By Kate Marsden
A few weeks ago we had a (two members of the) Just A Card team outing and visited the Etsy Market on the rooftop of John Lewis Oxford Street in London. We spotted lots of familiar faces and some new people too – but everything we saw was inspiring. Today I thought I’d bring you one of the artists we chatted to that day – meet Antje of PASiNGA…
Tell us a little about you. What do you do?
PASiNGA is an independent artist and designer-maker. Each creation is envisioned, designed and often entirely crafted by the artist herself celebrating uniqueness in every piece.
Founded in 2011 by the German but London, UK based artist Antje Nixdorf, who chose PASiNGA as her artist name. It describes what she loves and does: photography, art, design and her inspiration of everyday surroundings and modern architecture. An artisan brand known for minimalist photographic and sculptural concrete art, monochrome sustainable stationery and home accessories characterized by touches of pattern, timeless muted tones and dual purpose.
PASiNGA is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the Tent Exhibition and the simultaneous launch of concrete wall hangings as well as additions to the existing collections.
What does a typical day involve?
A typical day starts with coffee and ends with tea. Between is almost everything from answering emails, finishing orders, wrapping them and dropping them off as well as design work for custom requests and of course the crafting of new items.
Where do you work? What is your studio space like? What do you enjoy doing when you're not working?
My studio and work place is my home in London. I love my tiny corner and my garden shed to work in, it’s my creative hub. However, when I am not designing or crafting I am off with my camera, traveling the world or just enjoying the good company of friends and family.
What do you consider to be the main challenges facing designer makers at the moment?
Well, at the moment I think it is the changing market environment. It is worrying not to know what the European/world trade is going to look like and planning larger commissions within Europe has already led to a lot of questions. My answer so far is that, at the moment, I can ship almost everything and if I can’t ship it I will have to come and work on site.
What ambitions do you have for your business over the next few years?
As I am German I am not sure if I will be able to continue my work from London, but be it as it will be. It is my dream to have my own work and gallery shop one day. Simply an open creative place to enjoy, browse and inspire.
Do you have any tips for fellow designer makers/small business owners who are reading this and may be just starting out?
Be yourself and be it even more when everybody tells you otherwise. It is exactly what makes you different so keep it dear.
Please share any favourite independent shops/galleries and tell us why you like them.
I am not a big fan of shopping at all, but there are friends and artists I go to and shop when I’m looking for something special.
Pump House Gallery - Simply different, local and refreshing.
AgJc - minimalist handmade jewellery I just love.
Artistic Side of Life - Maya’s art couldn’t be more different from mine but her work is very inspiring to me.
Had you realised the Just A Card campaign message suggests cards as an example of a small purchase - we're about encouraging all sales as they keep businesses afloat?
Not at first when the tag came up every time I entered something with stationery. However, it became clear what the campaign was all about as soon as I checked the twitter details and followed from there.
The message is one speaking from my heart. Being an independent designer-maker or artist is the best thing I could ever have imaged to do, and a helping hand from family and friends or a campaign like this is an enormous support.