Blog

Jackalope Arts blog - vendor tips, art & craft fair information and updates #jackalopeartfair

Denver Vendor Spotlight: Less is More Ceramic Design

How would you describe your style?
My style can be labeled as a mix between contemporary and rustic with a minimalistic approach. The forms tend to be simplistic with a focus on functionality, where as the designs and alterations have a contemporary flare. The color palette of my glazes have a rustic tone with soft and subdued colors reminiscent of elements of nature like the ocean and the grains of sand from the beach. These colors are formed through my firing process and the types of Clay that I use. There are a lot of artists that I look up to whether the art is 3-D or 2-D doesn't matter. They range from painter Georgia Okeefe to potter Martha Grover to the Sculptures from Picasso but I don't try to incorporate their styles and influence into my work because their style is their own and my style is my own. 

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
Every goal for an artist or maker is to have a signature style or creative stamp, mine comes through my carving on my pottery and through the forms I use for functional ware. Some of my forms aren't traditional but I have the users comfort in mind. Take for example a coffee mug, some of my mugs have a wavy lip Rim that make it more comfortable to use. If you don't believe me try it out ;)


What is your creative process like?
My process all focused around producing one form or style at one time. When I get an idea for a new piece I'll make 50-100 of that same item with little alterations to find the perfect most functional yet beautiful form. Then I'll continue to produce that altered item. Then all the greenware is put through a bisque firing, then the pieces are glazes with a homemade glaze recipe, then fired to 2300 degrees in a reduction gas kiln. 


Where can you learn more about me?
You can visit me at work at my studio in Evergreen, CO or you can visit my website. I post constant shop updates on Instagram as well. 
http://www.lessismoreceramicdesign.com
Instagram: lessismoreceramicdesign

Denver Vendor Spotlight: Andria Green

How would you describe your style? 
I would describe my style and bohemian, vibrant, and worldly. I gather inspiration from so many different sources, such as nature, other cultures, and architecture. I have a very real respect for any artists who can create products with a minimal style; my brain just doesn’t seem to work that way.

Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
Some of my favorite artists and designers are: Justina Blakeney (interior designer), Leela Hoehn Robinson of Native Bear (artist and illustrator), Lisa Congdon (artist and illustrator), and Emily Louise Howard of The Diggingest Girl (printmaker).  They each have their own totally different vibe going on, but I am always inspired by the work they create.

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own? 
It actually took me a long time to figure out what my style even was. I knew I loved nature and geometric patterns, but it was a long process to figure out how to combine the two. I think it can be really difficult to stand out and create unique work with all of the social media around us. But I have learned how to gather inspiration from all different places, and mix it up just right in my head, like a recipe that has been perfected over the years.

One of the best compliments I’ve received was, “You have such a distinctive style.” Even if that style is not for everyone, I felt great that my work was becoming recognizable. I was so worried starting out, because I create art prints, posters, greeting cards, towels, aprons, pillows, and more, that it was not cohesive. But the first big art fair I did a few years back, I set up my tent and products, and somehow all of my color choices and patterns all translated into a collection. 

What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration?
My biggest source of inspiration is nature. I seek it out whenever I possibly can, and I am forever amazed by the tiny, intricate parts of each plant. Everything is organized just the way it should be, and it grows and blooms in such a beautiful, organic but also geometric, way. I am also hugely inspired by the cultures of the world, both ancient and modern. I think each one is fascinating in a different way, and I always like to imagine what it would be like to live there/then. To have my daily walk to work be surrounded by vibrant, patterned tiles, or to worship each week in a church filled with artwork from centuries ago. There is so much history in the smallest textile or painting, whether it was created hundreds of years ago, or yesterday. 

When do you feel the most creative?
I definitely feel most creative in the morning, and when the sun is shining. I have so much more energy when it is the start of a brand new day, and I love how the light makes my studio look. I try to get as much done before noon as possible, which is when I start to slow down and get hungry! Summer is my most productive season.

