were into art at all. I just had this drive, this urge all by myself. And then it has sort of continued from there. 

But I have always been dual in a way. One side of me is scientific (or whatever I should call it). I am very much into science and maths and stuff like that. The other is artistic. And then there is actually also a third side, which is the one caring for people and humanity. So I ended up studying Industrial Design. A perfect combination of the three. 
Lately I have had a few reasons to look back at my path in life, and especially on the artistic one. I realize now that there has probably never been any alternatives for me. Working with colour and form has been a must for me. I have done loads of painting also. That is a big passion of mine. But I can't do it anymore. Or work professionally as a designer. I have MS and am fully retired due to many disorders that has developed over time (it really sucks, to be honest!). So I got into jewellery instead, about three years ago, as a hobby. I love it. I see it as I am just continuing what I have been doing before, but in a different format or medium. And there is so much to learn and experience still. I love learning new things, exploring, and experimenting with colours, shapes, materials, textures and so on. 

And another dimension added is the contact with the online beading community, that I also really really love.

Q2. Why do you get out of creating -- be that emotionally, physically, mentally? {n.b. When I sent out my questions to Malin, I accidentally typed 'why' at the beginning of this question, rather than 'what'. So Malin answered this mistyped question but actually in a round about way has also answered my intended question!)
A2. What an interesting question! Hm, let me think. I am trying to think of a period in my life when I have not been creating in some way for a while, short or long. Honestly - I can't think of any! That's why I think it has been a must for me my whole life. I will always find new ways of making it possible for me, no matter what. In fact that is exactly the case with my jewellery making. Ha, and now I just remembered. When I was in my early twenties I worked a lot - a LOT - in periods, waitressing in restaurants, or other typical young age jobs. Even so, I would still keep my hands busy with drawing most days. I did it as I was watching TV, drawing what I saw on the screen. The news and stuff like that. Just anything. Multi-tasking indeed it was :-) .

Today I know creating is one of the best medicines for me for all kinds of problems. Feeling ill, having had a quarrel with someone, being angry, disappointed, tired, moody. If I feel lost in life in general or considering a specific topic, creating is a fantastic way for me to ease my mind from the difficulties. And during the creating time my system is still processing what's going on (in the back of my mind), and in the end I will come up with a good enough way of handling it, and being able to move forward.

And when I feel happy and good, I also want to create ... so you see ...

{Note from Rebecca: I own this necklace! Love it.}
Q3. What do you find inspiring?
A3. Anything and everything! Life, people, art, nature, creativity in others, music, science, humour, animals. Anything any of my senses perceive. Fresh air, the changing of the seasons, travelling (even if I can't do it so much anymore). I get very inspired when someone excel in their performance, whatever it may be. Like if someone is a really good car driver for instance, however strange it might sound (?). When people are engaged and make an effort to do something good I get inspired. Clever people who think in good ways inspire me. Someone being very witty gives me energy. My children inspire me loads, and more and more the older they get. They really amaze me sometimes with their own creativity, and persistence to complete what they came up with. Mark. My friends. Love and friendship.

Q4. Describe your workspace -- are you lucky enough to have a studio set up, or are you like me and work in odd corners of your house?
A4. I used to have a corner of our lounge as my own working area. Now since last summer I think, or was it the summer before? Or the fall? Anyway, since some time ago, I have my own room in the house. A little studio. However still in need of some changing of the arrangements to make a truly good working space for me. It might be happening during the coming months if I am lucky. Unfortunately I can no longer do any such things myself. Had I not had the dysfunctions from MS that I have, it would have been ready and done long time ago. That is very frustrating. I like to do!
I am very happy for my studio. It's a luxury really.

Q5. What are your favourite materials to work with and why?
A5. I like to work with and combine all different kinds of materials. That is really a key ingredient for me in my jewellery making. But I must also mention the art beads. They are my passion! Most of my jewellery pieces include at least one art bead.

Recently some old friends from design college came visiting, and they wanted to see my studio. I saved the best until last, my collection of art beads, thinking they would get as excited as I am about these little pieces of artistic perfection. And that we would have to mop the floor afterwards. However ... I don't think they really got it ... and I realize I came across as a proper and utter nerd ... but ... c'est la vie ... :-). I am very happy that I now know a few other nerds out there. Bless you all!
Q6. Do you have a favourite bead or supplies shop you could share with us?
A6. Oh, I shop at many many different shops. For variation. Ornamentea, LimaBeads, FusionBeads, BijouxBeads UK, BeadShopScotland, HappyMangoBeads to mention just a few. And Etsy of course.

A few less famous ones, good for gemstones and semi-precious, would be or and

I find it really important how the interface is designed on the online bead shops. There are a few which I know are very popular with other beaders, but I just can't stand manouvering around on them. So I always leave after a while, even if I know they have things I really would like, or need.
Q7. If you were to draw attention to a favourite designer or artist, who would it be and why?
A7. I have to say Lorelei Eurto! I can't get over how very productive she is. And she seems to design with such ease. She must work very fast when she is assembling, and I know also with very high quality. And basically everything she does is so extraordinary nice. Always inspiring. I bow myself in admiration to her. I really do. She really is something else, and such a very important force in the beading community. Very generous with sharing her sources, and with techniques. And I love her challenges.

{Necklace from Malin's entry into one of Lorelei's challenges}
Thank you very much for enduring reading all this text about me. 

Thanks so much Malin for taking the time to answer my questions, I've loved finding out about you and your jewellery! Check out

Malin's Blog
Malin's Shop

If you have enjoyed this post, why not check out my original with New Orleans jewellery artist, Heidi Post.


Marcie Abney Carroll said...

Wonderful post on Malin! I'm so jealous of her bead stash!

Jo said...

A great interview! I loved seeing the photos of Malin's studio.

TesoriTrovati said...

Such a delightful and insightful interview! I love getting to know my beady friends better and she is one of the best out there. Thank you for sharing Malin with us!
Enjoy the day!

Unknown said...

Malin is her Own self and so creative! I love her Vlogs! Shes so funny. Beautiful picture of her! Nice interview!

Anonymous said...

I am so envious of Malin's studio! It looks like a shop, so luxurious!

Anonymous said...

So fun reading this!! I got a little peek into Malin's mind! I like that! Thanks for a great interview, Songbeads! And Yay, Malin, you rock! :)

Heidi Post said...

Malin expresses herself so well. Not just in terms of creativity, but in her thoughtful and thorough answers. I do love her jewelry, and I can definitely relate to many of her answers here. Especially the Barbie stuff. I would make them clothes or home accessories, etc.

I love your interview series, Rebecca. Who's next?

Anonymous said...

Super interview!

Like the view of the studio. Where do you keep your beads in? In little glass or plastic containers?


My Life Under the Bus said...

Oh Malin I love your studio what a happy spot!!!

Linda said...

Thank you for this lovely interview with Malin. I admire her work so it was fun getting to know her better.

Unknown said...

I Really. Really. Really love Malin.


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