Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Heidi Kenney Interview!

I've been the hugest fan of Heidi Kenney (a.k.a. My Paper Crane) ever since I set eyes upon her anthropomorphized milk cartons and donuts. You can imagine how thrilled I was when we swapped emails for this interview! She's craft royalty!

Schmancy Gallery: You've been involved in the indie craft movement for five years now! How have things changed since you first began?

Heidi Kenney: Well some of the major changes are the big sense of community, so many indie craft shows, and lots of folks making plush!

SG: Do you feel that the internet was important to your success as an independent business woman?

HK: I do! I live in a small rural town and without the internet and being able to connect with people all over the world I doubt I would be making a career out of my plush today.

SG: What are some of the drawbacks/advantages of having such a big web presence?

HK: The biggest draw back for me is because I can be a bit shy, and now I even have some people in my town that read my blog and know what I do. It is an odd feeling to wonder if the lady shopping next to me at the thrift shop reads my blog. Advantages of course are having people recognize my plush as something I have made, the wonderful feedback and support that comes with it.

SG: I absolutely adore your plush! Have you always used food and sundry goods as a source for inspiration? What sort of things did you draw when you were younger?

HK: Thanks Kristen :) I actually started out online making some strange purses, like a dead cat purse, a hedgehog bag, nursing cat purse with removable kitten pouches etc. These were always made like a stuffed animal that just happened to be a purse and have handles, if that makes sense. The funny part is I dreaded making the purse parts, and the fun for me was in creating the plush. Before I ever had a website or blog I would mostly draw and paint making occasional plush gifts like a doll from Southpark, some felt food that I made my oldest son (he was 5 at the time and is 12 now and it was all handsewn).

When I was younger I would draw a lot of people, trees, lots of girls with big ruffly dresses, and paper dolls!

SG: What was it like to work with Kid Robot?

HK: It has been a really surreal experience. This has been first time I have licensed my work in this way (I have also licensed paintings and drawings to My Favorite Mirror and they have always been grand) but this is a different sort of thing. Everyone I have worked with at Kidrobot has been just really nice and have made the whole process really easy for me. It was pretty amazing to get the first samples of donut keychains and let it sink in that they were going to be made. The whole process takes awhile from original designs to approving clay sculptures to the actual keychains.

SG: Do you have any tips for someone looking to break into the world of plush?

HK: I guess I would have to say what I always say which is always make something because you love to do it, not just because you think it is the next big trend. So if you enjoy making plush then keep at it, but if you hate sewing don't feel like you have to express yourself in that medium. If your a plush maker it is always a good idea to keep a blog or atleast a news section where you can keep people up to date on what your making. People love to see in progress shots, and don't be afraid to apply for group shows or indie craft shows. Also do not feel discouraged if people say things like "OH are these for dogs?" or "Oh those are just baby toys" haha, I have heard it all :) Unless of course you are making plush for babies or dogs which in that case of course would be awesome!

SG: What's in store for My Paper Crane in the near future?

HK: Well I have some exciting group shows coming up, and I have even been asked to customize a vinyl toy for one of the shows (this is a first for me). I have some new clothing coming out with Kidrobot, and plan to work with them for as long as I can. I also have the possibility of a special vinyl toy in the works, but again long process so we shall see :)

SG: Also, seen any good movies this summer?

HK: I actually liked the movie Penelope a lot. Lots of beautiful things to look at and see in that movie. Hellboy 2 was pretty fun too. We also saw Peresopolis when it came out on dvd and loved it.

Heidi's opening at Schmancy is on Friday, August 8th from 6p-9p! She will debuting some incredible plush at the show, so make sure to mark your calenders! Until then, check out Heidi's presale or her shop!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Heidi Kenney Presale!

Welcome to the Heidi Kenney/My Paper Crane presale! Once again due to overwhelming demand, we have started the presale earlier than planned! To purchase one (or more!) of Heidi's fantastic plush, please contact us at Schmancy (206.728.8008 (phone calls only-do not email)) and we will be glad to help you!

As an added bonus, Heidi will be debuting some special plush not seen in the presale at her opening on Friday, August 8th from 6p-9p at Schmancy! So drop by, say hello to Heidi and pick up a wonderful plush to call your own!

