City Romance: Hand-painted Handbags by Helen Artis
Helen Artis is an artisan from Zaporizhia, Ukraine, who designs, sews, and decorates original leather handbags. Originally a designer of women’s clothing and accessories, Helen opened her Etsy shop, CityRomance, three years ago, where she sells her handmade, hand-painted handbags internationally.
Helen says of her creations, “I want to create unique bags, which will emphasize the individuality of their owners and help them to create a unique visual identity.” One popular request she receives in her shop is pet portraits, which she custom designs and paints on handbags for her clients.
She draws creative inspiration from traveling, contemporary art exhibitions, and her connections with her clients and other artisans across the globe.
To decorate her handbags, Helen uses a variety of mediums and techniques, including pyrography, leather applique, and acrylic painting, followed by a protective wax topcoat.
For her acrylic work, Helen uses our luxury synthetic Velvetouch Series 3950. For precise strokes in painting small details and animals, she uses a Velvetouch Long Round No. 4. “This brush is my favorite,” Helen says, “It has excellent elastic bristles, which hold the right amount of ink without problems. I like its beautiful shape, and its tip stays sharp for a long time.”
Helen Artis and her husband recently opened another shop on Etsy called BeCalmArt, where they create leather accessories and bag charms.