adjective: freewheeling; adjective: free-wheeling
characterized by a disregard for rules or conventions; unconstrained or uninhibited.
Freewheeling Craft was born from celebrating the makers who go against the grain. Our city is beaming with talent and we’d like to highlight that. Welcome to our series, Maker's Hustle, where once a week we share a little more about the brands in our shop and the Maker's behind the brand hustlin'.
Maker: Alexandra Finkeldey
Photo cred: Marianne Rothbauer of Ottawa Neighbours
Q: How did you get into your craft/business?
A: I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, if I wasn’t doing schoolwork, working a part-time job, or participating in extra-curricular activities, you would absolutely find me with my nose in a sketchbook. At the time, I would dream about working in
animation, video game concept art, or children’s book illustration. However, It wasn’t until the fall of 2017 that started transforming my craft into my full-time job.
Q: What does your creative process look like?
A: I think my creative process is very cyclical. Sometimes, it feels straightforward; I get an idea, I get it down on paper, I turn into a finished illustration. Other times, sitting down at my desk to draw can feel difficult and agonizing. Usually, this is where I take time to focus on other areas of my business, such as managing my online shop, updating my website, doing drawing studies, spending time on other creative activities, and taking online classes or looking for professional development opportunities.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: Primarily other illustrators, visual artists, music, and nature walks. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. I’ll be inspired by a good meal, a pretty building, a dog I saw on a walk, a recent trip, a great conversation, a hand-painted sign, a beautiful textile.
Q: What do you love about Ottawa in general and the craft community here?
A: In my experience, the Ottawa craft community has been so incredibly friendly and supportive. I’ve been so fortunate to connect with all kinds of skilled makers who have helped me build my brand, and who inspire me every day. As far as what I love about Ottawa in general, I’m not even sure where to begin! I moved here from Toronto almost four years ago and I’m so glad I did. Great food scene, proximity to nature, big-city amenities (without the density), incredible trails for running, lots of winter activities and festivals—the list goes on.
Q: What is your ideal day in Ottawa?
A: My ideal day in Ottawa starts with a slow summer or fall morning. I go for a nice brunch with my partner and some friends (the options for a tasty brunch here are plenty). Then we head out to a farmer’s market for treats and fresh produce. We head home, take a nap, then I probably go for a run around Centretown. My favourite trails surround Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal. After this, I hang out with my cats and I do a bit of sketching—usually of the people, plants, and animals I saw on my run. Somewhere in there, I practice guitar and read a little bit. Depending on the day, we cap off the evening with a walk or some live music at a local pub.
You can find Alex's goods in our shop on Preston Street, and shes a staple at our markets! She also does custom pieces (contact her directly).