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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

Vernon, Kelowna denturists hit hard amid COVID-19

Okanagan denture clinics wonders if they’ll ever be able sustain the sting of pandemic

No need to press the walk button at Vernon crosswalks

City automating intersections in response to COVID-19

Falkland woman sews masks amid pandemic

Masks offer sense of safety and people need that now, says Becca Hoffmann

COVID-19: No fines to be issued by Vernon bylaw

Officers can provide assistance ‘as may be required for purposes of enforcing public health orders’

Armstrong woman helps others apply for EI amid COVID-19

Pandemic has locals retooling skillsets to help others

Man allegedly impersonates health authority official, takes elderly Princeton woman from her home

A man allegedly impersonating an official from Interior Health escorted an elderly… Continue reading

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Salmon Arm businesses close, adjust in response COVID-19 crisis

Groups united behind the scenes to support needs of community

Summerland care facility orders reusable masks

Okanagan Valley quilters ready to produce cloth masks if needed

New Kelowna business committed to growing B.C. beverage industry

Liquid Kudos connects BC beverage producers with new markets

Stop skiing on Mount Mackenzie: Revelstoke Mountain Resort

The resort said access to the mountain is strictly prohibited at this time

Apartments evacuated during police stand-off

The incident occurred at Grand Forks apartment building on March 28

Dyer: Use your COVID-19 time to fight climate change

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Most Read