Featured Artist Christina of Wings N Scales
I am sure that there are many girls out there that can relate to being born “daddy’s second son” which is how Christina first began dabbling in the world of creativity. Born in Santa Maria,California, she spent hours along side her father working on cars and raising her with the mantra “when something broke, we fix ‘em!” In addition to the types of garage work you would expect, he allowed her to express herself by painting on his race jeep. They also purchased her an inexpensive camera which fostered a passion for photography. Being allowed to express herself getting her hands dirty is something Christina has carried with her throughout her life.
Christina married her sweetheart sailor at a young age and together they raised two young men; one who just completed his Master’s degree in International Policies and the other who is working on his Bachelors. This hands on mom got her degree in Cosmetology as a back up plan to her husband’s income. After a time, carpel tunnel syndrome cut this career choice short. In order to avoid surgery, she switched gears and became a Para Educator in Special Education and has been working for the county for almost 19 years.
After leaving Cosmetology, Christina knew that she needed a creative outlet so she picked up a paint brush which soon became a best friend. She has worked in water colors and oils and later moved into soldering and mixed media arts included her beloved glass bottle dolls. These dolls came about by accident when cleaning out her craft space (how many of us can relate to that one!) and finding small glass bottles with corks in them that she had bought and packed away. The idea to take all of her talent for painting and mixed media art and transform these bottles into small works of art was born.
Prior to the internet, Christina sold her treasures at craft shows as well as holding a spot in a consignment store for several years. Local selling was fine, but with the invention of the internet and the sudden availability of customers from all around the world, Wings N Scales was born.
During her time at craft shows, Christina quickly discovered that the booths that seemed to receive the most traffic were the jewelry booths. Never one to just sit back and watch, Christina jumped in herself. In order to stand out, Christina needed to do something a bit different from everyone else…the answer? Bullets? Bet you didn’t see that coming but this is actually how I found her to begin with! This creative powerhouse takes bullet casings and draws and etches on them before transforming them into completely unique works of wearable art! She transforms a plain casing, with a rather utilitarian look on its own, and works her magic which must be seen to be believed.
Christina is happy to pass along what she has learned throughout her adventures to other artists considering jumping in to sell their own handmade art. Her first piece of advice to admit you are “crazy to start an online shop” and then go for it! Make sure you have something that stands out from the crowd and is your own style. She also reminds new artists that they are selling online and the only way to do that is with amazing pictures, so grab that camera and work on your pictures until they are clear and bright and show all the amazing detail you work so hard to put into your work. Use all the resources you can and research everything from online selling tips to new art techniques you can incorporate into your own work as well as use social media to network, which Christina admits to being her weak point and tough with a full time job and family.
Are you ready to see what this amazing lady with and eye for design and a creative spirit can do? She is easy to find on HandmadeArtists as well as on Etsy. She has her own stand alone website which she built herself as well as her Facebook page and Blog.