We're ever so lucky to have such a diverse and talented group of crafters on the Kuretake ZIG Design Team. Our DT members are based all over the world and create amazing work with our range of pens and craft materials.
We'd like tell you more about these wonderful people and also find out a bit more about crafting in the countries they live in. So, we'll be running a "Crafting Around the World" series of interviews and tutorials on the ZIG blog! Each interview will be followed up with a guest tutorial from our Design Team members featuring their very favourite ZIG products.
Crafting in the UK, with Kim Dellow....
We're starting our Design Team series in the UK with one of the founding members of the ZIG Design Team, the lovely Kim Dellow, aka Crafty Makes! Kim never fails to impress us with the fantastic makes she sends in for exhibitions and our Create & Craft TV shows.
Hi Kim, tell us a little about yourself…
Hi, I’m a UK based artist / crafter / blogger living in London with my very patient and supportive boyfriend, I love all things arty / crafty from papercrafts to sewing and mixed media to the point of a small obsession! I am very lucky to be on some wonderful design teams including the Kuretake team.
What is the art/crafting scene like in London?
A lot of art and craft goes on all over London, which is great.
How did you get into crafting?
It’s one of those stories you hear a lot, I was keen on making things when I was a kid but then I stopped to pursue a career (in my case, science). Skip on a few years and I’m finding myself needing to make things again.
Where can we see your work?
My blog is called Crafty Makes and I’ve been published in Papercraft Essentials, Simply Cards and Papercraft and Craft Stamper. I also have a Flickr Gallery.
How would you describe the style of your work?
Mmm, eclectic! A little bit of this, a little bit of that! I mainly make cards but I love working with mixed media particularly stitch, paint, fabric and paper.
Favourite Kuretake product and why?
Well I have a few! I really was blown away when I got my hands on my first ZIG pen - the flow of the ink, the vivid colours and the amazing range of products. Probably my top, top favourites are the ZIG Art and Graphic Twin pens and the ZIG Fabricolor, but I also love the ZIG Clean Color, ZIG Brush markers II, ZIG Kurecolor alcohol inks, well I could keep listing.
What advice would you give to other freelance crafters?
Get a blog! Start building up your online presence, use Facebook and Twitter to connect with people and to share. But the biggest thing is to keep working, and submitting your makes to competitions, magazines, DT calls etc.
What has been your fave project that you’ve made using ZIG pens?
Probably the mixed media Poppy tag I recently made from sweet wrappers, I wrote a tutorial for it too. I used a whole range of ZIG pens to put the colour and stamping onto this project: ZIG Writer pens, ZIG Calligraphy pens, ZIG Art and Graphic Twin pens and the ZIG water colour system BrusH2O.
Describe your creation and design process...
If I’m working on a commission with a given remit, I tend to spend time sketching out ideas, researching colour combinations and suitable products. Then there is an experimental stage where I need to try out some of the ideas to see if they will fly or be easily translatable into the format required. After these stages it is a case of mocking up the makes as they will look but I tend not to stick anything down until I have most of the project mocked up, I still might need to change a colour or a focal point. Once I’m happy everything is stuck down, photographed and sent off!
If I’m working on a project that has no remit, the process tends to have less structure. Sometimes it starts from a colour, or an image in my head or sometimes a product or a technique I want to try and the creation develops as I go along.
Which current trends are influencing your work?
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with trends! I need to keep abreast of them for my work - it is important as a freelance crafter that you know where the trends are going and what is out there but I never like to follow the crowd! A try to do something just a little different from time to time.
What’s so great about being part of the ZIG Design Team?
Well they are a bunch of lovely people and it is a pleasure to work with them, both the Kuretake folks and the Design Team. But also getting to work with some really top-quality art and craft products is fantastic! I believe there are even more exciting things planned so I can’t wait to see how it all develops.
It’s often said that creative people are messy people. What’s your work area like?
My 'studio' is a corner of the sitting room and I work on a small foldable garden table but I've pretty much taken over all of our tiny flat - Eek! - and yes it does get very messy!
What inspires you?
Everything and anything, inspiration pops up all the time!
Whose work do you admire?
Lots of folks, there are artists such as Ruth Rae, Michael de Meng, Claudine Hellmuth, Tessa Farmer, Amanda McCavour, Alisa Burke, Stan Sakai to name but a few and in no particular order. But also many of the art and craft bloggers I follow I just adore and I am always blown away by their work but there are too many to list here!
Tell us a random fact about you....
I pick up rusty metal and buttons from the street.
What are currently you favourite blogs/websites?
I enjoy reading around the craft industry and about blogging so some of my favourite blogs and websites will be about how to be a better blogger and various craft subjects. So for instance I like CrafterMinds, CraftZine and CreateMixedMedia.
What advice would you give a 16-year-old you?
Don’t stop making things!
What motivates you on those slow days?
Mmm that is a tough one, if I’m honest it is usually a pep talk from my boyfriend!
Are you working on anything at the moment that you can tell us about?
Well I have some magazine articles coming up in the near future that I’m very excited about. Also I have some 3D projects that I’m exploring and am keen to find out where they will go.