Friday, March 19, 2010

Yummy Interview with Spamberly!

 I figured Friday is a great day for a another interview with a great artist! The artist this time happens to be Spamberly, creator and purveyor of fine, funny (and some times quite naughty) cross stitched creations. Cross stitching is probably the first real craft other than drawing I had as a kid that really stuck with me. Seeing Spamberly's stuff makes me miss it...maybe I will pick it back up soon. Enough of me rambling, lets get on with the interview!

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Bio:
Hi. My name is Amberly…Spamberly if yer nasty. Uhhrrrr, I like pie and hugs and candles and skulls of various animals with tooth decay. My one-woman stitch operation is based just outside of Boston. El Beano, if you’re in with the cool crowd around here. Actually, I think I’m the only one who calls it El Beano. It makes no sense, really, and now I feel silly. Pardon me as I retreat to the corner of this room/interview.

How did you find Etsy? How long have you been selling on Etsy?

Etsy came into my life via a flyer at a craft fair. That was autumn of 2005 and by Xmas, I had a shop in operation.

How would you describe your style? Have any other artists etc influenced your style?
Style? Hmmm. A local newspaper called it “hipster” once – they just knew I had this cool demographic of hip-cat college kids in their throwback tshirts and their gelled hair. The truth is, I don’t make anything geared toward a style in particular. I just create things I feel are worthy of being immortalized in this glorious medium. Two artists that might not necessarily seem like they influence my work, but actually really do are Nathalia Edenmont and Andy Goldsworthy. Look ‘em up, chickies.

How long have you been creating? Why cross-stitch?
Like so many others, crafting began in the womb. Maybe my mom tried to abort me with knitting needles, cuz I had knitted my own baby blanket by the time I emerged. Cross stitch came into my life at the tender age of 9. Ahhh 9. Same year I think we had the “girls only video about menstrual cycles” thing go down – what a year! Oh, and my mom owned a craft store in our house so I guess
that might be part of the equation. I grew up fingering notions. Mmmmmmmm.

Have you had any mentors, or are you self taught?
I’m self-taught, mainly. And I’m a control freak about it. No knots. And each individual cross stitch is the same, with the underside stitch being in one direction and the top stitch (to complete the x) is in the other direction. Same for every stitch. And if I find a rogue stitch, I will undo my work and re-do it the right way. But certainly the crafty ladies in my family were superior mentors…always checking my stitches and encouraging me to push myself further in the realm of technique.

Do you sell more at one time of year than others?
The winter holidays always prove to be a little hectic. But people are coming to me all the time with custom orders which truly do keep me sane. If I weren’t forced to constantly design cross stitch patterns for one-off pieces, I’d go nuts...or get reaaallllly bored.

What is one thing about your creative process that you think most people don’t know?

I can’t answer this one – you would think so strangely of me if I answered it.

Do you have a favorite item you have made?
I tend to stitch a lot of Neil Young lyrics. It’s true. But they never make it to the craft show table or the Etsy shop because I hang them on the wall and suddenly they belong there and I just cannot part with them. Yes, the grandfather of grunge is my muse.

What is the best reaction you have gotten from one of your pieces?
I think when my dad saw a pattern I had made of some breasts. My mom couldn’t quite make it out and I asked my dad if he could and he very loudly proclaimed “THEY’RE TITS!” ahaahhaaa. Good times.