Meet Melissa of Meow Kapow, here is a bit…
1. When did you first get into crafts, and have you always been into recycled/upcycled crafts?
I have been passionate about being creative in every way possible since I was old enough to hold a crayon. Making something great out of something not so great is a challenge I’ve enjoyed for many years.
2. What is the story and inspiration behind your work? What do you do when you get a creative block, how do you get inspired again?
I approach designing my clothing with no pre-planning. I grab a piece of fabric or piece of clothing and start from there, then I add and build and change it until I’m happy with it. I don’t think I’ve had a creative block yet. The fact that each piece I make is totally different from one another keeps my interest. If I was a designer that made several of one style, my interest would wane pretty quickly.
3. When did you first get into crafting and art? Do you typically work with the same mediums?
I’ve done several creative things as hobbies and jobs over the years. My first job was working in a flower shop because I had experience with flower arranging as a child with my family. At 16 years old, I was already designing floral arrangements and even making wedding flowers. I have also done mural painting for a job. I attended oil painting classes for much of my childhood.
4. What project are you most proud of ever making?
I have 2 accomplishments I am quite proud of. I was hired to paint a life-size mural of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood in sepia tones for a client on a wall in their home. I was nervous about it because capturing likenesses is difficult and I didn’t really have experience with it. But, it turned out really well. They were happy and I was surprised that I managed it the way I did! The other accomplishment was when I first started making my recycled clothing. I saw a contest called ‘Global Designer Search’ being held in my city, so I entered. There were 8 designers that competed and I won:) The prize was being able to show at Vancouver Fashion Week which was exciting and a wonderful experience.
5. What do you like to do for fun when your not making art? What is the one things people would be shocked to know about you?
I am a socially active person and have a many friends that I like to spend time with. I also really enjoy cooking and am always reading about new food trends, recipes and trying out things in my kitchen. One thing about me that would shock people? Probably the fact that the materials that I work with for my clothing are piled in huge overflowing bins with no rhyme or reason. Most people would be overwhelmed with trying to find anything in them, but I seem to know where everything is.
6. Who are some artists, bloggers or designers you look up to in the Eco Friendly community?
A clothing line that took my breath away years ago was Junkhouse Dollyard. The upcycled clothing was so unique and the designer is also a photographer so the set ups for the photos were so much fun. I credit them with really getting me inspired to start to do what I do.
7. Why do you think the Eco-Friendly, Recycled, Upcycled Movment is so important? What is your one best tip for a small change anyone can make in their life to be kinder to the environment?
Honestly, the passion with which I recycle to create comes from the joy of transforming something. I also love vintage and old things so working with those types of materials makes the experience more fun for me. I wouldn’t classify myself as an eco friendly person in general, but when I think about it, I am more eco friendly than I give myself credit for. It’s just that my motivation for it comes from reasons other than saving the planet. A tip for people to be kinder to the environment is to find a new purpose for items they no longer want. The old coffee table can become a plant stand at the window, or instead of going to buy a brand new kitchen table, seek out an old or vintage one. I found a terrific used table and chairs for my house. In fact it is exactly what I wanted and couldn’t find one like it in stores.
Be sure to Connect with Jana…