WELCOME, ANNA and her Etsy shop FREAKY KEEN on Etsy. When you pay a visit to FREAKY KEEN, you will find notebooks, dolls, jewelry, zipper charms and more.
First, let's hear what Anna has to say about how she got started in creating, by reading her interview below.
What led you to start creating your art/craft?
It’s hard to say how I started. I started learning to sew from my mom when I was little. She sewed and created a lot, most of our Christmas presents were homemade. I grew up sewing and crafting, a lot of my favorite toys I made myself. I never thought much of it as a hobby or anything until after high school, that’s when I went nuts with it. I ended up with more bags than I actually use, I’ve made almost every wallet I’ve ever owned, almost all my tank tops are t-shirts I “customized” and you can’t look around my room without laying eyes on something I created. It just kept going from there.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I mostly work with fabric and castoff clothing because it’s what I have on hand and it’s what I am accustomed to. One of the first projects I remember doing was a quilt I started when I was about 7 using my old baby clothes. When you handle it so much, you start to develop a taste for fabrics and the many textures and prints available to you.
by FREAKY KEEN
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
I find when I’ve spent so much time on something that I’m exhausted and my fingers hurt, it’s all worth it when I can hold up my creation and go ooh and ahh.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
My craft is like a tomato, because the word tomato refers to many different varieties of the fruit (is it a fruit or a vegetable?), but they all are still tomatoes and still delicious and versatile. Unique individually, but together the same.
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
I already use more than one medium. Sewing is my number one choice for creativity, but my number two frequently changes as my interests do. It’s like my other hobbies. Singing, anime/manga, reading, RPGs and writing will always be top. But as for number two, I was big on yoga for a while but then I got into hiking for a bit, then dance came back although it never really left, then I started doll collecting, then charm bracelets, then chick lit, mystery novels, seed collecting, yoga again, roller blading, et cetera. I usually never completely drop a hobby, just push to the back a little. The same with my craft. I haven’t made any handkerchiefs in awhile but I feel the urge to do so, and I’m thinking of ways to combine sewing with bottle caps. Bottle caps are another thing I work with on occasion. The more I try, the more creative and imaginative I become.
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I guess when I make things, I want people to know that there is nothing wrong with liking cute things. Your pencils don’t have to be plain, wallets don’t have to be boring or “classic”, and adults can have plushies and dolls too. And what better reason for this than that it makes you and everyone around you smile. Maybe I’m just being naïve. But hey, studies do show that smiling helps increase longevity.
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Look for special sales on craft supplies and those baggie things at thrift store full of miscellaneous supplies. These are great for jump starting your creativity. Challenge yourself to learn a new skill from a sale or to find a use for an odd looking find, it’s very rewarding when you succeed at it. Also, avoid trends in crafting, do the projects you find interesting. This applies to those you sell as well as for personal use. If you make something that you don’t completely love, and it doesn’t sell, you are going to be stuck staring at it until you find someway of unloading it. And as for personal use, your free time is too precious for you to waste on an activity you don’t care for all that much. Adding on to that, don’t quit something you like just because you stink at it. My crocheting blows, but I still whip out the hooks on occasion and get down with it.
ANNA, thanks for a delightful interview! You have a great way of expressing yourself!
To learn more about Anna and her creations, click on the links below