Molly Spilane: 100 Creatives


Number 84: Molly Spilane

City: Richfield

Years spent living in MN: 35 (all of 'em minus one year's worth of traveling)

According to her Etsy bio, Molly Spilane's mantra is "wear something unique." Another statement she also probably lives by is "create something unique." Over the years, the artist has designed a variety of eye-catching jewelry and print art using recycled items and industrial materials. Her pieces often draw inspiration from nature--birds, butterflies, bears, and owls make repeat appearances--as do vintage anatomy illustrations, and vintage beauties. If you Christmas shopped at the Walker Art Center this year, you may recognize some of her designs from their gift store. Art doesn't always have to go on the wall, we're thankful that sometimes you can wear it.

[jump] Name three things that are inspiring your work right now:

  1. Unexpected humor


  2. Turn-of-the-century imagery

  3. Having a child's eye view of the world

Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:

  1. My mother has always been a working artist my whole life, so I'd have to say her. I grew up with an awesome female role model who showed me that being an artist is a realistic and attainable job and showed me the business aspect of it.

  2. My children and their innocent ideas and humor. I think they motivate both my husband and I to view the world a different way on a daily basis.

  3. My studio! I just moved to a house a year ago with an attached studio that overlooks a game trail for animals from Woodlake Nature Center. I often get visited by fox, deer, raccoons, turkey, and last, but not least, a white squirrel. He's taken over my garbage can and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

    What was your last big project?

I was one of the invited and featured artists at the Local to Global Jewelry Artist Mart at the Walker Art Center, which showcased 18 jewelry artists from around the world.

What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?

I am currently doing a neat collaboration project with artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith. We have worked together to create a limited edition custom bracelet line featuring her artwork on my jewelry.

Creative/career high point (so far)?

Coolest high point: My necklace got close to Johnny Depp. faint One of my graphic necklaces was worn on the red carpet by a production member of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

A close second to that would be starting my own business and being able to support myself with my creations. Yeah yeah. I know my priorities are all wrong but... JOHNNY DEPP! faints again

What has been your biggest challenge as an artist/designer?

Time management for sure. I am an artist, a mother, a business owner, a wife, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. That's a lot of things to be. It can get very busy, lose touch, and get caught up in it all. I try to remember once a day to stop and take a look around. Enjoy what's around me. To visually find something beautiful, funny, odd, or weird and file it away in my brain. That's what keeps the artist in my heart well nourished and creative.


How has the local scene changed since you began your career?

It seems to me more small business retailers are looking to promote local artists. I've noticed more and more boutiques are keeping with the "handmade movement" and are stocking their shops with locally made items. LOVE IT!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Hands down Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby.

Name three things you can't live without:

Water, air, and food (I'm on to your trick questions).

You can check out more of Molly Spilane's work over at her Etsy site, Unique Art Pendants. Do you have a suggestion for someone whose work we should be checking out? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments.


Past creatives, so far:

100. Jennifer Davis

99. Sean Smuda

98. Chuck U


96. Amy Rice

95. Kara Hendershot