I recently interviewed Bink, the designer and visionary behind Pearls & Swine—a brand that specializes in hats, fascinators, masks, eyepatches, and hair accessories that seems to have been plucked straight out of a surreal dream, and often appear to defy gravity. Bink also developed a sister brand, Temptress of Waikiki, where she produces custom burlesque accessories. Bink works nonstop (she currently has over 150 items in her shop!), and her selection caters to tastes across the board—glam rock, steampunk, pop culture kawaii, rockabilly, and delicate bridalwear. In our interview, Bink explains the “mistake” that spawned her business, her inspiration, and offers a bit of advice and insight to artists and creatives who struggle with self-doubt and the pressure to lead a “conventional” career path.
Q: On your website you say that you “always intended to be sensible” but could never really settle on a conventional career path. When you decided to devote your life to your artwork, were there people in your life that discouraged you or lead you to question your decision? If so, how did you deal with those negative outside forces?
A: I was the only real block that stopped myself from being allowed to be creative. I did have some friends who questioned whether or not anyone would really be interested in unconventional headwear, but on the whole I have been extremely fortunate in mostly having support in my business. My partner Trafford Parsons is an artist and has been there for me every step of the way, even when my doubts crept back (and they do, even after years of being in business).
Q: What advice would you give to young creatives who are pressured to take a more “conventional” path in life, or who are surrounded by people who may not “get” their work?
A: Looking back I realize that, had I allowed me to be myself, a creative, instead of fighting it till I was 30, my life would be very different now. However, I do believe that everything we endure is for a reason…perhaps I had to take the journey I did to get to where I am now.
My advice to anyone is always to know you are going to make it if you want something enough. Many creatives aren’t very driven or confident in their art. The secret of confidence is pretend–one day it will come but you have to have determination and a disregard for wealth…. just go for it!