Interview with Crude Things

I thought I would interview this great clothes and accessories maker because her stuff is so fun... and now I think I have a new hero! The more I learn about Crude Things, the more I love her and her work! And... I sorta wish I could be her.. She has met artists I admire, she is in a magazine I love, she has facial tattoos and she makes great clothes!


Name- Lana Guerra. Location (right now)- Portland Oregon.
It is funny I have now lived here 3 years, I have not lived that long in one place in about 9 years now, I am normally nomadic. I guess I stay here in Portland because it is a fun place to live, filled with creative people, young environment, and a gorgeous city.

Crude Things started off years ago when I first started sewing, I had no clue what I was doing and to me all the rough stitching on my dolls looked very crude....hence crude things. I have only been seriously making and selling clothing here on etsy and in local clothing stores for about a year. I have been on etsy more like 2 1/2 years, but it was more of a hobby when I started. Crude Things used to be my art gallery/ wig shop here in Portland. My main career was a hair stylist for maybe 16 years but most of my clients were on the east coat and after living here I grew tired of commuting every 6-8 weeks to work in NYC, I do miss all my fun clients and the life I had there, but I love sewing full time now! This is my website.

Hobbies. Well, now that my hobby turned into my job my newest hobby is belly dancing. I have become obsessive about it and my newest pet is a lovely ball python who I am now teaching to dance. ;p
Once he no longer has cold feet, when he is ready to perform live out stage names will be Veena and Habibi. (He is Habibi)  We will be performing together in May, for my next big theatrical show.... I have a crazy music project called Power Circus and every live show is insane to watch. Power Circus is in the works of being made over but you can see fun photos of past shows and tours in Mexico and all over the US in the blog.

How did you find Etsy? How long have you been selling on Etsy?
I used to just pimp my creations on LJ, MySpace, BME and on my website. Once I started sewing a bunch a friend told me about Etsy. Guess that has been about 2 1/2 hears now maybe?

How would you describe your style? Has any other artists etc influenced your style?
My style. Hmmm. well it is in a way hard to describe but not, I love worn out looking clothing and I am obsessed by circuses.... another reason I live here in Portland, we have a lot of circus performers and shows here monthly. I used to be in a local circus here and we toured the west coast a few years back. So I guess this explains the bright colors and mismatched patterns.

I also watched BeetleJuice and Edward Scissorhands way to many times when I was younger... the 1st salon I worked at in Providence RI was actually called Scissorhands! We used to get prank calls all the time, "Hellow, may I speak to Edward".

In my 20's I was also a big comic book reader of goth and horror comics. I used to love reading Lenore and still do. Well, years went by and one day I received an email by Roman Dirge, the creator and he told me I inspired her twin sister in one of his issues. I thought my friends where playing a cruel joke on me but nope, it was really him. He saw a pic of me in NYC when I used to dress in my Hair Nurse cut up and stitched outfit wtih a bullet belt and bleeding eyes with my tattoo around my eye I have and it inspired him. It is funny because she inspired me and later I inspired him.... everything goes around I guess.

Another comic book creator I loved I met when living in the East Village, NYC, and later I was in his comic book and his goth book as the Hair Nurse. The book is called Oh My Goth by Voltaire.

How long have you been creating?

Since I was pushed out of the womb I guess.
Right now in Issue 29- Gothic Beauty Magazine there is a lovely 2 page spread with interview in it and it tells about my childhood, so yes all my life. :)

Have you had any mentors, or are you self taught?
Self taught.

Do you sell more at one time of year than others?
Halloween, New Years, and Mardi Gras are for sure my busy times at wig making winter last year I was busy making real thick warm long winter coats and big furry hooded scarves that make you look like a cute cartoon character!

What do you sell the most off?
You know it is really hard to say, I think it is really about even. Bloomers, pants, dresses, pretty arm wear, coats, hats, wigs, and dolls to match....

What is one thing about your creative process that you think most people don’t know?
I never know what I am going to make, I just take out piles of pretty fabric and start playing :)

What is it like to do a photo shoot for your clothing?... because the pictures look like a lot of fun!
It is fun for sure, it's like playing dress up when u were a kid but you are dressing up big dolls that talk. Sometimes I pick my model because they are cute like a doll and I make an outfit after, this way the clothing suites them better and they are not uncomfortable modeling....especially when it is your friends not models.

Do you have a favorite item you have made?

Each time I make a new fun outfit with wig to match, it becomes my favorite, so no I usually like them all. It makes it hard to sell my clothing at times, because I want to keep it for myself.

What is the best reaction you have gotten from one of your pieces? Do you have any funny stories you would like to share?
Not really sure if I have any good stories, people never really look at us like we are on a photo shoot, they just look at us thinking we just are going somewhere special, keep in mind I live in Portland Oregon. What I mean is, there are a lot of crazy dressers on a daily basis and me having tattoos on the face, well I get looks all the time, so I do not notice people staring most of the time.

I do like it when cute little old babushka ladies approach and can not stop talking to you because they love the outfits and talk about how they wish they were young enough to wear them. Heehee!