From sketch to finished product.
Julie from Button Button was kind enough to invite me to a blog hop. Somewhat like a sock hop, perhaps, a blog hop involves being tagged by a blogger (Julie, in this case) to answer a few questions, then tagging a new blogger to carry on the hop. I always have a tough time talking about my work, so I like the encouragement to break out of my shell a bit and let you see what goes on in my mind. (Scary thought, I know.)
What am I working on?
My focus over the past few weeks has shifted a bit from the past. I generally create work that fits into one or two very niche markets, but I'm trying to create work with more mass appeal these days. I'm still making embroidery patterns and Blythe supplies and other very specific items, but it's fun to try to think of how to relate the experience I have in those hobbies to the world at large.
So far, I've focused on t-shirts and paper goods (both forthcoming in a few weeks, if all goes well), and I'm not stopping there. I'd like to try pushing my work even further with projects like the Make Art That Sells class and the Surtex trade show and even an illustrated children's chapter book. The coming year holds some exciting potential.
Getting started on some Blythe eyechips.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The main way that my work differs from that of other artists is that it is made by me. Especially in my niches, I make a lot of things that hundreds have people have made before me, but I always try to give my work my own spin.
A good example would be my Blythe dresses. I love to have complete control over my work, so making custom-printed fabric for these dresses just felt very right. There are certainly plenty of other dolly dressmakers out there, but no others will have my same illustrative style in their work. On the flip side, the other dressmakers in the world have plenty of skills and unique qualities that I don't have. It's our styles that set us apart.
Why do I create what I do?
I simply can't imagine not creating. The year I spent studying for the CPA exam was probably the worst for me because I had so little time to make. My hands and mind are always on the go, and I have a pretty constant urge to make. I have always been like this, ever since I was little. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knew me growing up that I am now an artist. It's what I have always wanted to do.
Making some new miniature printables.
How does your creating process work?
My work always starts with some little flash of an idea. I might see or hear some small thing that sparks a new concept for me, or maybe a dream gives me a new idea. Since these little flashes are generally fairly ephemeral, I then spend some time in my sketchbook, trying to hash out how to bring them to life. Plenty of them fall short of what I have in my mind, but I really enjoy the challenge of trying to get this little kernel to turn into a full-fledged plan.
Once I can see my idea on paper, it's time to decide what medium to use. Lately, I've been very drawn to embroidery, but I have used plenty of media in my day, like watercolors, fabric design, digital illustration, and even woodburning. As soon as I decide the best way to proceed, it's just a matter of putting in the time to turn it into a finished product. By the time I start working in my final medium, the idea is usually completely planned out, so I just need to make it a reality.
An army of little flapper heads for knitting needles.
Thanks so much to Julie for inviting me along this little hop! I hope you have enjoyed this interview, and I'd like to introduce you to our next hopper, Jules from The Awkward Niche. Jules is a very accomplished embroiderer who works in plenty of other interesting media as well. You'll find plenty to fall in love with on that blog, so please do take a look. Take it away, Jules!