"Bird House #1" (brown bird with yellow house green polka dot roof)Sold
measures 13 inches long x 9 inches high x 15 inches wide including wings

"Bird House #2" (grey bird with pink house)sold
measures 13 inches long x 8 inches high x 13 inches across including wings

"Bird House #3" (tweed colored bird with tan house with aqua polka dot roof)
13 inches long x 7 inches high x 12 inches wide including wings

"Bird House #4" (dark grey bird with cream house with yellow green polka dot roof)
measures 12 inches long x 7.5 inches high x 12 inches wide including wings

"Bird Girl + Bird House" (little blue bird suited girl with small brown wood colored bird house) Sold
$50 for set
girl measures 6 inches long x 5 inches high x 8 inches wide including wings, house measures 6 inches tall x 3.5 inches wide x 3.5 inches long

"Tattoo Boy" sold
measures 25 inches tall x 11 inches across

"Doll House #1" (doll house with cursive writing as wallpaper)
Measures 14 inches tall x 7 inches across x 3.5 inches deep

"Doll House #2" (blue and white floral background and she has braids in her hair)
Measures 22 inches tall x 8 inches across x 5 inches deep

"Doll House #3" (girl with dark hair, orange wallpaper with small flowers)
Measures 20 inches tall x 6 inches across x 4.5 inches deep

"Doll House #4" (doll with blonde hair, blue wallpaper with big white flowers)
Measures 26.5 inches tall x 8 inches across x 6 inches deep

Candy House (cream colored house with pastel shingles) sold
measures 9 inches tall x 4 inches x 4inches

"Houses on a Hill"
32 inches long x 18 inches tall at tallest point

a detail:

"Mushroom Hunter" girl underground and ground is shaped like a house, mushrooms on top) sold
measures 17 inches tall x 8 inches wide x 6 inches deep

"Tree Stump Queen"(girl coming out of a tree stump)Sold
measures 17 inches tall x 10 inches wide

"Mushroom House" (girl who is house shaped surrounded by mushrooms)Sold
measures 15 inches tall x 10 inches wide

"Tree House Girl" (girl house shaped standing next to tree) sold
measures 18 inches tall x 8 inches wide

"Tall Tree" (tall grey tree with tiny mushroom friend)sold
measures 29 inches tall x 8 inches across at widest point

a detail:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Perongeluk's "Part of Me"

Perongeluk's "Part of Me", a series of things that are carried with us everyday rendered in meat, is alternately disturbing and rad. Behold the Meat Pod.

Perongeluk's site/ Sorry there's no direct link but, for some reason, permalinkage wasn't available.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Twin Peaks" Etsy roundup

With the current issue of Bust's "Twin Peaks" inspired photo shoot and SAM's 16th Annual "Twin Peaks"/David Lynch festival coming up this Friday, I've got the early 90's cult classic on the brain.

Below are some choice "Peaks" style Etsy items. Thankfully, none of them are dead nor wrapped in plastic.

branded's "owls are not what they seem" tshirt

seasprayblue's "log lady" print

groundwork's "new growth" print

myimaginaryboyfriend's log pillows

cheapthrillz's donut painting

withremote's "drink more coffee" print

klishoriginal's cherry pie charm

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Diastema's Tiny Worlds

Diastema is one of my favorite people on Flickr. Her tiny worlds are wonderfully enchanting and never fail to amaze me.

Be sure to check out her Flickr page. There's tons of stuff to ogle!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Frank Chimero

Joanna at A Cup of Jo posted a link to Frank Chimero's fantastic "Design Won't Save You" print.

Upon further investigation of Chimero's site, I have decided that I am in love!

Be sure to check out more of his work here and also his Small Print book!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Am 8bit teaser

The new I Am 8bit show is just around the corner! Until then, enjoy these papercraft toys from scott c!

(via vinyl pulse)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jon Knox (Hello, Brute) Interview!

Jon Knox of Hello, Brute is a modern day Renaissance Man. When he's not making custom vinyl toys, painting or knocking out the occasional plush, he's designing shirts and hoodies.

Honestly, how can you not like a guy who created his own amazing brand and listens to Yacht?

Schmancy Gallery: For those people who might not know of the awesomeness that is Hello, Brute, can you give us a brief description?

Hello, Brute: Hello, Brute is just me, and I guess it's best described as a design label. I mostly make toys and paint. I've done a bit of everything. I take on freelance gigs so I find myself doing all sorts of projects. I've really been into collecting artist toys over the last several years, so whenever I have time for personal projects, I go straight to making toys.

SG: When you last talked to Kristen in 2007, you mentioned that if you could've you would have started with rotocast vinyl toys instead of with plush. Do you still feel that way? How are things different now that you work more in vinyl than with plush?

HB: It's definitely no disrespect to plush—it allowed me to realize some of my first characters in 3D (and cheaply). I actually have a few plush projects planned for upcoming shows. I do, however, have a limited skill set when it comes to sewing. I have friends that are fashion designers and what they do blows my mind. Resin and vinyl allow me to have more detail and color. I think they represent my style more accurately. After a year or so of hit and miss experimenting, I was excited to make the shift from plush to plastic. For now, it seems like the best fit.

SG: How important do you think having a web presence has been in helping Hello, Brute to develop as a brand?

HB: It's been everything. I started experimenting with the label while I was still in college and had just left to study in Australia. I didn't really know many people there at first, so aside from doing a few group shows, I mainly relied on the internet to show people what I was doing. During all of that, Kirby and Whitney at Rotofugi offered me a show in their gallery in Chicago, which was mind-blowing (still is). I think it's so important for young designers to understand everything the internet has to offer them, especially those that live in smaller towns and cities. I live in San Francisco now, and I still find that the internet is a huge help.

