We all know a good boogie is great for the mind and soul, but for artist and dancer Carmen Reina it is so much more.
We asked Carmen the all-important questions about her work and how she got into pin-making.
Did you study Creative Arts at University?
I studied architecture in Spain and when I later moved to Berlin I became more and more interested in graphic design. Later on, I studied Visual Communication at the University of the Arts, which gave me a great framework (and a lot of freedom) to explore my own style. Now I work as a freelancer on editorial design projects and creating illustrations for magazines and books.
What inspires your work?
Apart from design and illustration, what I like best is dancing. I have been dancing swing for many years and now I am getting more interested in contemporary dance and afrohouse, which is inserting a new body language into my work. I aspire to illustrate as I dance, and dance as I illustrate.
What made you want to create enamel pins?
Enamel pins remind me of my childhood. As a child, I had a great collection and I carried my favorites (a detailed train model and a figurine of Tintin) on my little jeans jacket. Therefore now I am especially happy to design my own.
What pin design are you most proud of?
I love all the designs I have made so far, but what really makes me proud is when my friends wear them and send me pictures.
But if I have to choose one, it would be The Healer, because I made it after I went through a rough patch and it depicts the space inside a hug. This is why I often give it as a present to friends that have helped me in the process of healing.
Any advice for anyone that is thinking of starting their own independent brand/pin designs?
The biggest challenge of designing a pin is to tell a story in a very reduced space. I find it really interesting that a pin can be as communicative as a poster but in the size of a stamp.
What is your favourite pin design at the moment?
Do you have any favourite designers?
One of my favorites from my personal collection is the little 70s flower that says “Give a Damn” from Greenwich Letterpress, which I got on my first trip to New York at the amazing Strand Bookstore. I just love when pins are so well produced that they become a piece of jewelry.
Any big plans for the future?
Any cool collaborations lined up that we should watch out for?
I have started designing t-shirts on Everpress, which has been on my bucket list for a long time. Hopefully, it works out well, wish me luck!
We're certain Carmen will do great in the Tshirt printing scene! And think its absolutely amazing that she is able to translate her hobbies and passions into her work.
If you would like to have a go at turning your art into a wearable "stamp-sized piece of jewelry", take a look at our custom order form or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can turn your ideas into a reality.