What is your creative process like?
I generally start with a picture, whether from a book or from something online. I am careful to never copy anything, even if it was made thousands of years ago, but I love to have a starting point and some inspiration. I have never been good at doing things freehand (although maybe if I practiced I might get better :) ), so I always sketch everything out before I start painting or carving. From there, I will start painting the different parts of a piece, or start carving a new block to use on textiles. There is, more often than not, more than one attempt, especially if I don’t have a completely concrete idea in my head of what I’d like the finished product to be. But I typically am able to get it down after a couple tries. If I am working on a painting, I will usually print out some photos that I took as inspiration, and have them nearby.

What's the coolest artistic tip you've ever received?
Don’t give in to trends. It’s something I have struggled with since I was a kid, wanting to do what everyone else was doing. I got away from that as far as my own personal style goes, but it’s still occasionally in the back of my head when I am creating. It seems, for me, to be an easy way out if I am lacking inspiration, to tell myself, “This is what is popular right now, and people might not be interested if you don’t make something like that!” But I try to remind myself that trends will die out in a year or two, and I need to be creating what is in my brain, not what is popular at the moment. 

Where can we learn more about you?  
I try to share almost every day on Instagram, and while it definitely is styled, I always try to share pieces of my process and inspiration, or videos of me working. And, of course, the occasional picture of my adorable dog :)

Denver Vendor Spotlight: Knit Stitch Yarn

How would you describe your style? 
I would describe my style as bold and exciting. I tried to make my yarn unique but easy to use with great patterns that lend themselves to bright, bold, colors.

Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
My yarn would be perfect to use in any design by my favorite knitwear designer, Stephen West. His designs are fun and funky and scream for yarn in the same style.

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
My yarn and fiber is unique in the fact that my color's are well saturated, bright, and work well with each other. They lend themselves to mixing and matching to create vibrant finished products.

What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration?
I draw a lot of my inspiration from the depths of my odd mind. I'll often just think of a color that I'd like to use in my own projects and once I get to the dye pots to create it, that one color will snowball into a series of color's.

The names of the colorways usually spring up while I'm dyeing. Something about the color will spark on odd thought and that becomes the colorway name.

For example, my black and pink yarn is named Flamingo Assassin because it made me think of a flamingo in ninja pajamas. The thought of a silly pink bird with super skinny legs trying to hold nun-chucks was pretty much the best.

When do you feel the most creative?
I always feel the most creative when I know I want to create something new but I just don't have an idea yet. I'll stare at all of my dye and a color will jump out at me and that gets the ideas rolling.

What is your creative process like?
My creative process is all over the board. Sometimes I come up with a theme for my color's first, other times I come up with the colors, and on occasion I come up with a color name well before I dye anything to go with it. I'll have color's in my brain for months before I dye them or for only a few minutes because I can't keep them in anymore. I fully believe that creativity can't always be structured so I just follow whatever scattered path it takes me.

What's the coolest artistic tip you've ever received?
The best tip I've received is to relax and trust yourself. If your art is stressful to a point you don't enjoy doing it, then it's not worth doing.

If you're into something that's not working and you don't like it, take a step back and really analyze why. Sometimes after stepping away for a bit you can figure out if it's the process or the product you're unhappy with and then you can correct the issue and get back on the right track.

Tell us about some of the custom options that you offer:
- I love helping people pick out the perfect yarn for their project. If you know you'd like to make a pair of socks or a sweater but don't know where to get started, that's where I shine! I can point you in the right direction for patterns that would work great with my yarn and help you pick out the yarn and get you the right amount to complete your project.

Same goes if you don't knit or crochet yourself but want to get yarn as a gift for someone who does. I'd love to help you pick out the best yarn that would make your present the favorite!

Three of my most popular colorways: (from left to right) Flamingo Assassin, Unicorn Tail, and Sea Turtle

Where can we learn more about you? 
The best place to follow me is Instagram. I'm @knitstitchyarn on there. You can also check out my items at www.knitstitchyarn.etsy.com

Denver Vendor Spotlight: Caged Bird Sings

How would you describe your style?  
Funky, Nerdy, Romantic.  I have a masters in Art history so a lot of my inspiration comes from people in different timelines, countries, and books. 

Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
I've always been inspired by Wassily Kandinsky and his use of color and pattern to portray emotion and sound into his work.  My specialty is in African art so I'm also complete enamored with Nick Cave (not the singer) and El Anatsui since both deal with pattern, used material, and transference of cultural history into a contemporary work of art. 

