Member of the month - Ana Pina - The Interview

jewelry - Angular Collection - Ana Pina
jewelry - Angular Collection

Name: Ana Pina
Etsy shop:

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Hello, I’m Ana and I was born in 1980 in Porto, the city where I still live and work. Even though I studied architecture, I’m now in love with contemporary jewelry and illustration. Some of my favorite things include: music, movies and books, the color red, chocolate, cats, yoga and travels.

Ana Pina with Articular Collection Brooch
Ana Pina with Articular Collection Brooch

2. How and when was this creative passion born? 

Well, I’ve always loved to create. As a child I loved to draw, so I pursued arts at school. Only a few years ago I decided to try to play with some beads and create jewelry. Since then this passion grew stronger and I ended up taking a contemporary jewelry course to learn different skills and techniques that would allow me to design and handmade from scratch jewels in precious metals. The love for drawing never left me, so now I’m happy to combine these two creative areas in my work.

3. Did you study for it or for something completely different? 

I ended up taking an architecture degree, which is a background that definitely influences my work, but the professional reality in an architecture office didn’t meet my expectations at all, so I felt the need of pursuing a more creative path.

4. Is this your fulltime job or do you have another job? 

I worked in an architecture office for a few years and even though I kept the dream of doing what I really loved fulltime, I never thought I would have the courage to take the leap, so at first I looked at this as a hobby. As time went by I knew I couldn’t take it anymore and when I decided to take the jewelry course it was the turning point: I left the job that didn’t fulfill me to make room for a whole new life, embracing the challenge of turning my creative work into a lifestyle.

illustration - Ana Pina

5. How did this project started?

The evolution has been gradual and quite slow. At first a simple hobby, playing with beads, and then something more serious. I guess the real start was when I got the courage to present my drawings to the public in the winter of 2010. Since then my work’s been growing more and more, as I felt the need to create a cohesive brand that would take it to the next level – it’s obviously a challenging work in progress!

6. What inspires you? 

My two creative areas are quite different from each other in many levels and I sometimes think that my drawing allows my more passionate side take the lead, while the jewelry tends to expose my love for geometry that I believe I inherited from architecture.

I’m inspired by an urban and feminine aesthetics, by color, by the nature of materials, by contrasts and textures, geometric relations and asymmetries.

illustration -  Wearables - Ana Pina
illustration -  Wearables

7. How do you choose your materials? And where do you find them? 

It depends, I love to wander around the stationery shops of the city as a kid in a sweet shop! But many of the materials I need to create my wearables collection, for example, are mostly bought online – it’s incredibly hard to find some specific items in traditional shops around here. For the jewelry creations I visit specialized stores in the city center or in Gondomar – a nearby city known by its jewelry tradition.

8. Could you share a typical work day? 

Wake up around 8.30 a.m., get dressed, have a coffee and toast reading a book and turn on the computer. Check email and facebook, write a blog post, update the shop… and make a big effort to leave the web and get down to the studio.

The work in the studio is very variable: either I draw, print or get some wearables ready, or spend hours at my jewelry bench. These activities are usually interlaced with some others like: photographing products, buying supplies, going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, cuddling Frida, eating and, of course, procrastinating… a lot.

By 8 p.m. I try to let go, make dinner and have some time to just relax watching a movie or one my favorite tv series.

studio - Ana Pina

9. What is your favorite part of your work and work tool? Why? 

Since I don’t particularly like routines, I enjoy the fact that there’s always something different to do, it’s difficult to pick a favorite phase… As much as I enjoy the process, I really love to reach the final result and be happy with it.

If I have to choose only one tool, I’d stick with my ink pen and paper – it’s the starting point either for my drawing or for planning a new jewelry piece from scratch.

10. Why did you open an Etsy shop? 

At a certain point I felt the need of showing my creations to the world – the internet is a whole world of wonder and the perfect place to do this. Having a blog or a flickr account with some photos just wasn’t enough… I needed real feedback and, most of all, if I wanted to make a living of my creative work, I definitely needed to make my products available for sale. Etsy was my first choice, because I like the image of the site and all the sense of community around it. Even though I feel like a small “needle in a haystack” most of the times, it’s also the platform with the vastest worldwide public.

11. What do you think are the benefits of belonging to a team like the PTteam?

I think it’s always helpful to share our thoughts and fears with fellow artists – if they belong to the same geographic reality even better, because they’ll understand and be able to help with some common specificities. The sense of mutual help should be cultivated, because it’s a win-win situation. We all have something to learn from each other!

jewelry - Ana Pina

12. What do you do to promote your work and shop? 

I don’t exactly do specific promotional actions, like paying ads or such. I do have a blog, a flickr account, a facebook page and twitter profile where I naturally promote my work, among many other things that inspire or interest me. I also have a newsletter to keep in touch with followers and customers and distribute business cards in the craft fairs I attend... but I know I could do so much more! This is definitely an aspect I need to improve in my business.

13. What advice would you like to share with fellow artists or crafters? 

Be true to yourself. Believe in what you do. Work hard. Never give up.

14. What do you find most inspiring in the country you're from/Portugal? 

I think we should value what we have instead of thinking that the “grass is greener on the other side”. I value what makes us unique, like “fado” and the feeling of “saudade”, but hate to see us hiding behind the supposed recurrent pessimism as an excuse of inaction or conformism – we have so many cultural and historical events that prove us the opposite!

I love the fact that we have so many different scenarios in such a small country, love the food and the climate. I admire so many personalities that make Portugal greater than its geographic size, like Fernando Pessoa, José Saramago or Álvaro Siza.

Besides all that, I love my city, Porto, and the way it’s been growing over the past few years – love the cafes, the alternative galleries and shops, the renovation of the city center (and still so much to do!), the riverside, the narrow facades and, of course… our special dish “francesinha”!

jewelry - Ana Pina

15. Where do you see yourself and your project in 5 years? 

Even though I wouldn’t mind embracing the adventure of living in another country for a while, the fact is that I picture myself in the future still living in a home that I love, in the city where I love to walk and photograph, making a living of what I love to do. I don’t need to be rich, but I need to feel fulfilled. I dream of seeing my brand grow sustainably and maybe have a space of my own… some kind of mix between an open atelier and a shop, in one of my favorite Porto’s streets. Well, maybe this isn’t the right context to make such plans, but you don’t pay to dream, right?...

16. What would you take with you if your house was on fire? 

Assuming that my boyfriend and my stubborn Frida would be safe, I guess I would feel so lost that I’d rather not to pick anything not to feel guilty for my choice afterwards… Anyway, I believe my work would be the most important thing to save, so I’d try to save at least the favorite drawing I have hanging on my wall… as the ultimate souvenir of an unrepeatable moment.

Quick fire questions. Your favorites:

Book: Blindness, José Saramago
Movie: The English Patient
Music: Nick Cave
Artist: Egon Schiele
Food: sushi and italian
City: Paris
Country: Portugal

All photos by Ana Pina.


  1. It's so nice to know a little bit more about you and your work! :)

  2. So happy to be here! Thank you :)

  3. it's good to know you Ana a little better!

  4. :) great to know a bit more about you!

  5. Hey Ana Pina how are you? I love The silver ring up here! I checked in tour shop but i can't find them... Any hint? Love Myriam

    1. Dear Myriam, I'll send you an email soon! Thank you so much :)




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