How Artfully Artless is crafting death back to life

Artfully Artless is an independent business based out of Calgary, Alberta run by ACAD art student Amanda West.

“Artfully Artless began in August of 2013 with a few insect specimens and some bones being the first listings in the shop,” says Amanda West.

Bugs, bones, jewels and stones are just a few of the arsenal this creative soul uses to recreate artistry through the imaginative use of cruelty free insects for crafts.

“I first opened the shop in 2011 but I never listed anything,” says West.

“After a few years of scavenging and gathering parts, I found last summer that my impulsive collection of deceased critters was getting out of hand, and I was running out of space for all of it,” West adds.

Amanda uses cruelty-free insects harvested from local farmers/picked herself/etc. for use in her jewellery.

“It’s more of a way of living for me,” West says.

“I don’t kill thing nor do I let my family kill things in the house or in my presence,” West mentions.

“I would not buy something killed for the sake of art, so I would not sell something that is killed for the sake of [it]” West says.

So the idea came to fruition to take the form of death and bring it back to life.

“Perhaps someone would appreciate my bugs as much as I did,” says West.

Amanda has always been known throughout the city for her innovative and awe-inspiring artwork.

“I still study at ACAD actually,” says West.

“It’s fantastic being surrounded by other artists with all sorts of styles and means of inspiring,” West adds.

“I can honestly say I never thought I’d grow as much as a creator,” says West.

To create something that was once living and give it a new breadth of life is a skill most of us are drawn to but wouldn’t have the urge to attempt.

“Almost everything I make incorporates nature in some way,” says West.

“Nature is beautiful in its living form and even after it passes on, there is this sort of shell that remains,” West adds.

“The animals that I get my bones from have either died naturally, or have been taken by the road, by hunters, by hitting windows, or have been killed by other animals,” West says.

“I’d rather remember them, and honour them, than bury them and forget,” West says.

While Artfully Artless is picking up success online, Amanda sees a bright future for the business.

“Artfully Artless is a brand that I hope to allow other creators to sell their work under. It’s not easy to get your own business started, and if I can help others get started in selling their work, I’d be happy,” West says.

For her facebook page please visit: https://www.facebook.com/ArtfullyArtlessCraft 

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