SG: Some of your current work that I've seen has to do with pyramids. Is there any sort of symbolism (personal or otherwise) with them in your pieces? Are there any other reoccurring themes in your work that have surprised you?

HB: It's kind of a long and weird story because they pop in and out of my work. I'm extremely superstitious and used to always find ways of including three's and triangles in my work, even when I was doing photorealistic work when I was a teenager. I ended up turning the pyramids into characters that sort of act as omniscient pets in my world. They are good secret keepers and bearers of luck. I've given them all sorts of names, but I think I've settled on calling them Arpies (pronounced AR-peez). And yes, "My Little Arpie" is already a resin figure in the works :)

As far as other reoccurring themes, I don't try and stick to any sort of formula—I go with what I'm into in that particular moment. I'm still trying to grow as an artist With my work, you can usually expect a super-saturated color palette and some sort of underlying autobiographical story about a boy. I like to keep it loose though; I hope that people can relate to what I'm doing.

SG: Do any of your characters (like Brute or Jake) have any stories or histories that you'd like to share?

HB: They are ever-evolving characters. I've created back stories for my characters before but I always feels like it kills them, in a way, if the story is too tight...especially if they're purely fiction. I'll later think the story is stupid or feel like the character doesn't fit my style anymore and eventually drop him. I actually don't even like naming my work, to be honest. I think it's important for my characters to grow as I grow. All of the guys I draw stem from different influences, and a lot of times I'll continue to work on a character for years and use him for different projects. Certain traits of the character will stick with him and I'll leave other parts behind. Sookie La La, for instance, has taken all sorts of forms...he was even a girl at one point! I think the stories to my work lately are all in my creative process—I really try not to over-conceptualize or edit my work with a fine-toothed comb. If something feels good, I go with it. It's a tough balance between artistic direction and serendipity, but it's also liberating not to tie my characters and work down with backstories. I guess I've started to approach character design from a postmodernist perspective, but it's difficult to describe because I've barely scratched the surface of where I want to take my work and what I hope to accomplish.

SG: Do you have any words of wisdom for someone trying to break into the world of vinyl toys?

HB: I say learn to do as much as you can on your own...making handmade toys, websites, Myspace. Just make as much stuff as you can and then show as many people as you can—don't be shy. Having toys produced in a factory is super expensive, and if you're a poor artist with no connections, it's gonna take some leg work and a big portfolio if you want a company to sponsor you. So just work hard and save your money!!!!

SG: What's in store for Hello, Brute in the near future? Also, quick! What're the first five songs that show up on your mp3 player?

HB: With the rest of summer and the fall, I will be having my clothing range made, plus I'll be making heaps more resin figures. I'm releasing my next set of resin toys at San Diego Comic Con. Cardboard Spaceship is representing me there, so I am SUPER excited and grateful—it's my first time selling stuff at the Con. I'm also going to begin working with one of my favorite toy companies on a factory-produced figure which is also really exciting. I've been blessed to have such a good response to my work so early on. It's enabled and motivated me to keep going.

Annnnd, here are 10 songs (I couldn't narrow it down!) that I'm thrashing:
Animal Collective - Peacebone
Chris Garneau - Island Song
Black Kids - Listen To Your Body Tonight
The Blow - Hock It
CSS - Alala
Hercules & Love Affair - You Belong
Patrick Wolf - Don't Say No
The Raincoats - The Void
Yacht - Platinum
Yelle - Ce Jeu

Jon's opening at Schmancy (1932 Second Ave in Seattle) is this Friday, June 11th from 6p-9p. Until then, check out his store or his presale on our site!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Jon Knox/Hello Brute Presale!

Welcome to the Hello, Brute presale! Due to overwhelming demand, we have started Jon's presale earlier than planned! To purchase one (or more!) of his awesome pieces, please contact us at Schmancy (206.728.8008 (phone calls only-do not email)) and we will be glad to help you!

Brute Toy (#1) custom--sold
9 inches tall

Brute Toy custom (#2)
9 inches tall

Brute Toy (#3) custom
9 inches tall

Brute Toy (#4) custom
9 inches tall

Brute Toy (#5) custom sold
9 inches tall

Jake (#1) custom-
6.5 inches tall

Jake (#2)custom Sold
6.5 inches tall

Jake (#3)custom Sold
6.5 inches tall

Jake (#4) custom Sold
6.5 inches tall

Jake (#5) custom sold
6.5 inches tall

"Tee Jay"
custom Dunny

custom Munny

"Sookie La La Study 1"- Sold
acrylic on masonite board
9" x 12"

"Sookie La La Study 2"- Sold
acrylic on masonite board
9" x 12"

acrylic on masonite board
16" x 20"

acrylic on masonite board
16" x 20"

acrylic on cradled wood
18" x 24"

acrylic on cradled wood
18" x 24"