Monday, April 14, 2008

weekend update

this weekend i inked 16 pages in two days. i think my thumb is going to fall off.

i managed to watch There Will Be Blood. I was so zonked from my deadline, it didn't make much sense to me. i think i enjoyed it. Daniel Day Lewis's performance was great.


craft arts are important to me and--i think--important to our culture.* art on an everyday level, by people who would not label themselves artists, is a life blood i think we need. i would look at the quilts made by my ancestors, or peruse the halls of the American Folk Art Museum in New York City, filled with bitterness because they represented a bygone era.

turns out, it ain't necessarily so. there's lots of folks putting needle to fabric these days.

i ran into Sappy Moose Tree at Comic Con a few years ago. she had an artist's booth. she was making zombie sock monkeys. they were great.

i've tracked the handmade plush industry on the internet, seeing people's work from time to time. then my good pal and mega talented artist person Alicia Traveria posted a link on her blog to an event she's going to be attending.

it's called Crammed Organisms. i spent a while on the artists' page cruising the different websites of the different artists.

one of my favorites is One Red Robin, aka Jhoanna Monte Aranez.

her toys have a wonderful design and character to them. i know in the world of those who sew, the fabrics they use are a big deal. i hadn't thought about it, but as i read her blog and those of her contemporaries, there's lots of talk about "rare japanese fabrics" or vintage fabrics. this attention to material takes her work to another level as well.

Mrs. Aranez highlighted the work of Yuko Hara on her blog.

Hara is also a talented illustrator as well as a wonderful "softie" artist.

i am inspired by this stuff. as a kid i had a massive stuffed animal collection (they all had voices and personalities, more an extension of my puppet collection than stuffed animals). i used to make knight outfits for my bear, Peanut. also, toy design fascinates me. so, this strikes a note for me.

in college i was forced to take a "soft sculpture" class. besides the fact that my teacher had the creepiest over-lotioned hands of anyone i've ever met, i ended up enjoying the class a lot more than i thought i would. (though this is the first time i've ever admitted it.)

i did a sketch--i promise before seeing anyone else's work--of what i thought i could pull of at my current skill and knowledge level.

of course, i don't have time to do anything like this right now. (see the first part of this post.) but it's something i'm going to think on and research.

* while there are those who cringe at "crafty," i think self expression is valid and vital for those who pursue it, regardless of its professional or skill level... or Martha Stewart inspired origins. i commend anyone who overcomes the "i want to but i can't do it" i've heard from too many people following the revelation that i am an artist. what seems to keep a lot of folks from pursuing their creative impulse is just plain old fear. (there's probably a scowling art teacher somewhere in their past... the sort of character who needs to be tarred and feathered.)

** i can't blog about hand crafts without mentioning b's wrist bands.

1 comment:

alicia said...

I'm very pleased (pleased as punch!) that my post reassured you that there are many folks in the world still putting the 'needle to the fabric.' In fact, I would say we are definitely in the midst of a craft and DIY renaissance that's been going on for a few years now, and that largely involves the creation of softies.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed checking out folks' work so much, and that it has inspired you to do some plush work of your (own at some time). For me, looking at all the work on the Crammed Organisms site just makes me feel inspired AND overwhelmed. I really need to push myself this time - look at the stuff I'll be showing along with!

I've browsed the japanese fabrics sections of my favorite sites time and again, and my wishlist is long, and very expensive, so my own stash remains small. I have a few pieces, but I always feel I need to use them for something extra special. Ditto for all of the vintage fabric I have from my grandmother. maybe I'll get the gall to use them for this show...