Spotlights & Interviews

Interivew with Irina Smerdon of Origin Tale

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About Irina:

I was born into a Russian family in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Most of my childhood was spent traveling back and forth between Turkey and Kyrgyzstan. We spent summers on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and winters in the Central Asian snowcapped mountains. I spent my university years on the island of Cyprus where I graduated with bachelor’s degree in interior design.  Soon after graduation I moved to Antalya, Turkey to start a career in commercial interior design. I met and married my husband while he was working abroad. We have been in Greenville, SC and married for two years.

Tell us a little bit about Origin Tale.

Most of my inspiration was driven from my great grandmother. When I was younger she would spend hours teaching me poems, songs, and folktales. When I moved to America to be with my husband, he was very supportive of me pursuing and building my own business. Many cultures have influenced my life, and now I get to express that in my art work. That art work has led to the creation of Origin Tale. The art really is my Origin Tale.


Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I find inspiration in folklore, ballads, folk and fairy tales, traditional costumes, embroidery, ancient household objects, ethnic dance performances, folk music, legends and everything that is related to cultural identity and diversity.

What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve created?

Every piece I create is special to me. Because each and every of them were inspired by something and carry a different emotion. I think my favorite piece is in stage of a project. I have a big furniture piece idea that I want to refinish and decorate in folk style. I think it will look great when it’s finished, it’s not there yet, but I already love it.


In what ways have you successfully marketed and promoted your work?  Do you ever find challenges in the process?

I mostly use social media and to promote my work. I think the most challenging in owning your own business, is promoting your work.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Stay consistent.


Who are some creative women that you look up to?

My mom is the most creative and talented woman I know. It always seems to me, that there is no creative ability that she does not have. From oil painting to sewing, designing to knitting, she is so gifted.


What are some of your favorite creative activities aside from painting?

I enjoy creating in general, both with my mind and hands. I also like 3d modeling and rendering, antiquing furniture, fine art photography. I like to work on so many things. It doesn’t matter as long as its visual.

What do you enjoy most about being a creative woman?

Making your ideas come alive and knowing that you can take your creations into other forms and dimensions.


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