This weeks featured recycled crafter is Tina Frantz of…
I absolutely LOVE interviewing fellow recycled artists in the community, the sheer amount of talent out there just amazes me, I want to stand on the top of the world and shout out just how amazing each and every recycled artist is… this week I have the honor of interviewing Olga of WassupBrothers. Her recycled plush creations are so playful and unique, you can instantly see the passion she pours into each creatures she creates!
When did you first get into crafting, was it in childhood or later in life, and what types of crafting do you focus on currently?
From early childhood I loved to do something with my hands. Thanks to my mom, who would always sew clothes for the whole family. And to my very crafty grandmas. Over the past 10 years I have worked in different kinds of art: illustration, painting, fashion. But lately I’ve been stuck by the art soft toys. They give me the opportunity to use all the skills and creativity that I have accumulated ,and bring me much joy and pleasure. I have not made them for too long, and decide to come out with them seriously in the beginning of 2012.
Do you listen to music, podcasts, television or movies while you work on your crafts, if so can you give us a few of the artists, songs, shows, movies or podcast names you enjoy?
I love to work in a silence but usually it doesn’t turn out that way. To work while watching films or movies are not working good for me. I like to listen jazz or something relaxing. In fact last years I am not a good music listener and films – shows watcher ) Few years ago I was films-music maniac, i knew all the new songs and films , but now im focused on my soft creatures and not so informed .
Are there any crafters, artists or bloggers that you look up to, or ones that have inspired you throughout your journey?
Oh, where to start. I always was inspired by art nouveau style ( It is called ”Modern” in Russia) , impressionists and William Morris and his’’arts and crafts’’movement,Rennee Mackintosh , Henri Rousseau and many other artists.
My big crushes from the present time was always Ninon softie maker and Mr. Finch. Ninon shop is quiet now, i hope she will return with the new creatures one day, but Mr Finch is my everyday inspiration. They are absolutely different in style artists, but i love them both )
I love Inameliart art . Amelia’s paintings are so wonderful and they are pure LOVE and im so happy that we become friends and im proud owner of growing collection of Amelia’s artworks. https://www.etsy.com/shop/inameliart
Very talented artist- Jill Hoffman https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jill-Hoffman-Original-Art-and-Prints/324655227553657, and many others.
Do you sell your items exclusively online or do you also sell at craft shows, and consign or wholesale to stores?
Mostly I sell online in my etsy shop wassupbrothers.etsy.com, some sales came from Facebook and my blog. My creatures are comissioned in 2 stores in Moscow now, and this week bunch of Wassupbrothers creatures moving to a kids store in Italy .
What were the major steps you took toward creating a successful eco friendly craft business?
I’m not sure if my business can called successful, i still struggling every day. But first of all i work everyday. If im not sewing, i’m promoting, if im not promoting ,i make packaging, if i’m not make packaging i am blogging etc. I always trying something new, I’m open to conversation , and talk with the people alot everyday. I always trying to help to others and good is coming back to me.
What are you currently most excited about in your craft business right now?
I can work at home, my dogs are not stayting at home alone while I working somewhere all day long like i used before. I doing what I want and when I want ( at the same time it is the problem sometimes, because the time management is not my best side )
I give new life to the useless and old things. The idea that my eco friendly toys will bring a little bit of love and joy to you warm my heart. Sometimes i feel myself like a worm who have to recycle and recycle and recycle) The mountains of the scraps and fabric are still big, so I should work more ) My creatures are live and make people happy in more than 30 countries. Huh! How could I imagine this 2 years ago!
What is the one biggest piece of advice you could give a crafter, blogger or designer just starting out, and what is one online resource you couldn’t live without?
Don’t give up and have fun. Find your way and don’t copy others…
Now in internet era it is difficult to stay authentic and different and many of us, crafters and designers started our crafty way from someone’s patterns or from copy someone’s work. Its ok at the start, but when someone’s copy others day by day and call it ‘’ inspired by’’. It is not inspiration it is stealing. It is not good at all.
Online resources . Well, my everyday helpers- Etsy and Facebook, I post photos of my crafty process almost everyday and I’m so happy to stay close to my customers , other crafters and friends. I found great artists and very talented people on Facebook and Etsy and very thankful for that.
Be Sure to go check out, friend, follow, tweet and love Wassupbrothers…