Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The importance of artist collaboration.

   One thing I have discovered about myself in recent years is that I love talking to people about making things.  I love to share how I made something and then hear how it inspires them! Usually there isn't anything I won't tell you. Whether it's where to buy the crazy fabric, how to make moving eyes or what to do next on drafting a pattern, I will do my best to share what I have learned over the past 15 years.

 -Leonidas  The first Tindle Bear made in 2007

   I think collaboration with fellow artists, crafters and novices is not only pivotal to self growth, but it's also what makes our products better.  It makes us go farther and do more. It inspires us!
  When I first got my start, it was working with reborn dolls.  I wanted to make one but at the time there wasn't really a manual. It was a new art, where artisans took a vinyl baby doll and transformed it into a lifelike keepsake with rooted hair, perfect baby lips and even something called baby fat.
  I asked one simple question to an artist who made them and what I got in return was a mentor.  She told me everything. She told me how to do it, why we do it specific ways and where to get supplies. Our correspondence was through email, I never met her or even saw a picture of her yet she was still willing to help a novice crafter and expected nothing in return.
 After the market began to grow so did the pool of artists and the techniques that were tested and tried. I never ran into a single artist that wouldn't divulge information. The same happened when I chose to make teddy bears. There are whole forums of hundreds of artists from all over the world that collaborate on things like "how do I wax my bears nose?" and "Help, my airbrush splattered on teddy's face!" even, "I found this teddy at a garage sale, can some one identify it please?"
 An online forum teaming with ideas, techniques and inspiration. Now that I have acquired some 15 years of experience I can share what I know with anyone! I would love to try to answer your crafting questions. The ideas of others are always thrilling to hear.

My husband and I at a show with Nitro, our dancing bear.
 My bears are now evolving into interactive puppets and marionettes.