Les Petits Bonheurs - Tina Jensen of Tiny Bear Studios
Oh the wonders of Instagram, one day you scroll down through your feed, fall down a wonderful rabbit hole of inspiration and come out the other end buzzing with the discovery of exciting talent. This is what happened when I discovered the work of Danish mixed media artist, Tina Jensen who creates under the name, Tiny Bear Studios
Tina loves to work with "everything worn and faded – vintage lace, rusty bits and pieces, vintage photo albums, old stuff with a history." I love how she combines all her finds, transforming the smallest, torn and discarded morsels of old textiles to create something that will be treasured and loved once more. I wanted to find out more about what how she brings her creations together and of course take a snoop in her studio to see what treasures it holds - the stacks of old books, albums and layers of antique textiles do not disappoint - I want to reach out and leaf through the books, touch the soft, timeworn stacks of lace... dive in with me and meet Tina!
"I'm not quite sure when it all started actually. I´ve always had a passion for the old and worn stuff and have spent lots of time at the flea markets. I´m drawn to the faded old worn look and to all things old. Vintage lace, old photos, old buttons and sewing suppliers, worn old paper, old books – you get the idea. I started buying these things thinking they could be used for something, not knowing what exactly. I just thought it was too pretty to be thrown out. Now I use all my finds in my creations and love the idea of giving old stuff a new life in a new way."
"Small pieces of worn vintage lace – I loved the look. That was my first passion. Shortly after I started finding beautiful old worn books and couldn´t let them go. Old photo albums with faded photos inside too.
"Old photos from my own family – I need to keep them and some vintage textile pieces too. I´m having a hard time using stuff from my own family, but everything I find at fleas I use."
"I look for old faded stuff. I fall for the stuff that no one wants. Books that are torn, fabric and lace with rusty marks, everything faded, worn and miserable – that´s for me. I don´t look for a specific color theme, but always ends up with dusty faded colors. There´s no bright colors in my studio."
"I buy the stuff when I see it, to make sure it's going to be mine. Sometimes I know what I want to do with it and I start creating very shortly after bringing it home, but as often I have it for a very long time in my studio. I don´t always know what it's for – it's kind of difficult to explain, but I don't go hunting for stuff for specific creations. I hunt for that special look/feel and later on I know what i'm going to use it for."
"I have a tiny little room in our apartment that I use for my studio. I have all my supplies gathered here on open shelves. It inspires me to see all my stuff and that´s how new creations are born."
"I do have a few artists I have found online whose work inspires me, but most of my inspiration comes from the stuff I have in my studio and definitely from visiting flea markets, which I do almost every weekend during summer time."
"Sometimes I listen to music and sometimes I prefer the quiet. Depending on what I´m working on."
"It's very rare that I get a creative block, but when it happens I take a break for a few days, go out on walks and then start organizing my studio. Going through stuff – cleaning out. And then the inspiration comes back. This would be my best advice. Don't force it, let the mind flow and it will come back again."
"Flea markets – definitely"
"I'm happiest when I can get some creative time in my studio"
Do you sell in any other way that on etsy/your blog? How has e-commerce and social media changed the way you do business ; the human experience of salons/markets vs. the International global marketplace of Etsy.
"I'm doing a Christmas Craft Fair here in Denmark once a year. I would love to do more, but we don't have many options here. I would love to find a little gallery who would display my work. Social media has changed my creative life. Being able to connect with mind liked people from all over the world and being able to sell my creations all over the world too – I wouldn't change that for anything. That´s such a big part of my creative life."
"My work table in my studio"
"I'm not a collector as such, but have only collections of what I use in my creations"