Monday, December 28, 2009

8 Questions with...Jessica Puckett

By Kat of The Snuggery

Meet Jessica Puckett. Jessica lives in Northeast Minneapolis with her boyfriend, three dogs and two cats. When she isn't busy sewing plushies she makes her living as an editor. You can find Jessica on her blog, Plushroom Soup and her Etsy store, also Plushroom Soup.

1. What types of items do you sell in your store?

Strange softies! Think zombie critters, sea monsters, yetis, and boogeymen pretending to be harmless bunnies.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?

When I first started making plushies (as part of the craft duo Crabtree Studio) in 2006, most of my inspiration came from the barnyard and backyard. While I'm still very much inspired by the natural world, Plushroom Soup relies more heavily on the mythology, fantasy, and folklore tales I have always loved. I like to twist these tales and thoughts and infuse them with pop culture references and my own strange sense of humor.

I like things that are just a little off-kilter. I also like challenging traditional notions like plush needs to be cute, or that plush is only for children. When looking at my creatures, I want people to maybe think twice about these ingrained notions. Embrace the quirky. We're all a little bit odd, and that's okay.

3. Do you have a specific space where you do most of your work?

My craft room! I am so lucky to finally have a dedicated space to crafting. Most of my life, my crafts just spilled out of random corners, or at the worst, made eating on the dining room table completely impossible. Having a full room for crafting can be a blessing and a curse, though. I'm not forced to keep things tidy, and having more space means I accumulate more stuff. I recently did a deep clean of my space, though, and it was freeing! I need to remind myself to that seasonally, before it becomes an overwhelming chore. A clean room, a fresh space fuels creativity so much more than clutter (or outright disaster!).

4. When did you first start crafting?

I come from a crafty family, so I've crafted my entire life, but I didn't start creating plushies until about three years ago. I was on the hunt for a cute plush alpaca, but couldn't find a handmade one anywhere. So I decided to make my own. It was a funny little thing, but it opened a floodgate of new ideas that needed an outlet. So I kept designing and sewing new critters, refining my skills as I went.

5. Do you do any crafts or art beyond what you sell?

Too many! I've dabbled in cross-stitch, quilting, painting, and photography. I like to sew clothes and gifts for friends and families. I needle-felt, and sometimes use those skills to embellish Plushroom Soup characters. I adore knitting (if you're on Ravelry, find me under Pucky) and spinning; I'd say they're my favorite crafts. I'd love to find a way to balance them with the crafting I need to do for Plushroom Soup, but sadly, they always take a backseat to cute creature creation.

6. What are your favorite places to buy supplies?

Crafty Planet is hands-down the best place to buy fabric in the city. And Matt and Trish are so sweet, which is an added bonus. They're also extremely well-connected to the local craft community, so they're great people to bounce ideas off of as well. For simple supplies, like thread and sewing needles, I tend to go to JoAnn's, Mills End, or Hancock. Most of my fur I find at S. R. Harris. I buy my safety eyes from Etsy seller Enami Eyes, who handpaints the eyes in a wide array of super fantastic colors and styles. I can't say enough good things about these eyes--they're the best I've ever found.

7. What is the best thing you've ever done to promote your Etsy store?

I really haven't done enough to promote my store. I know I need to do more, so this is something I'm working on. I've been working on building a web presence and networking with all the amazing artists out there. I was super reluctant to join Twitter, but it has helped immensely with the networking part, and it's so easy!

8. What other etsy store(s) do you really like?

This is a tough question to answer--there are so many talented artists on Etsy, and I'm sure I will leave someone important out. KitLane (added bonus: she's local!), Melissa Sue Stanley, A Little Stranger, Girlsavage, Moons Creations, Hine, Cutesy but Not Cutesy, Follow the White Rabbit make the most amazing plush. BlackApple, lolley, melissamoss, joojoo are amazing visual artists. I Love Grey Skies and everyeskimo are full of fantastic miscellany. I covet almost every dress in the Calendar Girl Vintage and Timeless Vixen Vintage shops. My Etsy wishlist is quite extensive and out of control, so if anyone fancies sending me a surprise pressie. . . . :)

If you are a member of HandemadeMN and want to be featured in 8 Questions email me at katbaro @ yahoo dot com.


Liz (made in lowell) said...

I really enjoyed reading this interview, so interesting to get insight into an individual artist's creative life!

Mary said...

What a great interview! I love learning about the inner-workings of MN crafters. Plushroom was one of my FAVE booths at No-Coast craft fair and I look forward to more plushies!

arte de todo tipo said...

Really Nice Dear!!!
Congrats =D

God bless you abundantly!!!
Happy New Year!!!

Warm Hugsss


Aurora said...

I saw you on HGTV that's so clever making a plush alpaca. I wanted to make one but can't find the instructions. Do you have it posted?
You are very talented!