Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quirkles by Rebecca Shreeve

Rebecca Shreeve, Suffolk, UK
Brand: Quirkles
Website: quirkles.co.uk
Shop: allthingsoriginal.com, Quirkles.etsy.com

I have such a huge soft spot for appliqué and stitching, I'm not sure what it is, but the end result of these techniques has such a comforting effect on me. Like in a good bowl of extra creamy New England clam chowder kind of way. Rebecca creates the most wonderfully unique soft toys and interior accessories - all screaming to be hugged and passed on to generation after generation!

1. How would you describe your style?

Quirky, fun and playful. Illustrative, unique and full of character.

2. How long have you been doing this for and how did it all begin?

Not long, I graduated last July so since then really. If you mean making things though I have been doing that as long as I can remember! I did art at A-Level then went on to a Foundation Art course. My degree was in... >> continue reading Rebecca's interview
Textile Design and my creature work was my final project. I have developed it since and am now creating new creatures and products.

Animals especially mammals are a great inspiration to me, I just love them! and I have always thought of them as having their own little characters

3. One of the hardest things for artists to do is to stand apart from everyone else. How long did it take you to come up with your own style and signature look? What advice can you give aspiring artists struggling to find their own voice and look?

I am not sure how long it took me, I would say I found my style during my degree, although I have always drawn in a similar way. I think the style I have now was discovered in year 2 or 3 though. It is hard to give advice as I tend to just draw animals the way I like to see them, it wasn't so much that I wanted my own look I just knew how I wanted to see my creatures and I knew I wanted them to be completely original. I knew what was on the market and what I loved and just created my own look from that.

4. What inspires you? How do you get past crafter's block?

Animals especially mammals are a great inspiration to me, I just love them! and I have always thought of them as having their own little characters so I just wanted to make other people think about animals in the same way. I have always loved it when people give toys a name and character and I did it all the way through my childhood! If I get crafters block I search the internet for different quirky toys and animals and see what else is out there, decide what creature I would like to do and start sketching. I find the colours and patterns more difficult it usually takes me a while to get going if I start a new theme.

5. Do you do this full-time? If not, what pays the bills?

I am doing some freelance work at the moment with Jellycat as well as working with a publishers to make my own craft book. I would like to have my own business but finance won't really allow it at the moment and it is hard work on your own.

6. What tool(s) can't you live without?

I could not live without my sewing machine, I also have a heat press which is pretty vital to my work. The internet would be pretty hard to live without as well, I would have no contacts anymore!

7. Who is your idol or current artist-crush?

I have 3 main favourites Julie Arkell, Donna Wilson and Poppy Treffry. I love all their work so much! I've met Julie Arkell, I was star struck! and I visited Donna's studio which was amazing. My all time favourite company and massive inspiration is Jellycat, so I am honoured to be doing work for them.

8. Can you share with us a couple of blogs that you've recently discovered and love?

I am afraid I am quite new to Blogs and I havn't really seen many yet but today I was told Tilly the Shrew was on Cuteable so I like them! and of course I love Heart Handmade!

9. What's next for Rebecca and Quirkles?

I am exhibiting my new range at New Designers One Year On at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London between 3rd July - 6th July. After that I am not sure, I am hoping to do some trade shows and maybe one day have a story book published.


Unknown said...

Happy to see you are working with Jellycat. Here is one of their US resellers: Landbridge Toys