melissa loschy of loschy designs is our mid-week maker—creator of hand-stitched statement accessories (necklaces, bracelets and knuckle rings) with a self-ascribed “aesthetic of cleopatra meets judas priest and everything in between”. today’s maker will assure you that every wednesday needs a little howlin’ wolf (on your wrist, that is)….
born in sunny lake forest, orange county, california- my full name is melissa eileen loschy.
i was born into a very creative family. my dad enjoys woodworking and welding. my aunt can crochet or bake anything imaginable. my mom is just all around creative, and her mom (my grandma) taught me how to sew around age 7.
my grandpa loved to garden, paint, and his woodcarvings have always been a huge inspiration to me. i even have one of his pieces tattooed on my shoulder!
what do you make or do?
for the past few years, i have been concentrating on my line of hand-stitched and embroidered costume jewelry– using imagery that spans from viciously angry animals to digitally created kaleidoscopic images of architecture in russia.
it all started when i used to make collages from old book images and slowly transitioned them into pieces of jewelry.
where can we find your creations?
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
i have been “creating” since i can remember, but have been making jewelry for “loschy designs” since 2008.
i call it my “second full-time job” because i cannot bring myself to quit my day job. i love the freedom i have with my creations and as it’s not my main source of income, i can stay very true to making only the pieces that i feel inclined to.
monday through friday, i am a full-time art director and web developer for a business training company in the salon industry and i love it. i work with beautiful photography on a daily basis, brainstorm with an amazing team of people and i’m constantly learning new things. i even get to experiment with other forms of creativity like filming and video editing, which i never would have worked with otherwise.
what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
the biggest “obstacle” was myself, right after i graduated from college. i went on a trip to europe for a month and when i came back, i completely questioned my choice to become a graphic designer. i knew that in the “real world” i wouldn’t have as much freedom with design as i did in my college years.
a year of working for a company called roadtrip nation (i got paid to travel on an rv for 3 months to promote an educational series on pbs) and then becoming a studio manager for a professional artist quickly recharged my spirit and design creativity…i’ve never had a doubt about leading a creative life since.
did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
my parents: they’ve always encouraged my creativity and never put pressure on me to chose a different career path.
my grandpa and aunt: gave me so much creative inspiration and support.
my mentor/college professor/advisor claudine: even 5 years after graduation, i still check in with her every now and then. she taught me to think critically about design and made me realize that good design (and bad design) can, in fact, change the world.
what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
my dream would be to design a custom costume jewelry piece for a celebrity (like rhianna).
if money wasn’t an issue, how would your life change in regards to your art?
honestly, i don’t think a lot of things would change. maybe i’d live in a nicer place or drive a nicer car (and own double the amount of shoes i already own), but i’d still want to be doing what i’m doing now.
i feel like the work i’m doing in my “day job” and with my jewelry is good– and at the end of the day, i’m proud of both.
on the other hand, i guess if money truly weren’t an issue, i’d use solid gold in all of my pieces!
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives?
the advice that i give anyone in regards to creativity, is that sometimes you have to give yourself a break. for instance, after the holiday show season ends… i don’t allow myself to do anything in my studio for at least a couple days.
instead, i might try to bake something new, play music, etc…. sometimes inspiration can come from the strangest things (for me, it’s usually when i’m driving).
i also believe creativity should be interdisciplinary. it’s important to harness and practice different forms of art, techniques, styles…. you’ll never know if cake decorating might inspire your next illustrative masterpiece if you don’t try it!