May 24, 2010

A Crafy Questionnaire: Alicia Goodwin

Alicia Goodwin opened her etsy shop, LinguaNigra, in 2003. The name means "black tongue" in Latin. It's a little known medical condition Alicia read about in a book of rare medical mysteries. An unusual name for a jewelry line, but one that makes sense to a designer who has an appreciation for the beauty to be found in esoteric oddities. It seems to fit the striking pieces with unusual organic origins that are her trademark.

Inspired by an inherent tendency to collect everything, and a boundless curiosity about the world around her, Alicia's jewelry incorporates aspects of anthropology, medicine, etymology, modern design and tribal lore. The F.I.T. graduate with a duel degree in fashion and jewelry design painstakingly hand crafts each of her pieces in her studio in Brooklyn, committed to making something truly unique for each customer. The best way to keep up with Alicia's intrepid interests and schedule? Sign up for the LinguaNigra newsletter and become a fan on Facebook.

Better yet, check out Lingue Nigra at the {NewNew} Treasure Chest on Governor's Island all this summer!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I'm not sure. Having great friends is a pretty happy place to be. A nice house with a workroom wouldn't hurt either. It really doesn't take much for me. I think as long as good food is involved, you can get to a happy place.

What is your greatest fear?
My biggest fear right now is not getting what I want. I'm worried that the things I do will be in vain. It's hard to trust yourself sometimes and I sometimes find myself doubting decisions I make (though I do give myself and others good advice). Also, as crazy as this sounds, I'm afraid to be homeless. I would definitely be the lady with 15 shopping carts of stuff. I have a lot of things and can't seem to part with any of them!

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I don't really identify with any historical figure but if I have to it would be Art Smith. Art Smith designed beautiful jewelry that was at once simple and complex. I've been striving to create things that have an organic beginning and a simple kind of complexity to them, if that makes any kind of sense.

Which living person do you most admire?
I really admire Stevie Wonder. He has done so much socially and musically. His songwriting is amazingly poetic. And besides that, he can play so many instruments! He was one of the main people pushing for an MLK Jr. holiday, along with everything else civil rights related. So many other artists have worked with him, it is hard to imagine a world without him. He is also a Taurus and I love my Taureans!

Do you have a theme song, and what is it?
Don't You Worry About A Thing by, you guessed it, Stevie! This song is so great and it's kind of like a personal message. It's gotten me through very stressful times

What is the trait you most like in yourself?
My memory. Does that count? I have a pretty amazing memory and can remember details of conversations that most people wouldn't. This helps in so many ways. It's also good to impress people who wouldn't remember you otherwise.

What is the trait you most like in others?
You have to be able to make fun of yourself...and others. I love people with a great sense of humor and instantly gravitate towards those that understand sarcasm.

What is your greatest extravagance?
BELTS!!! I have so many, but most recently I purchased a Moroccan sterling silver belt with hand cut and stamped panels. It cost a lot, but I'm sure the amount of silver in it evens out the price. The funny thing is that I would have bought the belt no matter what it was made of. It's that great. It has these removable pieces that I could use for a bracelet if I wanted. Pretty fancy.

When and where were you happiest?
I'm happiest when I'm home, just relaxing. I like to talk to my plants and draw while the sun lights up the room.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I kind of like myself as I am. I guess I could be more proactive and procrastinate less. Procrastinating really gets me in trouble. The funny thing is, when I get around to it, I'm like, I should have done this days ago!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Not getting into trouble is a great achievement. Not having to worry my parents for money is pretty great. I suppose being an adult is a pretty fantastic achievement in itself.

If you were to be reincarnated as a person, animal, or thing, what do you think you would be?
I love giraffes, so I would say that. I was going to say a plant, but they really don't get to move around that much and have to put up with whatever is going on around them (a dog peeing, kids, cats, bad TV). Giraffes have no competition for food way up there and they are so sweet!

What is your most treasured possession?
Trust me, I have a lot of things, I love them all, and can't really tell you what I treasure most these days. Sadly, I have no treasures that my grandmother passed on to me.

Which talent or skill would you most like to have?
I really would like to draw better than I do. It would be nice to be able to put on paper what is actually in my head.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother is pretty amazing. She's so sweet and did so much for me and my sister that there isn't enough room to list it all.

What is it the one thing you dislike the most?
When people repeat what you say right after you said, and also fake smiles. That really bothers me.

What is your motto?
Hmm, I don't really have a motto. But for what it's worth I like to say, "Always complete what you start."

Who are your favorite artists?
My friend Gina Beavers is a pretty amazing artist. I also like any furniture designer from the 50's (Eames, Knoll, etc.), I'm a big fan of indigenous art and unknown artists who create amazing things.

Is there any invention you wish you had thought of?
I have a few inventions I hope to patent in the near future. I think that the human mind is pretty amazing when it comes to simple inventions...and infomercials.

What's the first thing you remember making?
I've created so much, but when I was small I would make these wonderful (or so I thought) gowns and dresses from discarded fabric my father brought home from the pillow factory where he worked. I used an electric stapler to "sew" my seams and make my designs even more fashionable. I'm surprised I didn't get tetanus!

Select a unique item from the LinguaNigra jewelry line, available exclusively on Etsy.

Susan persuede


MaryAnne LoVerme said...

Great interview! I am a big fan of Stevie's song "Sugar," and I taught it to my class when I taught 1st grade - they loved it too!

Metalicious said...

What a fantastic interview, I love Alicia even more than before if that's even possible! Thanks Alicia for sharing!

Karina said...

I love Alicia's jewelry! So beautiful!

nordeasoaperie said...

i'm a huge fan (i wear my necklace often!) so it was nice to see where her inspiration comes from...and now i really want to see this fancy belt!!

Virginia said...

Awesome. Fun to read, thanks for sharing!

altonweekes said...

Inspiring, beautifully you. It was good to learn a little more about you and your process. Thanks for sharing!

Karla Quintero said...

Your jewelry is really beautiful. I loved reading your story.