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own? 
Because I personally make them!  I wrote a paper on the quality of "things" in graduate school and it is mostly about this idea of a "thing" gaining quality by being touched, or formed, with human ingenuity.  That's a similar idea to what I have about my own work.  I use recycled stained glass from a local stained glass artist, I find branches from local parks, and I hold, mold, and put so much love into every chime that I create, and then there is of course the person purchasing the chime for a whole variety of reasons.  All of these different people are a part of the story of the piece and that's what makes me so passionate about creating them. 

What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration?
Nature, humans, emotions.  I often find myself using nature with all of the various patterns, and color combinations as a big inspiration for my work.  There is a kind of special, magical quality that stained glass offers that I find best mirrors those found in natural settings.  Colorado also offers the most beautiful scenery and unusual pairings.  Last summer I spent a long weekend visiting the Sand Dunes for the first time and was just blown away by the way the dunes, river, and mountain peaks played off of one another.  When I'm laying out pieces my design process is very much my memory and emotions felt visiting the different places that I've explored and the people that I've met along the way.  

When do you feel the most creative?
I love to jam out.  Pandora has an "80s Cardio" playlist and when that comes on... I turn into my most productive self (unfortunately for my neighbors it's also extreme karaoke self).  Usually I'll go on a big hike or little walk around Denver to recharge, but I've also found myself to reset into the creative process when I let someone else do it for me.  I love, love, love letting others help me with their custom orders, ESPECIALLY when I'm able to let them come to pick their own glass pieces from my workroom at home.  I love getting to see them pick out pieces and put them together and it really helps fuel my own creative spirit.  I think this is also why I'm such a passionate teacher, I'm always looking for new ways to tackle a project or subject.  

What is your creative process like?
I have about three bins of stained glass scraps (mostly organized by color group) and will spend hours selecting pieces and placing them on rubber mats to lay out a chime.  I'll collect handfuls of colors I find interesting and then begin to put them together.  I usually have a system of opaque pieces next to more transparent ones but I will try and mix it up a little bit.  Once I've set aside a few chime designs and I'm ready to create I head straight to my bead collection which usually has me making design decisions of whether or not to include the same color palate with the beads or to create a contrast.  Then I place the 3-4 beads per piece of glass above the glass, plug in the glue, put on some music, and get into the zone.  One of my favorite little secrets (though not anymore!) is adding an "M" shape with the hemp on one piece of glass per chime, it's kind of like a quiet signature and it always makes me smile knowing that my name is hidden within the work. 

What's the coolest artistic tip you've ever received?
Ah!  So many.  One of my professors at the University of Northern Colorado told me to put my work far away and squint to try and see if the colors, highlights, and shadows were equally placed and I use that advice all the time.  I think one of my most inspiring artistic tips was from a painting professor who told me that my need to please others was bringing my work quality down and that art should be for you.  She told me that all of those great artists that we learned about did not care about whether or not I thought their work was "pretty" or "cool" but rather that we felt some sort of transference in emotion because that artist put their heart, soul, and personal belief into that work of art and that I should do the same. 

Pasadena Vendor Spotlight: Scientifica

How would you describe your style?  
I'd describe my style as an attempt to be style-less. I'd really like the illustrations to be as honest a rendering as possible, and in trying to accomplish that, my "style" is born. It's not really intentional, but more a function of pushing my personal limitations.

Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
I particularly look up to Tom Savini and Jimi Hendrix. 

What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration?
Right now - cryptozoology. I'm really inspired to illustrate a series of organisms that may only exist in folklore. Science fiction and the unknown have always been a source of inspiration. Wayne Douglas Barlowe's book - Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, has been great source material to me since my childhood.

When do you feel the most creative?
Surprisingly, the older I get, I feel most creative in the small hours of the morning. When I should be sleeping.

