Monday, April 28, 2008

Sian Keegan

Sian Keegan, Brooklyn, New York
I came across Sian Keegan's work on Etsy and it was pretty much love at first sight...

1. How would you describe your style?
I like to think it's fun, modern, and playful.

2. How long have you been doing this for and how did it all begin?
I have always been into making things, but I would say it started about a year ago when my friend Alison Tauber and I decided to share a booth at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn. We were both about to graduate from F.I.T. and just decided to do something fun before starting our careers in textiles. We graduated in late May and the fair was in mid-June so we only had a few weeks to prepare for it. I felt such a great response for the few things I had so I decided to open and Etsy shop and devote more time to my little business.

>> continue reading Sian's interview

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

I really love magazines, in fact I'm trying to cut down on them! Same with design blogs. I also get inspired just looking through thrift/antique stores. If I feel blocked I like to just take a break from it, that usually helps.

4. The handmade community is such a close-knit group, I notice that most people are either mentors to aspiring crafters/designers or have mentors who have been in the business for a while and are eager to share their experiences with budding crafters/artists. Do you have a mentor? And are you a mentor yourself?

I interned with Lena Corwin during my last year of school and learned a lot from working with her. It was so great for me to see someone doing well on their own. I never really saw myself working for a big corporation and it was really important for me to see there is an alternative to that. Also Julia Rothman and Caitlin Keegan (my sister) are two great designers who have been really helpful to me!

5. How has your experience been with the Brooklyn Flea/Craft Renegade? Would you recommend participating in these types of events?
Yes, I would recommend it, even if it's just to get feedback about your work, pricing, etc. It's also great for meeting other artists and designers, and they're really fun to do!

6. What did you think of the textile/surface design program at FIT? Would you recommend it to aspiring textile designers?
I would say it depends on what is important to you in your education. It's not a place where you'll be pushed to be creative, it's more vocational than that. It was great for me as it was affordable and it introduced me to New York. My advice to an aspiring textile designer would be to take as many computer classes as you can, and take an internship as soon as you can because that will really help focus you on which direction you want to go in.

7. Most of your designs incorporate reclaimed materials, when did you start becoming more eco-conscious and when did you decide to incorporate it into your work? Do you find that more and more consumers are seeking out eco-friendly products?

I think I have always been pretty conscious about environmental issues. I grew up in a rural area and I worked on a farm for a long time, so it was always important to me. My grandmother once gave me a ton of her old fabrics from her collection, most of which she got from taking apart old clothing. I think that got me started on using recycled and vintage fabrics. Plus I find it more fun to have a more limited selection of materials to choose from. I hope more people are looking for eco-friendly products, I know it's something I look for!

8. Do you do this full-time? If not, what pays the bills?
My goal is do this full day! Right now I work a few days a week as a textile designer. I held a full time job for a while, but I realized it was really important for me to have time to pursue my own work.

9. Who is your idol or current craft-crush?
I love Alexander Girard. The first stuffed creatures I made were crocheted adaptations of his recently re-issued wooden figures. I think they might still be my favorite out of everything I make!

10. What are your top 3 favorite blogs?
I have a lot of favorites! Right now it's design*sponge for sure, Lena's blog, and I think Reference Library - I love seeing ebay finds. I also love the Sartorialist! I read too many blogs.

11. Can you share any of your favorite sources for supplies?
My new favorite source for fabric (besides Grandma!) is Baltic Bazaar in Brooklyn. It's all donated fabrics which they sell by the pound, and proceeds go to charity. I love Purl Patchwork and Purl Soho, too. I buy three or four bags of cotton stuffing every time I go...they probably think I'm nuts.

Thanks Sian!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

I am a big fan of Sian's work and upon meetingt her at Renegade last year found she was just as lovely as her work!

Kelly Lynn Jones said...

she makes some great stuff!

Marichelle said...

Hi Kelly Lynn, her scallions and the duck are my favorites!