2012 Calendar profiles: May + June

by kath_red on 03/12/2011

in People

Profiling the work of the lovely featured artists/makers in the 2012 Whipup.net calendar. I asked all the participants a few questions…

Jodi Anderson lives in the United States, she blogs at Daybook: A Keeping of Days. When making things Jodi loves the Conceptualizing + Implementing – that is having ideas and then making them a reality! She is our May Calendar girl!

1. What/who are your craft/design influences?

The natural world, most especially as it pertains to my rural childhood and geographical location, is the backdrop to everything that I do, and it is where I play mentally and physically. I also adore bitterly cold winters beyond all measure.

I am drawn to the mysteries of life, the unknown and the imagined, dreams of both night and day. Not knowing everything about our world allows me to fill some of that void with my own ideas.

History, in general, is a big influence in my life. I find a lot of fodder in the stories of my ancestors. I like to let myself travel further back in my mind than the historical records can take me, to a journey across northern Sweden. I am fortunate to have a lot of family heirlooms from which to draw inspiration. I also collect a lot of antique and vintage items, particularly children’s books, and these collections are greatly inspiring.

Jodi loves to make her ideas into reality

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

To me, it seems like the same need that I have to breathe. I can’t explain it; I just have to do it.

3. Favourite crafty resource?

The internet is my greatest resource. While it is difficult to trump hands-on experiences, I can find the answer to almost anything by searching online. And while I would basically do what I do without the internet, with it I can share with others while remaining somewhat an introvert. Yay, internet!

4. What music inspires you to create?

Generally, I prefer complete silence, just natural sounds like the wind or birds, not just when I create but throughout my entire life. That said, I am really inspired by Karin Dreijer Andersson (of Honey Is Cool, The Knife, Fever Ray). It’s not just her musical abilities, but her vision. She is a deep well of the extraordinary.

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

I don’t have creative blocks, just a lack of time and energy.

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Katie Startzman lives in the US and blogs at duo fiber works, she loves to knit with occasional forays into whittling, leatherwork and hand sewing. She is our June Calendar girl!

1. Name your three main craft/design influences

I love the inspired bits I find in obscure or vintage craft books. Most recently a couple German whittling books for children have proven to be very useful in the little wood carving projects I do with my boys, even if I can’t read them. Also, we have a great used book shop in our town, Robie Books, and they always have some great new-to-me craft book when I visit. The more I read and research, the more I find my aesthetic developing, so endless research isn’t a waste, though sometimes I get caught up in the info-gathering instead of the doing- I’m trying for more balance on this front.

My family has many talented makers and doers, a lot of my creative work is to share with my sisters, mom or boys. My mom let us do pretty much anything we wanted creatively when we were growing up and that freedom to experiment and try new things has stuck with me for sure. My husband is also creative, he is an illustrator, so having someone else around to keep me accountable is really great. After we put our kids to bed he reminds me to go into the studio and get to work if I have a deadline, and I do the same for him.

Similarly, I am pleased to live in a vibrant, creative community. My small town is home to many writers, craftspeople, fine artists and dabblers. It’s energizing for creative work to be the norm, and I am inspired by the long history of creative people who have lived and worked here.

2. Why do you feel the need/drive to make things?

I like the technical challenge of creating something new. Figuring out how to knit a shape the way I see it in my mind- that’s fun. Sometimes my drive is economic, for my carved wooden play vegetables, I wanted to outfit a play kitchen with natural materials, but couldn’t afford the toys you can buy. But mostly, it’s the challenge and puzzle of making something new and beautiful, often from very humble materials. I am selling knitting patterns and sharing craft tutorials because I know the thrill of making something really special for your family, and I love sharing that ability with others.

Katie likes to work with wood and wool

Katie's work space

3. What is your favourite crafty resource?

I love Ravelry. The community, the constant stream of new ideas, the feedback on my designs, it’s the best. I also treasure my Monday night stitching group. It’s the perfect blend of social time and crafting. There are some really talented women in that group and it’s a great place to share ideas.

4. What music inspires you to create?

I listen to familiar music that I don’t have to think about when I am knitting. Bon Iver, The Decemberists, Fujiya & Miyagi are some of my favorites. I turn to Paul Simon if I need something really familiar. It doesn’t really matter to me what they are saying, I just like the way they sound. Though for designing knitting patterns, I have to work in quiet. For me, math and music don’t mix well.

5. What do you do when you have a creative block?

When I have a creative block, I often take a break creating, focusing on housekeeping, baking, or gardening instead. Sometimes, I like to switch mediums, work with wood for a bit instead of yarn. Mostly, I’m learning to go with the flow of my creative energy, sometimes the ideas come easily and sometimes they just don’t. With patience, the ideas come flowing back and I can get to work.

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