Artist Spotlight: Miniature Rhino

Miniature Custom Heart Sampler - Hand embroidery
It is a delightful honor to present today's Artist Spotlight: Jessica Marquez, the ever-so-talented gal behind Miniature Rhino.  Not only does Jessica have such an interesting Etsy shop full of curiosities and hand-embroidered goods, but she happens to be absolutely dyn-a-mite in person.  Yup yup, full on crafty girl crush.
message in a bottle letter service

1.  Jessica, where did you come up with the name of your shop, Miniature Rhino?
Miniature Rhino comes from the imagination of my young cousin. Dr. Rhino was her imaginary friend and dentist(!). After a few real life cavities she broke it off and became besties with Dr. Penguin. The name "Dr. Rhino" stuck with me and I'd scribble it on notes and use it to sign my name on things I made. It turned into Miniature Rhino. The name for me is playful and speaks to the curious places our imaginations can take us.
Orion, hand embroidered constellation
2.  What are some of the top influences of your work?
Science and Art are huge influences on my work and just general interests. But this jumble of ideas rises to the surface too... Victorian aesthetics, mementos and remembrance pieces, miniatures, Joseph Cornell, vintage needle work, photography, especially vernacular, John Baldessari,  Ann Hamilton, book arts, Annie Dillard, collecting, cabinets of curiosity, food politics, and more more more...
Arrow Pin Set - colors you choose

3.  What's the cutest thing in the world and why?
Pretty much my parent's dog, Buddy Lee. He was not treated the best before he came to my parents, so it takes him time to trust people. But his love is true. He lives for you and wants nothing more than to be snuggled up by your side at all time. And just take a look at his face, come on.
Exhibit A: Buddy Lee on the right
4.  What do you love most about your job?
My job is so DIY. Blows me away when I think about it - I'm my own boss, I love it! I was recently featured in InStyle Magazine and this month, ReadyMade Magazine. Me! I get silly happy sometimes when I can step away from the stress and complications of running my own small business and see that I'm growing, learning and accomplishing a lot just by the work of my own two hands. Once I can get health insurance - this job will be perfect!

5.  What are your most favorite things about your current workspace and its functionality?
Ha! My workspace needs help. I'm trying my best to organize it and am constantly changing things around, but it's still a "before". I'm lucky enough to have a studio to work out of from my apartment. It has french doors to the living room so at night I can close up shop. It's my own mini craft store and Miniature Rhino headquarters.
**You will also want to check out Jessica's blog and flickr for more deliciousness!  And speaking of deliciousness, look what Miniature Rhino is cooking up for Valentine's Day!  
Valentines Gift Box Homemade Baklava & Customized Letter
Valentine's Day Gift Box Homemade Baklava & Customized Letter, pretty sweet!
Thank you so much, Jessica, for joining us today!  

Wishing you all a crafty weekend,
Virginia Kraljevic