What led you to start creating your art?
It's been so long I don't really know what exactly led to my art. When I was little, I took scraps of fabric and used my sister's little hand-cranked Singer model 20 to sew stuff. I didn't have any patterns, so I let my young imagination tell me what to do. I sewed little dresses for my trolls, little pancake animals and dolls, tiny pillows for my dolls, all kinds of stuff. Those sorts of things just evolved over the years, but they especially took off when the internet community of dolls came about. I joined FOCD (Friends Of Cloth Dolls) back in its early days and saw the incredible diversity that was out there in the doll world. In 2004, I joined a local doll club: THE DENVER DOLL ARTISANS, which really inspired me to make more and better dolls. Here are a couple of examples of my work: http://home.earthlink.net/~cnettercrafts1/sewing/earth_goddess.html http://home.earthlink.net/~cnettercrafts1/sewing/purple_fairy.html
Around that same time, I joined the Handweavers Guild of Boulder, which hosts a large fiber art sale every year. That first year I created small, affordable dolls to be used as ornaments with the intent of selling them at the Guild's sale. The few that I made sold out, so I've continued to making and selling them, adding new designs each year.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
The beauty of dolls is that you can incorporate multiple mediums into one art form. I love painting and drawing, sewing, beading, dying fiber and fabric, using polymer clay, etc. and all of these things can be used to make a doll.
What aspect of creating your art do you find the most enjoyable?
I love drawing up and working the kinks out of a new pattern, although this can also be the most frustrating part too.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art, what would you choose, and why?
Probably a fresh ripe strawberry. Strawberries are so bright, and they look like they're beaded with seed beads.
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art?
There really is no special message. If it puts a smile on your face, then I'm happy.
What advice do you have for other artists?
If you want to make a doll from scratch, but won't start because you think your creation won't be perfect, then just think like a kid. Enjoy the process, and if the result isn't what you expected, don't keep it. But, and this is important, keep doing it for the fun of it. Keep in mind that sewing and doing faces are practice things just like playing a musical instrument is. And if inspiration is a problem, look at books and magazines such as Soft Dolls and Animal, Art Doll Quarterly, Fairy Magazine, and anything else that has things you find beautiful in it.
THANKS, CHERYL, for taking the time to share your thoughts and wonderful creations with us! Don't forget now....visit Cheryl's shop, TWENTY POUND TABBY, below to see all of her delightful creations...colorful cats, fish, mermaids, dinosaurs and more!