Where can we learn more about you? 
You can learn more about me and my current projects by visiting
https://scientificaillustration.com/
https://www.instagram.com/scientificaillustration/
http://www.jcoreywoessner.com

Pasadena Vendor Spotlight: Indie Republic

How would you describe your style?  Are there any artists / designers that you particularly look up to?
My style would be eclectically natural with a touch of modern industrial.  Inspirations and artists / designers I look up to ranges ... from Gorjana Jewelry to Nicole Curtis HGTV. As for Interior designer styles that inspire, I have a few: Kelly Wearstler, Brooke Wagner, Raili Clasen


What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own? 
It's a true evolution from creative finds and natural reclaim earth. I create what I feel I'd love to see in my home, space, and common area I frequent. I feel my designs never stop growing. When I creating a new piece or an ordered one, I'm already thinking of the changes, or options I could do it it. That's what make me a true artist 👨‍🎤 As a jewelry designer by trade the designing of 

What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration through all things around me, from the mountains to the beaches

When do you feel the most creative?
I feel most creative when I'm in the moment creating in studio or workshop surrounded by all the rocks, stones and wood.  I also get inspiration when I'm walking vintage markets or thrifting through weekend drive arounds. Honestly I can get creative anywhere. My favorite thing to do is create custom designs for clients, drawing inspiration from their existing style. Oh and I also dream about new designs (-:

What is your creative process like?
I usually create a design board but on a table, spreading everything out by colors, mediums, and styles.  It's all about trial and error because a lot of my work can only work if the functionality is there so visually we have to build it to suite or test but then make sure it's do able for the final installation. 

What's the coolest artistic tip you've ever received?
ot sure 🤔 besides I've been told a lot lately, "keep doing what your doing because your stuff is great!"
I always love to go with "if you don't love it don't create it!"

What is your biggest motivation?
My biggest inspiration and motivation is having my little man say, "wow, mom, you are creative!"  As a single Mom, it gives me great pride to show my son what it truly is to work (hard) and do what you love! He is learning more at his young age about how to think of something, sketch it out, and go through the creative process of seeing is come to life than I could ever dream, just by seeing Mom do it. When he has a choice on doing homework or helping Mommy cut some copper pipe, he will choose the cutting. Obviously it’s all about balance but I am very happy to be able to teach him that we can do anything we set our minds to. 

Where can we learn more about you?  
My website has a bit more about my and my team or Instagram is the best way to keep up to date with what IRD is up to. 
www.indierepublicdesign.com  

Pasadena Vendor Spotlight: Bonblissity

What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?  
Our work is unique in that everything is pre-portioned and individually wrapped for single use.  It takes a LOT of work!  We work really hard to create products that are serve multiple purposes, especially for the busy women on-the-go.  Struggling with dry skin myself, especially my hands being in healthcare, I've created something that can be therapeutic and pampering all at the same time.  Plus, the healthcare worker in me don't like to reuse things to cause contamination, so that's why our products are single-use.  And, who doesn't like to open new things?

What sort of things inspire you?  Where do you look for inspiration?
Cute yet simple things catch my eyes first.  Then I think about how I can improve it, whether in looks, packaging, or the product itself.  There's really not much we can "invent" out there, but there is definitely room for innovation and making it my own.  I find a lot of inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest.  I also attend a lot of tradeshows to see what the trends are and how I can incorporate it to my brand.

When do you feel the most creative?
I am the most creative when my "space" is clean and organized, whether that's home or my 2,000 sq ft studio/warehouse space.  When everything is in order, whether physically or mentally, I am filled with ideas and full of motivation, sometimes too much.

What is your creative process like?
It usually starts with saying something like, "We need to make x".  Then my husband will usually say, "No, that's so old and everyone else is already doing it".  Then I say, "But customers keep asking if we have them."  This is when I usually start "googling" and see what's out there. I spend hours/days doing this until I have something to present to him that is different than everyone else's.  It usually ends up that we take ideas from the both of us and come up with the end product. 

What has been your greatest struggle as a business?
Starting and running a business takes a lot of work, energy, and money.  There are many times things are slow moving and you question yourself and the future of your business.  Don't be discouraged if you really believe you have something special.  We started our business about 5-1/2 years ago and I think we were ahead of our time with our idea/concept, but, we've really seen a steady uphill trend in our business last year and I think 2017 is the year we will see some serious spikes!

Where can we learn more about you? 
I was featured in a blog called "Meet the Maker" by Lucky Break Consulting.  You can read it at http://www.luckybreakconsulting.com/blog/meet-the-maker-elissa-choi-of-bonblissity/