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We launched our #Auvertureunited initiative in March, to raise funds for independent designers impacted by the corona virus crisis. This will see Auverture donate three months’ proceeds to the Auverture Designer Fund, which is now open for individual donations, too.
As part of the campaign, we’re asking designers within the Auverture family how they’re tackling these challenging, unprecedented times. Last week, Nikos Koulis explained how designing, ancient greek philosophy and running (among many other things) help him stay creative and positive.
Here, we talk to Daniela Villegas. Originally from Mexico, Daniela now resides in Los Angeles. Her fascinating designs take inspiration from nature, with a cornucopia of jewel-toned butterfly and beetle specimens displayed in glass cases on her studio walls. Many of Daniela’s pieces are one-of-a-kind, and draw on symbols of spirituality and mysticism. Among the designer’s standout creations is the Khepri Ring, fashioned as a stag beetle that represents the Egyptian god Khepri, set with precious stones. And the Unelanuki Ring is a beautifully ornate piece set with chrysoberyl, sapphires, and diamonds, which takes its name from the Cherokee sun goddess.
Read on for Daniela’s take on finding creativity, calm, and inspiration amidst this new normal.
“The daily focus is to do things that bring happiness and a sense of peace in our lives”
Auverture: Can you talk about any strategies or activities that are helping you stay positive during these difficult times?
Daniela Villegas: I have an eight-month-old baby at home, so every day brings different challenges. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking, arts and crafts, making toys for my baby, doing a lot of sketches and doodles, reading tons of books, organising the house, doing meditations in the mornings, listening to some podcasts, trying to exercise, having picnics in our garden. The daily focus is to do things that bring happiness and a sense of peace in our lives. There’s so much chaos right now that I want to do things that bring joy to our hearts. I want to create a positive and fun environment around the baby and ourselves. To be conscious about the situation with a sense of gratitude in everything we do.
A: What daily rituals and routines do you find helpful?
– Reading books to my son Balthazar and always finding time to do some reading of my own. Reading brings me a sense of calm and helps me to disconnect.
– To cook healthy meals for the family that are good for the immune system, and as an outlet for creativity.
– Hugging my dog, Tito.
A: At times like this, does your creative process bring you comfort?
DV: I use jewellery as an outlet to express my emotions and dreams. Then I translate these abstract experiences into ideas for the new pieces, which I sketch as a first step of their manifestation. That is my creative process, and it is definitely soothing and comforting in these complicated moments. To know that this moment will bring a new perspective and frequency to my work is something that helps me thrive to be better, braver, and more curious of my surroundings and the symbolism around us. It provides an opportunity to go beyond and explore all possibilities.
A: We’re all now living a less social existence – do you think that’s meant you can focus on different aspects of your work, or perhaps look into new ideas?
DV: I am always exploring and creating new ideas. I feel that these difficult times are giving us the opportunity to explore and go deeper in the creativity process. More meaning in everything we do. Life is so fragile and a beautiful gift, I want to create new pieces having those thoughts in mind, that they evoke the power of “being present” in our existence.
A: Can you share with Auverture’s readers anything that you’re looking to for hope in these tough times?
DV: I look for love in everything I do. Love in what feeds my mind, soul, and body, love in what I say, love in what I do. Of course, there are moments that I’m nervous and stressed, but the moment that I realise that fear is blurring my daily life, I start doing something that brings a sense of love to my life. It could be painting, designing, cooking, reading a book, watching a movie, Facetime with the family, or Houseparty with my friends. I am certain that we will become stronger all together after this situation. The importance of not taking for granted simple things…to enjoy life at its fullest should become a permanent goal in our lives.