Please introduce yourself.
Hello. I’m Shanna Fiorucci co-founder of the collective fur parade.
How did you get started drawing and sewing?
Everyone has something that makes them happy, something that takes up their lazy days and for me that’s making art. I’ve been creating since I was born and I never took anything more serious than the exploration of my own creativity. Art was my major and only concern in school. Pottery, painting and illustration were some of my favorites. I taught myself how to sew when I was in 4th grade (with a little help from the mom) but not for any reasons but practical. I made skirts, stitched holes and hemmed where needed. I didn’t start using the sewing machine for a main art medium until I went to Cleveland Institute of Art. It wasn’t quite what inspired me, in fact I hated it and dropped out after only a semester. Art school made me realize how pretentious and fake the art world is and how I’d much rather be DIY. So I started teaching myself as many methods and things as I could, from acetone transfers to photography to screen printing. Yet it always came back to good ol sewing. It can be used as an adhesive, its non toxic, expressive, reusable, accessible, and fun to do.
Please tell us a bit about the fur parade collective; how it came into being, what it's all about.
Fur parade really took shape when I met Brandon Opalich in Cleveland. We became partners almost instantly and our visions started to take shape. We’re a collective now of a small number of artists, writers and musicians. We really like the idea of all creative expression supporting the weight of one another. We believe very strongly in the fact that many things in this world are pretty messed up right now (ie. global warming, excessive extinction, poverty, unwarranted war and the basic alienation of ourselves and this planet.). Fur parade represents the idea of all living things coming together to stop this genocidal way in which we live. Educating people (especially the people in our generation) to open their eyes, to inspire change and concern about their well being and the world living around us. We think it is so important to realize we share this earth so we’re responsible for all that we do or take from it. There are a lot of things that hold people down and make people insecure; fur parade is that voice of support and an outlet for change. We’re in the process of building a website to properly link all these things together and we’re also going to be opening a fur parade shop in Bellingham WA.
How do you choose the animals (and other subjects) you use in your pieces?
I’ve been a vintage animal encyclopedia book collector for a while and I usually use them as points of reference. I like to choice animals that have been exploited or wiped off this planet from human hands. Like the red fox for their fur or the dodo for their meat. It’s so odd to me how one species of animal has eradicated so many other species of animal (and plants too). How is it possible and for what point? How does the endangerment of 1/3 of all the frogs in the world not scare anybody? My drawings and paintings are a lot more articulate on how I feel man has infected this world. I like the thought of nature enduring and civilization collapsing. So maybe we can all know what its like to actually live from this land and giving and taking won’t just be one sided. I enjoy creating images that portray a mystical and unexplored earth. One we don’t already think we know everything about.Guanaco and Sunset
Do you feel like your art is making a difference?
You know, I can only hope it is. But that’s why I really enjoy selling my things directly so I can communicate my purpose with in each piece. I always include little hand made booklets to let people know about the animal they are wearing or buying and ways in which they can help. I’m a huge promoter of self education, self realization, and self acceptance. Change starts with in us and we can only hope we’ve been surrounded by enough positive reinforcement to embrace change when it comes knocking on our door. The tools to a better tomorrow are often misplaced and scattered about, but they’re there. We just have to look for them and have the courage to use them when they are found.
Can we find your art anywhere outside of Etsy?
I often sell at little street fairs and craft fairs. Whenever SCRAP has recycled art fairs I set up a booth. I will be setting up at the sustainability fair on the 2nd Sunday of every month at the Hip Drip Café in the Eco-Motion building at 1625 NE Sandy Blvd. I have some pillow cases and clothes at this really cute shop in Eureka CA called Shipwreck. I currently have some of my pieces at the Together Gallery on Alberta St. and when last Thursdays start again I will be there as well. I also have a myspace which will link you to some of the bands (caves and murn) and more of my art. I will set up or sell my stuff at any place that supports sustainability and/or reusing and recycling craft materials.
Do you think living in Portland has an influence on your work?
I think people here are more open minded to the subjects of my art but I don’t think it has influenced me personally. Camping, walking to places and getting lost in the woods inspires me. There is a lot of awesome people making a difference in this town, and there are outlets for people who don’t quite know how to yet. Portland is an awesome place to get involved and feel important.
Would you share some of your favorite local spots?
SCRAP on N. Williams!!!! It’s a recycling craft center. I volunteer there and I would live there. Right next door to Scrap is Pix, a French style dessert bar with dessert and drinks that will blow you away. The Together gallery I spoke of earlier is an awesome new little shop with local artists and hand made items. Its adorable and worth a visit. ReRun on 7th and NE. Fremont is a sweet thrift store with cheap furniture and tons of awesome vintage fabrics.
What is your favorite piece in your etsy shop right now?
I’m a huge fan of the Roosevelt elk shirt. He’s a beautiful creature and I actually got to see one while camping in Washington a few months back. They’re almost extinct and very rare so hence my excitement. I think the tall doug firs, the elk with pleather antlers and the ferns is going to look awesome on who ever buys it.
What else should we know about fur parade?
Fur parade is ever growing and changing. Like I said we plan on opening a sustainability shop and our website we’ll be up with in the next month. Everything I make is from reused or recycled materials. We also hope to link up with some organizations that are working towards the same cause. “Lets Parade Fur Ever!”