Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Creative Peeps Interview - chunkychooky / My Bearded Pigeon

  All photos and creations remain property of chunkychooky and have been used with permission




Chunky Chooky

What is your favourite creative pursuit?

Hhmmmm it would be a toss up between sewing, stitching and hookin' - of the crochet kind...but my new and exciting passion is...........  I can't tell you yet - it is a surprise!

What is your earliest creative memory?

After attending a pantomime as a child where one of the characters was in a skeleton costume- you know the black body suit with the white skeleton painted on.  I decided to replicate this on my 2 year oldish naked body with permanent marker.  But I do remember constantly wanting to "make something" as a child -  I remember spending hours making outfits for the Barbies with scraps of fabric and rubber bands.

Who inspires you?

Initially when I started making softies I was inspired by artists like ninon, and in awe of soft sculpture like Abbey Glassenberg, and excited by the modern twist of artists like Beci Orpin and tons and tons of illustrators... and all the stitching seen on the Feeling stitchy blog.

But mostly now, I am inspired by the amazing work I see via blogs, and going on in peoples homes. The lovely sense of community amongst crafty bloggers is my biggest inspiration. At least once a week I see someting on a blog that inspires me to have a go at something new - like mastering the zipper, or the french knot.

 What are you currently working on?

I am moving away from concentrating on chunkychooky for a moment, I have a small list of regular stockists now and it seems to flow along very nicely. I am concentrating on the more grown up My Bearded Pigeon
I have plans, that are taking a frustratingly long time to be finished, particularly for someone with the limited patience I have. Readers of my blog will be the first to know all about it when it is finally ready (now I am going to worry, having built it up that you will all ask - is that it? when I finally tell you what it is, so humour me OK??)

I also had plans for a large embroidered piece which I was going to enter in a local art prize in October, but alas, there is no category for me...no contemporary embroidery section... I would really like to enter an embroidered piece in an exhibition but I am too shy to approach any galleries or anything like that....
But at the moment I am crocheting a blanket, doing some stitching and making lots of lists/ sketches in my notebook.

What is your ultimate creative dream?

To have my work in Inside Out magazine. There! I said it out loud! That is it. Really. That's all I really want....for now...

Is you work for sale, and if so, where can I buy it?

But of course:
chunkychooky website: for links to my online shops.
My Bearded Pigeon (Made It Shop) and soon to be launched My Bearded Pigeon on Etsy.
If you are in Brisbane, I am just about to post a load of rattles to Nook.

Do you have any upcoming events planned (exhibitions, markets, interviews, courses etc)?

* sigh* nooo....
I would love to do a photography course so I am looking into that at the moment.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to follow their creative dream?

Start today, but move slowly. Don't put pressure on yourself by spending huge amounts of money on tags/ busines cards etc these things can wait- or you can make your own for now.

I keep a simple list of money coming in and money going out- which I am pretty sure I saw Curlypops do a blog post about.. and this keeps me on track, spending more as I make more etc. chunky chooky is growing all the time but I am now at a level where it works perfect for me- you need to decide where it might stop being fun...for example if I got an order for 100 rattles I would initally see $ in my eyes then go into a complete stressed panic...

Stay true to yourself, don't let retailers talk you into lowering your price. Often handmade has to compete with similar items, made badly overseas, but made to look handmade, and these items make "real" handmade (and made in Australia) look expensive.

See yourself as an artist- (not that I would EVER DARE call myself this out loud mind you), but look at what people who paint/ illustrate charge for their work? ( With good reason I think).

A friend of mine is a artist and she is always nudging my prices up when I tell her what I am charging for something. Why do us crafters think our work is not so worthy? I feel strongly about our need to stand together on this one.

When I see people selling things on etsy/madeit for prices that are so incredibly cheap, when I have a rough idea how long the item took to make etc, it puts all of us at a disadvantage... often I hear people say - but its just a hobby for me, and that is great if it is, but you are inhibiting people from charging fair prices who are making a living from their art. (stepping down from soap box now...ahem.. )

So my advice is: Start your creative dream now. Go on! What are you waiting for ?

Thanks so much for such a wonderful interview Cath. It's been wonderful to find out just a little bit more about chunkchooky, and I can't wait to what comes next with your new venture, My Bearded Pigeon!


mel @ loved handmade said...

That's a great interview! You're very inspiring, thankyou for sharing & good luck with your little something underwraps...

willywagtail said...

I was going to write: "that is a great interview" but Little Ted has already done that but it is true. Inspiring! The only thing I can say is don't get your knickers in knot now that you reveal that there will be a reveal. Stay calm and be true to yourself.Cherrie

Cate Lawrence said...

Loved the interview, I could definitely relate to a lot of the points :)

kellie said...

great interview, such great openness and honesty Cath, so inspiring and very helpful

Jodie said...

Greaty post!!!! Chunkychooky you ROCK!!!

Cheers - Jodie :)

Michelle said...

A lovely interview! Look forward to the reveal, and Cathy, have you thought about entering an embroidery piece in the show?

flowerpress said...

Great interview and lots to think about!
And I love all the faces on the rattles, the softies and the beardie man!

Tania said...

The bit I love the absoluet best, is that Cath couldn't resist just a tiny little soapbox!

Chasing Purple Dreams said...

If you are to shy to call yourself an artist Cath I shall do it for you. What a great artist interview that was Cam – wonderful to learn more about one of my favourite artists from the blogosphere! You don’t want me to get on my soapbox about people being scared of calling themselves artists do you??

Tas said...

Fantastic to get to know you and your work Cath.

Fruitful Fusion said...

Brilliant post! Thank you Cath and Cam!!!