Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Impasse.


Face wound.
Originally uploaded by Nix Sidhe

I've been driven to an impasse in the form of during the last two years my photography has dropped off. I thought moving into the city would have had the exact opposite effect, a whole new place to explore. So many more neighborhoods to roam and capture. Yet as my drawing and sewing picked up the photography is fading.
This is something I'm finding inevitable if not a little dismaying. I've always fancied myself a bit of a Renaissance woman, knowing and being good at a little of everything. As I'm becoming truly great at my Zomb-me's and I'm sewing more and more of them, I've realized I can't realistically focus on sewing (Zomb-me's, custom aprons, bags, etc.) AND do comics/zines full time. I don't think I ever really imagined a time where I wouldn't be able to juggle three or four really labor intense creative hobbies.
I sought advice from a comic artist I admire (Jeffrey Brown), and he has provided me some really amazing help in critiquing my work not to mention technique help too. I've never been so impressed by a response by another artist and so grateful for the help. It's provided this swell inside me, this drive to make comics... but then Zomb-me orders come in.
How do you choose? You have these two things you're fairly good at and you LOVE to do, but one of them is never going to get the love and attention the other will.
Which would you pick?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Revolution Will Be Handmade.


Dready Zomb-me v.4
Originally uploaded by Nix Sidhe

I have been mulling over a conversation that I was/am a part of right now. Someone had made a passing comment on facespace, "Anything I've come into contact with that was homemade either sucked or made me full." Which isn't completely negative in and of itself, it could have just been that he hasn't ever really been around people who create things or surround themselves with beautiful, well made things.

Regardless I still defended people who make things by hand and the things they make. I feel I made a great case and even changed his mind. Further into the conversation another person expressed the same sentiment though. A blatant and unwavering "Home made shit isn't any good."

I'm... well, astonished. There is no other way to describe it. I, of course, take it somewhat personally as I spend a large part of my free time creating handmade items, trying to figure out how to market them, and constantly searching for ways to improve them. I'm more concerned than offended though. What a statement like that tells me is that either:

1. This person grew up with a family who didn't make things. No grandmother who crocheted/knitted/did needle point etc., no handmade afghans on the bed, no homemade halloween costumes, no time spent making things together and fostering creativity.

Or (even worse)

2. Someone who grew up with these sorts of things and just doesn't appreciate them. It's not unheard of, especially in our American culture, to have people with complete disregard to the effort and beauty of items that are made by hand. As much as it pains me to say this, we live in a "throw away" culture. Tupperware too difficult to clean all the time? Here is a cheaper option you can just throw away and buy more, even though when you throw it away it will sit in a landfill for longer than you can comprehend. TV is broken? Just buy another one, no need to repair this one. It's horrible and wasteful. Not to mention how once our culture wanted the cheaper throw away option, we stopped caring about the quality of the things we buy.

I really believe by spreading the appreciation of things that are made with love and care we can beat the throw away culture. We can teach people to appreciate quality hand crafting by providing them with things we make.

I want nothing more than a life where I can make things I love, buy things other people make with love, and spend as little time/effort/money on things that are mass produced/throw away quality.

I really truly believe that the revolution will be handmade.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Battle Scars.


Battle scars.
Originally uploaded by Nix Sidhe

Oh hey there, 2011, nice to see you. I'm glad for another new year and for the deceptively mild and beautiful winter we've been having.

I'm even more glad for the steady stream of commissioned orders I've been receiving for my Zomb-me's and the ability/drive to put a lot of work and effort into them. I've really been honing my skills and testing out new processes. I'm hoping to really bring them into their own this year. I want to see this Zomb-me's become something even more unique and really loved. Don't get me wrong, I love sewing with my machine very very much but these hand sewn plush really make me so deliriously happy. The ability to carry them with me and work on them at my day job and at the new craft night I've started makes them the perfect project. (More on the craft night in a bit.)

I've been eyeing up the competition on Etsy, checking out other zombies whether dolls or plush. (I love seeing other people's creative interpretations on a zombie.) I've also been looking at doing some of what I call "Rotten-made" (think "ready-made") Zomb-mes for events like Horror Realm and World Zombie Day both proudly hosted here in Pittsburgh. I'm also considering doing some other craft shows here if I can get enough of  back stock and applying to Plush You!. I've been longing reading that blog and wanting to apply for ever and this year I finally feel like my plush have come around to something I'd be proud to enter.

Last but most certainly not least, I started a craft night called "Yarn 'N Yinz" at a local coffee shop, The Beehive in the Southside. This happens the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month, so if you're in/around da 'burgh stop down!!!

So far 2011 has been a wonderfully creative year thus far and I'm hoping to keep that going as long as I can. I want to turn this hobby into something really big, fun, and wonderful.