Brooke B. Art: I’m a self-taught collage artist in Northern Idaho. I generally create large-scale art (even up to 8 feet square), as I have a massive supply of paper (including sheet music and maps) I acquired through various outlets. I can’t throw anything away, so collage/mixed media was a good career decision for me. :)
I have a husband and a one-year-old daughter. My husband cuts all my art panels for me, preps and paints them, and secures the hardware. We’re a good team. My daughter is adept at tearing up books and magazines, so I expect she’ll be able to help me do the prep-work for tearing the paper I need very soon.
My larger art pieces were recently on display at a fine furniture gallery, Parmer’s, in Redding, CA. I have been a reoccurring artist in Redding’s Second Saturday Art Hop. In October, we relocated to Northern Idaho, where we live nestled in the wooded hills by a lake; the perfect setting for creativity.
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.
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.
Retro Whale: This gangsta bear was inspired by Master P lyrics and blue bears with radios.
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!