Ever since I was a child, I've been drawn towards the fantastical, the mystical and magical. My father read me Tolkien and introduced me to table top RPGs when I was old enough to understand how it worked, opening up a world of imagination and creativity for me, in which I still frequent. Although I'm a city girl, through and through, this world also awakened the love of nature in me, and I always cherish the serenity natural landscape provides.
Tell us a bit about yourself
With tons of projects going all the time as well as being an extremely social creature, I'm generally a very busy bee. I'm an active cosplayer, so I spend a lot of time and money on making costumes and going to conventions. I'm also a singer / songwriter, and occasionally do some gigs now and then. (If you're curious about my music, you can find it on my SoundCloud account: www.soundcloud.com/ingrid-windsland )
I have and acting degree (I did a BA Hons at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Art), but acting is a tough business, and perhaps even more so in little Norway, so, although I'd love to work with it, I've had to choose financial stability over that dream, but should an opportunity present itself, I would jump on it!
Other than that, I love doing archery (although I rarely get to practice it) and I go to the occasional LARP (Live Action Role Play) now and then. I also go to the gym two to three times a week doing cardio and strength. I'm part of two table top RPG (Role Playing Game) campaigns, and I also love PC games such as Dragon Age and Morrowind.
Tell us a bit about your business, how did you decide to start an Etsy shop?
Sewing is something I've done for ages, and, along with my music, it's something I would have a very hard time giving up on. I sew a lot of my own clothes, and in recent years, I've gotten a lot of people asking me if I sell what I sew, and that's how my Etsy shop started out. It's still very much in its humble beginnings, but it would be a dream come true if I could actually live off selling things that I sew for my shop, or even just do it part time. Currently, however, it's something I manage to squeeze in after work hours here and there, so it's taking some time to build it up, especially as it's competing for time with my music work.
What inspires you?
Nature, literature, art, film and music are my biggest sources of inspiration. Anything that has an air of mystery, fantasy, history, and myth about it tends to catch my eye. I love warm, Autumnal colours, dark and twisted things, wax candles, occultism and round but heavy fragrances and tastes. I adore folk music and music with folk elements, as well as bluegrass, blues, jazz and classic rock. Hours upon hours have been deliciously wasted on movies and TV series in the fantasy, Gothic horror and urban fantasy genre, and I love going to Viking and Medieval fairs for creative input as well as supplies.
What is the best thing about what you do?
The best thing must be that it's all something I find immense joy in doing. A lot of love and a little bit of my soul goes into everything I make and being able to share it with others increases that joy.
What is the worst thing about what you do?
That I can't live off it exclusively, at least not as things are today.
Do you like to listen to music while you work?
Definitely! I have a very broad and eclectic taste in music, from Hozier to Springsteen, Loreena McKennitt to Opeth, Black Sabbath to Alison Krauss, Daft Punk to Bear McCreary, Trent Reznor to David Arkenstone. One day I might be listening to the sound score from Call of Duty: Black Ops and the day after I'll be singing "Let it Go" along with Idina Menzel. ^_^
I love to meet other people with eclectic music tastes! (Ed.)
How has Fantasy culture inspired you?
Ever since I read Elfquest in my childhood, I've loved the whole "elven" look, from flowing skirts, jagged leather tops and all the colours of the forest, and with films such as the LotR trilogy and TV series such as Game of Thrones, this has only grown. My personal style is heavily soaked in it and I adore the aesthetics of it. For me, it's a way to let magic linger in this otherwise rather dull and dreary world. ;)
A kindred spirit! That is how I feel! (Ed.)
How do you find time to create things?
I have a full time day job, which takes care of my financial needs, but it does leave me with a very limited amount of time to spread across all my interests and hobbies. I usually make lists and set weekly goals for my self to keep things organized. I also combine sewing with other activities as much as possible, so my rpg groups often find me stitching while I play, and I when I've set aside time for sewing, I usually have a TV series running in the background, or listen to an audio book while I'm at it. But I never really have enough time, and sometimes all plans fly out of the window in favour of some quality "Me Time". ;)
Thank you so much to Ingrid for taking the time to answer my questions, it has been lovely learning more about you and your creations! Many faery blessings!