Last night Super Donkey started on a mission to raise money to get his cat back from the vet (step one: find a new vet), and even though he has already raised enough cash, you still need to check out his wonderful work.
Creatures and beasties from another world is how you might describe Kristin Parsons‘ whimsical creations. Whether the creatures are fish-like, frog-like or totally unlike anything you’ve seen, kids seem to love these illustrations. Kristin worked as an inker at an animated cartoon studio in Barcelona in the mid 60’s and has continued to create work inspired by the little ones in her life over the last 60 years.
Over the years she’s had gallery shows, both group and solo, in the United States and Europe and has illustrated a couple of books. You could certainly imagine a picture book full of these critters. Each creature starts as hand drawings and then are scanned in and digitally manipulated to achieve the colorful finished product.
My favorite item from my Etsy shop is “Flower Inspection,” because it reminds me of my grandson, who’s four and always busy figuring out how things are put together.
An artist at heart, Kristin has been creating since she was 2 years old. While she has been selling her work offline for some time now, she’s just recently started selling online after discovering it as a way to share her work with potentially thousands of people every day.
A recent Florida transplant, she is currently only selling online. Kristin comes from a long line of artists – both her grandfathers and an aunt were artists, and, like them, she started drawing from a very early age. Growing up, she lived in three countries in Europe and stayed for art school.
She has one daughter with her husband, and a grandson who is a constant source of inspiration (and I gather from her conversation with me, pride). Her shop is truly Freshly Made, she’s only been listing for a few days and is working on adding more creative creatures. If you know of a kiddo who would love these funny fellows, make sure to check out her shop.
I’d like you to meet the art of Sarah McNeil! I would say her style is delicate with pinch of nostalgia. The soft colors and sturdy lines draw me in. Sarah’s sketches and paintings each produce a small friend to collect.
Have a furry friend that you would love to have captured in a painting? Sarah McNeil does that to! It’s special when an artist can combine their personal style & portrait work to create unique pieces. I’m sure it’s both challenging and rewarding.
Sarah writes this about herself:
“Sitting in my studio making pretty things and drinking tea and coffee at the same time.”
To me, that sounds simply lovely. I wish I could join her!
I just adore this sweet collection of art. You will find originals, prints and even some soft, knitted brooches (cutest little things ever). All available in her online shop, Sarah McNeil! She also maintains a blog entitled Everything for your viewing pleasure!
Upon one of my many trips to Craftland I discovered this cute as pie zippered pouch. I fell in love with the fun fabric (designed by the artist) and made a note to find out more about the artist and her work.
Allison Cole is an artist who lives and works in Providence. She is a graduate of our very own Rhode Island School of Design where she received a BFA in Printmaking. She is currently focusing on making work for gallery shows, her fun little Bang Bang You’re Thread shop and freelance illustration. Not too shabby!
After poking around her shop for a bit I realized that I own some buttons of Allison’s design. Well, not the bag of rocks collection but the veggie button set. I love that they are in sets of three and you can spread the love around on your coats, bags or hats. I think this jeweler needs to add these rock buttons to her collection.
Allison makes it easy for us to collect her work. Her designs litter so many functional items. I always keep a hefty stash of cards around so I have the perfect greeting on hand for any occasion. These are so cute and playful with great color combinations. The part of me that is dead set on learning french loves the Bonjour Elephant the best.
I know I compulsively collect blank books. You never know when you are going to need to sketch an idea or jot down a note. This is the perfect size to keep with you at all times. And I am smitten with the bright yellow frame and cute flowers the artist lovingly placed on the cover.
Soon enough this print will find a home on my walls. This print is just darling. It looks like a doodle, a thought from a lover, decorated with swirls and flowers. Playful and powerful, really a perfect piece for this married couple.
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
Handcast resin jewellery and homewares.
Each of my designs is initially modelled in clay, creating the delightful imperfection which makes them truly unique. The clay model is then moulded in rubber to form the mould I use for my castings. Finally, each piece is handsanded to a deliciously tactile, smooth finish. This fully handmade process ensures no two pieces are ever exactly the same.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I have always loved the sensuality and imperfection of handcast resin but upon moving to the States a few years ago, I was unable to find anything like the pieces I desired. So…with time on my hands I decided to make them myself. After much research, experimentation and encouragement from family and friends, here I am sharing my story with you.
I’ve always enjoyed a degree of creativity but have never taken anything to the next level. The impetus for this was actually my eldest daughter returning to Australia for school last year, and my need for something to help me cope with her being so far away. What really started as a bit of a hobby is now keeping me quite busy.
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 generally work alone so production can be slow, depending on what else I have going on at the time. My family are great for encouragement and testing new designs for functionality and fit though.
Unless I have a big order to fill, I usually restrict myself to my sons school hours on the days that I feel creative. At the moment I’m very much a one man band so I can pick and choose when I want to work depending on demand, so it’s still easy to find the balance. If business continues to grow though, I will have to introduce a bit more structure.
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?
Like so many others, Etsy is where it all started for me. I can be found at Resign.etsy.com. They make it so easy and affordable to set up a little shop and before you know it you have your very first customer! All my business has come via etsy. Blogs and shops have also found me there, which has led to increased publicity and wholesale opportunities. My goal for this year is to start my own website as well.
I have to say I think I prefer the anonymity of selling online, I still feel a little selfconscious being the identifiable face behind my pieces…silly huh! I was invited to exhibit at The One of Kind Show in Scottsdale recently but didn’t think I had enough inventory at the time, so will work towards that this year. I also have my pieces in a few gift shops and boutiques both here and in Australia and I have a steady stream of new enquiries from people wanting to stock them.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“What is the one thing you need before you have any chance of success?”
Unwavering confidence in your work (and a supportive family).
I’ve always had the supportive family but it’s taken me quite some time to develop the confidence required to really feel like I can do this. I was my biggest hurdle but once I gained that level of confidence everything just felt so much more achievable…and it was!
How right you are, Jennifer — thank you very much! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just head on over to DIY Interview.