Malu Berumen is the featured artist for June. Based out of San Antonio, Malu creates a variety of different items made of leather, under the business name of Libelula Leather, a company she started in 2007. She is mother of three wonderful boys, three dogs, and a cat. Malu says she is a self-taught leather artist. “Since I was young, I had a desire to create things and took some drawing classes. Then I fell in love and had my kids, and I kind of forgot what I wanted to do for some time, but I always got that creative feeling.” She continues, “My history with leather started about ten years ago. I wanted to make a special gift, so I decided to make a leather bracelet. I made it from scrap pieces of leather, sewn with cloth thread and some buttons from the Dollar Store. I had no special tools and worked only by pure inspiration. The result was horrible! It looked like a Frankenstein bracelet! I had no clue what I was doing or how to work with the material.” Page | 2 This did not slow her down. In fact, Malu says, “I decided that I wanted to do this and get better at it. I got so passionate about the leather crafting that I bought a lot books and tools, watched a lot You Tube videos, and even started buying buy wallets to see how they were made. Whenever I can, I ask questions to experts with leather, teaching myself whatever and whenever I can. I would love to have a mentor sometime, but for now I'm still learning on my own.” She continues, noting, “My works are primarily leather, though sometimes I add natural stones and Japanese beads. I also have works made of felt for those who would rather not wear animal materials. All my work is 100% handmade and I have the utmost respect for the material.” There are several styles that I like to work with, like the Western style, classic and simple, a colorful kind of tattoo style, as well as some tribal designs. I enjoy lacing and braiding leather, and believe that trying different styles is just another way to learn.” Malu says her main inspiration is her family. “I love the fact that I can work creatively at home and still be able to cook and take care of them. Thanks to Facebook, I’ve been able to appreciate other artists and have my own work seen. I’m always inspired by the many talented professional leather crafters around the world. I love doing my art full-time and believe art is very important! It’s a wonderful way to bring people together and share different cultures. Art adds beauty to cities, to people and to the human soul.” Be sure to visit Malu Beruman and Libelula Leather at Art Squared Arts Market. See examples of her work at www.facebook.com/libelulaleather.