Artist Spotlight: Tina Koyama!

Here at, we are proud to have an amazing artist working under our roof – Tina Koyama! Tina is an important facet of our business, for she not only writes copy for the site, writes jewelry instructions, works in our customer service department, designs beading kits for the site, teaches at our store, but she also contains a wealth of knowledge and skill when it comes to beading and beyond. Take a look at her website,, to see her incredible skills for yourself! I sat Tina down for an interview so that I could bring her inspiration and creativity to you – here’s what she had to say:

Q. How long have you been beading?

A. I began beading in 2002, when my sister-in-law expressed a desire to have matching earrings for a necklace that she owned. I thought that it would be easy to make, and sure enough it was. As I had enough artistic pursuits to focus on, I hoped not to get hooked on beading and, luckily, I didn’t! It wasn’t until I came across a book with a peyote amulet bag in it that I was in love. It was seed beads that got me hooked!

Q. What are your favorite bead weaving stitches?

A. I love to use peyote and right angle weave together in free form, because peyote is stiff and structural while right angle weave is soft and flexible. With these two techniques, I can create nearly any shape that I want.

Q. What other creative outlets do you love, other than beading?

A. I create collages, paintings and fiber sculpture as well. (Don’t forget to check these out at her website:

Q. What inspires your designs?

A. I am attracted to organic artwork, fabric patterns, organic architecture and assymetrical design.

Q. You are a master of color – how do you choose colors for your designs?

A. I choose highly contrasting complementary colors, usually two for the main palette, then I accent them with secondary colors.

Q. Who are your favorite artists?

A. I am inspired by Gustav Klimt, Kurt Schwitters, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, and many more.

Q. What is your favorite Swarovski Elements crystal color?

A. Heliotrope.

Q. Will you ever write a beading book?

A. Someone wrote a freeform beadwork book already, so no.

Make sure to check out the exclusive bead kits designed by Tina at, the Saturn Sparkle Bracelet Kits and the Peacock Bracelet Kits. See some of Tina’s favorite products by visiting her Staff Picks page! And don’t forget to check out the amazing bead work in her personal collection (see it here).

Happy Beading! – Sara

3 comments to Artist Spotlight: Tina Koyama!

  • I was srioeulsy at DefCon 5 until I saw this post.

  • I am a big fan of handmade accessories especially in crystal beads accessories. I am currently trying to learn some tricks and tips online so that I can make some crystal beads accessories for my handmade accessories online store on Etsy. I have done some research on new beading ideas online and the search engine brought me to your post. I really enjoyed this article. I would also try to use these techniques in my accessories and jewelries making. I hope your techniques will be able to help me to save some time. Personally, I find crystal beads are great to use in my beading as they are so versatile and elegant. I will keep an eye on your websites for more ideas. Thank you so much!

  • I love that! I have been looking for a unquie ring to replace the engagement ring that is no longer on my hand! This would be perfect and great reminder of the strength I have to forge through this! I would love to win!

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