07 October 2009

MooBeeView #4: PocketCarnival

Well, after a short break it is time for another fabulous MooBeeView.  This month I have asked Penny from PocketCarnival to take her turn at answering the Fabulous Four Questions.  Penny is a fantastic artist and crafter and I think everyone should own one of her coin purses (at the very least).  My thanks to Penny for stepping up to the plate:

1. MooBeeTees was first attracted by the whimsical nature of your artwork - I like to see your characters as children who are always dressing up, simple, uncomplicated, joyful - how did your characters evolve?

Friends - Original Framed Ink and Watercolour Illustration This is a tricky one to answer, as I'm still a little unsure! I have a couple of old sketchbooks that have lasted a few years (I draw very small!), and I can definitely see the progession of the characters. I started drawing cartoon-y little children, then giving them costumes to amuse myself. Then the bunny & kitten costumes sort of evolved into a whole series of little animals! I'm always happy when I can figure out how to make a recognisable animal that still looks cute, and is simple enough to draw on a coinpurse.

Some of my earlier sketches were mermaids & beetles (cuter than it sounds) and I still might come back to these. Definitely the little beetle hats amuse me greatly!

2. Many artists are happy to display their art in a more traditional way, such as hanging on a wall. Why did you decide to use more functional items as your 'canvas'?

Throwing Paper Planes Coinpurse - with Original Mixed Media IllustrationThis will sound silly, but I didn't think I was good enough to be an artist! I started out sewing little purses using felt and printed cottons and selling them on Etsy and to shops in Melbourne, all the while wishing I could be a real artist. Then I thought... what if I just drew something onto a purse? To me, that didn't seem as scary as drawing on paper. There was less chance of being laughed at, and there was something quite unique about it. It took a while to find the right pen, one that wouldn't bleed into the fabric and that was waterproof, and then I was off! I was EXTREMELY chuffed when somebody actually bought one of these purses. I really love calico as it's so natural, with little flecks of cotton through it, and to me just crying out to be decorated.

It was only several months later, and after some encouragement from other people on Etsy, that I decided to try drawing on paper. I did a couple of short courses which were invaluable for giving me confidence and skills. I'm happy to now have art prints and cards as well as the occassional original artwork, but when I am figuring out a new animal or style, I will do a quick sketch and then always draw it on calico first.

3. As well as being an accomplished artist, you are also a talented sewer. I'm interested to know what comes first - the artwork or the item to be decorated?

The Bunny and the Paper Plane - ClutchI always draw the little calico patches first. I'm a bit naughty and carry a pile of calico squares and some pens with me wherever I go... it's not great for my relaxation level, but whenever I'm on the train, or waiting in a cafe, or watching a dvd, I pull out my calico and do some animals. Lately I find that if I'm not sewing buttons, or drawing calico, or cutting fabric, I don't know what to do with myself. Sometimes I like to watch music videos and draw something related. I wish I was this prolific at drawing things for people to put on their walls!

Once I have a sizeable little stack of calico pictures, I'll pull out my fabric and find some to match. I stack them up with their lining, zip, and outer fabric... sometimes it's a bit tricky. For example the bear can ALWAYS go with polka dot fabric, and the elephant never. I've got a huge stack of vintage corduroy which is just perfect for these purses.

4. Finally, when are we going to see your artwork on fabric so that we can all use it (I always keep the hard hitting questions for last)?

Rabbit - Pink Eco-Tote BagOooh! I may be working on something related to this... It might take a little while, as I have so many ideas than hours to achieve them in! I love using the fabric of Melbourne designers such as Ink & Spindle (http://inkandspindle.com.au/) & Shannon Lamden (http://auntycookie.com/) fabric in my purses, and these designers are definitely inspiring to me.

I will say this - designing fabric is difficult!

I'd like to thank Penny for taking the time to answer my questions and letting us in to her whimsical world.  If you want to learn more about Penny and PocketCarnivalplease visit her at one of her online sites:
MooBeeView's 4 Word Review: Delightfully Whimsical Little Creatures :-)

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