Carli Berry/Capital News Shandra Smith’s colourful designs will be featured in the Paris Premiere Vision fashion show, Sept. 19 to 21.

West Kelowna designer featured in Paris

Shandra Smith is taking her designs to Paris for the Premiere Vision fashion show

What started as a fun way for local artist Shandra Smith to handle her chronic pain, is taking a big leap into the fashion world.

For the first time, her colourful, bold patterns will be shown at a fashion show in Paris, called Premiere Vision, Sept. 19 to 21.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” said the West Kelowna resident.

As part of a fashion collective, her designs will be sold at a show booth. Her dream, she said, will be to walk into a store one day and see her patterns as part of an article of clothing.

Smith started with surface designs, like with cell phone cases and wall art in Hotel Zed, before moving into fashion with Bucketfeet shoes.

“To me, (Paris) is the big leagues,” said Smith. “It feels good because you work hard as an artist and a designer… so getting the pay-back in the end is what you want. It feels like things are coming together.”

Smith is also stepping into the book world with her patterns.

Her first stencil books, called Scratch & Create, features 32 of her patterns underneath a scratchable surface. The books will be available through Amazon, Chapters and Mosaic Books Sept. 26.

Smith will be doing a meet-and-greet at Mosaic Books, Sept. 30 from 1 to 3 p.m.

A stay-at-home mom, she dabbled with design in high school and worked at the Kelowna Art Gallery when she was pregnant. But as an artist, she is self-taught.

At the gallery, she saw that art was accessible to everyone, and doesn’t require a degree.

“I basically have this notion of fooling around,” she said, which allowed her bright, vibrant designs to flourish when she started creating them around 10 years ago.

But it’s not easy as she has to deal with health issues. Diagnosed with fibromyalgia, she said it has inspired her striking colours and unique patterns.

“Sometimes I’m physically in a lot of pain and I can only work for 30, 40 minutes because my arms and shoulders are hurting, but this colour comes out of me and you forget about the pain for a while,” she said.

However, there’s a silver lining.

“If I didn’t have this pain, I would’ve gone out to a regular job,” she said. “It sometimes makes you quite down… I find that colour kind of lifts me up.”

She loves magenta, coming back to the colour in her work. Her process usually starts with playing with coloured paper from a dollar store, and inks.

After taking a photo of the pattern she created by hand, she mixes the design through Photoshop.

She uses YouTube to teach herself through trial and error.

Smith finds support from her daughter Zarya, 12, son Waylon, nine and husband Fergus Smith.

You can find her artwork on Hotel Zed’s walls, on bottles at Therapy Vineyards, on her website shandrasmith.com and through Instagram @shandrasmithart.

 

Photo Contributed Shandra Smith’s design was featured in Paris.

Just Posted

B.C. Green MLA makes Vernon appearance

Olsen spoke in Cenotaph Park just after 12 p.m. in front of a gathering of about 20 supporters

IPE Parade draws near

Armstrong’s 120th Interior Provincial Exhibition starts next Wednesday, Aug. 28

Meet Vernon’s newest homeless outreach team

The Vernon Homeless Outreach Team makes its first formal appearance Aug. 28 at Upper Room Mission

Vernon Pizza Huts raise dough for diabetes research

Vernon Pizza Hut locations raised more than $3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Downstairs renter of torched Vernon home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

Man shot near Coalmont airlifted to hospital

A man was shot near Coalmont B.C. Saturday afternoon. The victim was… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Okanagan Nation bringing overdose awareness to Syilx Okanagan communities

The Purple Ribbon Campaign for International Overdose Awareness Day is Aug. 28

Most Read