Jim Bradshaw: Jim loves everything art and creative and puts that passion into all assignments. Humorous illustration and cartoon surrealism is what he is drawn to. Some topics you’ll find showing up in his recent work are dreams, the tyranny of time, life & death, childhood versus the tainted adult world we all exist in, good and evil and just plain fun whacked out made up worlds that swirl around in Jim’s brain.
Another great find in the Try Handmade Inbox…
Pragya K: Hello! I’m an Indian currently living in Atlanta, GA. My name Pragya is a Hindi word that means intellect :) My illustrations are often loosely based on my life, random incidents and far off dreams. I have a distinct style which is part modern, very colorful and meant to bring lots of cheer. Subjects & themes are always happy too – cute birds,loved pets, nature & more.
As I feverishly prepare for Bazaar Bizarre, amongst the many other holiday shows I will be in, I have been taking a break to read about fellow crafters partaking in these fairs. I was excited to learn that Alli Coate will be at Bazaar Bizarre, her etsy shop has long been a favorite of mine.
Her illustrations are interesting in that they are a mix of materials. Vintage fabrics are used to give patterns and color to her drawings. In the image above, she used a vintage print to start, then added clouds with applique techniques. I wonder is this boy is taking all the clouds away, or placing them in the sky. Does he want to dream on puffy clouds or keep the rain away?
Alli’s palette and technique are diverse, making for unique illustrations. These flat images are brought to life as Alli layers her skills. Sketched lines overlap fabric allowing for depth and energy. The flower pattern on the birds takes place of shading, giving them life and dimension.
Her attention to detail is amazing. I love how the fabric is cut to represent the turtle’s shell. It takes on the same pattern of shapes as we know his shell should look, but she abstracts the details with floral prints. Alli blends line and shading with blocks of patterns perfectly to create her images.
Of all her work I adore the winter illustrations the most. Maybe it is the delicate lace making up the snow covered trees, or the red birds who stayed for the winter. I love how Alli captures the fragile nature of the season. The horizon is grey and the sky the palest of blue making for a nice contrast to the bright white snow in the foreground.
Maybe it’s just that this palette allows us to best see the artist’s technique. Her lines are minimal, yet just right. Her use of lace is accentuated by the blue water. And the red dress catches our eye and draws us in for a closer look. The hues are subtle, gentle and comforting, just like a wintery day on the ice.
I have noticed myself being drawn to mixed media fiber art pieces lately. Particularly ones framed in embroidery hoops like these wonderful creations from Mummysam! I love the dimensionality that pieces like this have. The colors and technique that the artist from Mummysam uses are interesting and unique. This fox with the fiery orange fur caught my attention instantly. Just where is he headed (or coming from) I wonder. Even if it’s just a window or split second glimpse I always consider it a privilege to be invited into an artist’s world. Samantha Cotterill, the artist behind Mummysam, writes:
“All of my creations are made using natural fibers, with each piece being individual and unique.”
She also mentions that a Mummysam line of fabric for Robert Kaufman will be available late summer. Personally, I can’t wait to see what it looks like!
Aside from these creative mixed media fiber art pieces, there are also prints and the most adorable art dolls available. Also, don’t forget to check out Samantha’s website where you can find all sorts of information and links to the her personal blog and shop!
I design and create hand-carved rubber stamps. I also dabble in painting, printmaking and other paper crafts, but stamps are my obsession.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I had a friend with a serious rubber stamp addiction. I loved all the cool things she made with her stamps, but, being an artsy-type person, experienced a weird feeling of guilt using art made by others. One day I was flipping through one of her stamping magazines and found an article on “eraser carving”. Make your OWN stamps?? From ERASERS?? I have erasers!! I can do this! An addiction was born.
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
I really love Mexican folk art, especially Day of the Dead images like sugar skulls. I also have a strange love of the number 7 (OCD, anyone?), hence the name Sugarskull7.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I work alone for the most part. Wait, that’s not true – there are almost always four dogs in various positions of slumber in close proximity.
My process is sort of haphazard. I usually spend most of the morning and early afternoon filling orders (my stamps are all made-to-order), but sometimes an idea for a new stamp will hit and I’ll drop everything and draw it up. If I’m happy with the drawing, I’m likely to carve it right then and there. Then I’ll go back to carving and filling orders. Right now this pretty much IS my life, but I do try to force myself to walk away from the drafting table and participate in the world now and then.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
I sell on Etsy, I absolutely LOVE Etsy. My shop address is www.sugarskull7.com . So far I haven’t attempted to sell my work at fairs or in brick and mortar stores because it’s difficult to create enough inventory at one time. I might try my hand at a local indoor craft fair soon, though.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers you’d like to recommend?
What inspires and motivates you?
I’m inspired by things I see around me, things people say, song lyrics, random thoughts – stamp ideas are everywhere. I’m motivated by the memory of working in a cubicle for a large corporation for 17 years and the desire to never, ever do that again. I’m making far less money and far more hours doing what I do now, yet I never really feel like I’m doing a “job”. It’s what I love.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“Do you have any strange hobbies?”
Why yes, I’m teaching myself to hoop dance. Great fun, great exercise, no gym required!
Thanks Kim. And if you would like to be interviewed next, check out DIY Interview.