Sigifredo Contreras Tovar
Nopalitos (little cactus)
Meet the Designer-ArtistWhere do you live?
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Describe your artistic style.
Bold and delicate, always elegant and stylish.
What inspires you as a designer-artist?
Everything, everywhere I go I find a fountain of inspiration. I really love '20s designer jewelry like Cartier, I get my inspiration of finished jewelry and always come out with something completely different than the piece I got inspired from.
What materials do you most enjoy working with?
Seed beads and Swarovski crystals, I use a lot of pearls too, the only material I really do not like using is plastic.
Have you ever entered any of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Jewelry-Making Contests? If yes, which ones?
Yes, the 2010 seed bead contest, I'm really happy I'm in the second round.
What is the name of the piece you submitted with your success story?
Nopalitos (little cactus)
What inspired this design?
Mexico!! I made a Mexican collection in 2009.
How did it come together? For example, did you plan it out or did it define itself once you began working?
I planned the whole collection, first, making the drawings, then getting all the right materials to make it, I had to modify some things as I was going to increase the look of the piece, and I have to say, it is one of my favorites.
Share Your BackgroundWhen and how did you begin making jewelry/beading?
It was by chance that I started with this wonderful hobby. I got pancreatic disease seven years ago, and my mother insisted I needed to make something as a therapy because I could not get out of my house for a year. So, first my youngest sister taught me the basics in stringing, but it wasn't until 2006 that I found my true passion: seed beads, that I had to learn by myself reading magazines and surfing the web.
Who introduced you to beading?
My mother and my sister.
How did you discover Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®?
What other hobbies do you have?
Surfing the web, listening to music, watching movies and reading.
Beading SuccessWhat role does jewelry-making play in your life?
Jewelry-making is my life! It is my full-time career, I am making jewelry or designing almost all day long, even when I am out, I'm always thinking of what's next. It happens sometimes that I have to wake up at 3 or 4 AM because I come up with something in my mind and I have to draw it in my design notebooks, but it just puts a big smile on my face.
If you used jewelry-making as a way to bring in income, how are you selling yourself and your jewelry?
I have a gallery in Puerto Vallarta's Downtown where I show and sell my art.
Do you participate in any charity fundraisers?
Not yet, but sure I would love to do it.
Any advice for aspiring jewelry-artists?
Give it a try and don't give up! I found jewelry-making to be my true passion by chance! So maybe you have a jewelry artist inside you and you do not know it yet.