Bearthquake: Bears from Planet Bearth by Olga Shashkina
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My name is Olga Shashkina, I live in Moscow, but I was born in Omsk. This city is in the very heart of Siberia. I’ve been making teddy bears for more than 9 years. I have taken part in exhibitions and fairs in Russia, Germany and England many times, including TEDDYBÄR TOTAL in Münster in 2018 and 2019, and Hugglets in London in 2020. Today many of my teddies are in private collections in Russia, Germany, USA, UK, Japan and other countries.⠀
I’ve graduated in philology, and for many years I’ve worked in PR, as a journalist and even as a creative concept designer. For a long time, I was in two minds about the texts and my teddies, until the end of 2019, when a flash of inspiration hit me. I thought, why don’t I tell stories about my teddies? It is how my Instagram project Bearthquake was born.
For each bear I come up with a little story. I even wrote a story about what making teddy bears means to me:
You only need to do what makes you feel the “Ding!” inside. So says the wise Slava Polunin. And I make bears, from which my soul rings: “Ding!” I dive into work and feel “Ding!” like warmth and light in the heart. “Ding” is a new story or a good idea for a photo. Meditatively I sew each paw, rustle with fresh sawdust, feel the smell of oil paint… “Ding! Ding! Ding!”⠀
Powerful “Ding” sounds when the bear is completely ready and looks at me with a special look. And the most magical thing is to understand that your bears make “Ding!” not only for you. When a person at an exhibition slows down and smiles looking exactly at your bear… When friends who are far from the teddy world write compliments on Instagram… When a collector writes in the review: “I just can’t leave my eyes from these bears” Or another collector says that his child whispers in his bear’s ear about the most secret secrets before bedtime… Then I feel just an incredible “Ding!” as if I’m the bell that the Universe is ringing.⠀