VERONICA MAE // A Heritage Christmas
How has your family affected you as a creative individual? Having been brought up in a creative family, my interest to pursue design as a career was never stifled. I have family members that are photographers, fine artists, landscape architects, graphic designers and musicians, which always enhanced and encouraged my creative passions. My family has given me a very broad scope of ways to express myself as a creative individual because I have experienced art and design in so many different mediums. I was also never limited to something in a box. My family was always creating art through our family life in things like music and cooking as a family. It wasn't just about art in general, but a creative family experience.
How have you developed your own identity as a creative in a creative family? I think that not being afraid to highlight things that I feel I may have a unique perspective on has helped. It’s easy for people to disregard what they process and experience every day and not consider it as something unique because it’s their life and they experience it. For me, I like to notice the things that are unique to my life and experiences every day. I also am in love with textures and layers. Let me explain–I love to embrace life on a microscopic level, and appreciate parts of my life that aren’t meant to be on display and use them in my art to develop my personal identity and unique lifestyle.
// Here's more on Veronica as a creative individual //
How does your heritage influence your design? So, I am Swedish from my mom and Scotts-Irish from my dad. Because of my last name being so noticeably Irish, my heritage was something I was always aware and proud of. It wasn't until I was studying as an undergrad that I started to appreciate where design/art comes from and how, by instinct, I am drawn to different styles because of my heritage. I find that I not only look to the cultural designs from the past, but also to the current cultural designs. The rugged, rustic, and bold aspects of my designs are definitely inspired by my heritage, especially my Irish heritage, which tends to be naturally more creatively expressive. I have a creative personality that says “run to the hills” & “break all the rules” which is because of both my love for nature and my heritage.
How does your family celebrate Christmas? With Swedish dishes and Irish drinks!!! Honest! And instead of focusing on purchasing gifts for others and receiving gifts from them, we draw names in August and create handmade presents for the person who we picked. This makes the gift giving completely thought out and original. It also makes the gift giving really exciting, and adds a sense of mystery to Christmas because people are scoping out what you may need and are trying to be sneaky about the gift they are making for you. It can be challenging to think up the perfect gift, but its so much fun! Especially when you get someone like John (brother-in-law) because he likes guitars, Star Wars and fishing lures and that’s about it ;)
What did you give/get last year? This last year, my dad drew my name and I drew my dads name so it was that much more special. I gave my dad his present first. I made and rebranded a game of Yatzee. This means I developed a new logo, score sheets, box, dice, the works. Our family calls all the categories by wrong names like: deuces for 2’s, full hours for full house, and crap for chances. I used these names on the scorecard so it was extra special to us. The dice I made of zebrawood. I cut them in the garage with a handsaw so they aren't quite a perfect cube, but they work ;) haha! It was a fun, family oriented gift and I was able to use my skills as a designer and knowledge of materials to make the game, which made it that much better!
My dad made me a Sporran, which is a bag Scottish men wear so they have a “pocket” (because they wear kilts). He did the hunting, killed the deer, used the hide, and made me the bag. He used the antlers as charms on the bag and for the clasp as well. This bag was especially precious to me because it came from my father and included aspects of my heritage.
Favorite Holiday food/drink?
Food: Ummm, I would say that anything ginger is the best, like gingerbread cookies! Yum.
Drink: Probably just anything warm that has Irish Baileys in it, just to bring the heritage thing full circle ;) could be peppermint Baileys too. That stuff is good!