Saturday 24 January 2009

Asking for Trouble.

If your looking for that gift for someone who is a Kawaii fan or all things Japanese, then this ones for you. She may live in Scotland, but she has an eye for Japanese design, which she incorporates into stationary, pins, tags, bags........ and well the list is limitless. Her work has been featured in Brick and Mortar shops as well as the National Museum of Scotland! With her own Etsy shop and several websites, her work is just within reach of becoming your very own.

1. Lets start off with who is Marceline? Wha
t makes her tick?

I'm 33 and live in Glasgow, Scotland. I'm originally from a small fishing village in the North East of Scotland but I've been in Glasgow for almost ten years and love it here. I currently work as a freelance web designer and make art, stationery and gifts as Asking For Trouble. I also run a music website , a blog of cute things called Super Cute Kawaii and spend a lot of time thinking about pie and bunnies (but not together).

2. So you are pretty much have your toes di
pped in alot of artistic things. Have you always been a creative person? What are some of your favorite mediums to work in?

My parents are both creative so me and my sister have been doing creative things since we were small. I ended up going to art school where I specialised in Printmaking so discovering the Print Gocco was amazing for me. I love to print by hand - it's a great mix of the creative and the technical. Basically, I love print in all its forms whether it's hand-printing on paper or textiles, photocopying zines or digitally printing my artwork on to cards and badges. I also love to sew but only in small doses.

3. Whats behind the name "Asking for trouble"? I see that is your Etsy store name as well as your website!

Asking For Trouble was the name of my little record label. I released a double 7" vinyl box set and putting the packaging together kind of reinvigorated my love of hand-making stuff. My plans for further releases all fell through but when I started making accessories and things I decided to keep the name, not least because I already had the domain and website. As for why, I am often asking for trouble - I'm very impulsive and often end up doing things that maybe aren't too sensible.

4. Your biggest inspiration seems to be Japanese patterns and
objects. What is it about this design style that really intrigues you and catches your eye?

I love the mix of the super cute and the traditional. The traditional kimono fabrics and chiyogami papers have amazingly intricate designs and then on the other hand you have the kawaii characters that are everywhere in Japan. I've been to Japan twice and everything is inspiring - even the manhole covers have lovely floral patterns and you can't walk two steps without seeing something so cute it will make you cry.

5. I have read that your art can be seen in some museums in Glasgow, Scotland. How does it feel to have your artwork recognized by others in such a big way?? What sort of pieces do you have on show there??

It's always extremely flattering to be asked to take part in an exhibition, especially when the curators come to you. The biggest thrill was being part of the Gifted exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland - the museum also owns some amazing historical pieces (like Dolly the first cloned sheep!) so it was very strange seeing my name up there. So far they've all been exhibitions of crafts, though I hope my artwork will also be displayed some day. My Japanese fabric purses have been the most popular requests - I think the patterns coupled with my perfectionist tiny hand-stitching is a mix they've not seen before.

6. Out of all the things your create, which would be your favorite items to work on??

I love creating the images for my artwork best but getting them printed successfully is sometimes a trial. So, probably my brooches. Although everyone makes felt flower brooches, I love picking the colours and matching the buttons and seeing them all together.

7. When first starting off on a new craft or technique, what would be some things you do when you first start learning them? DO you take classes? Are you self taught? Read books on certain topics, etc.?

Having gone to art school, I've had a lot of basic skills knocked into me that provide a great foundation for any new creative projects. Often, I'll just figure out a way to do something and get going, and then later I'll be reading some website or book and discover there's a much easier way to do it! Hopefully that's what makes my work a little bit different though.

8. What does your work space look like? What sort of things do you surround yourself with??

"Work space", hah. Despite co-owning a fairly large flat and working from home full-time, I don't have one. I'm very envious of all these bloggers with their fancy work rooms. I mostly work in my bedroom, sitting on my bed. I have a very small desk with my sewing machine, a laptop and then a bunch of IKEA trays that I use for keeping all the bits of a current project together. I have RSI in my arm so this actually works out well - sitting at a desk can get painful very quickly.

My room is full of books, vinyl records and several million cute Japanese things with happy faces. I also have lots of artwork on the walls by people like Deth P Sun, Jay Ryan and Argyle Whale, as well as gig posters from the band I'm in.

9. What advice would you give to those just starting to put themselves out there and sell their work? What have been some pros and cons you have encountered when it comes to creating and selling your work?

The main one I think, is not to get caught up in what other people are doing - whether they're selling more or copying your design or whatever. Everyone puts on their best face as a business so they may not be as successful as you think. Just concentrate on doing what you love and making it the best you can. Get involved with other crafty folks, share ideas on a blog and work hard!

I can't think of any bad things about creating and selling my work - it's hard to pay the bills every month but I'm happy just to be able to work at home and create things I love. The good things are way too many to mention. Every order I get is still a thrill, that someone likes my work enough to pay for it.

10. Five things you just could not live without:
1. My laptop - would just be impossible (ditto the internet)
2. Books - I read constantly and get a ton of inspiration from them
3. Sketchbook and pen - to record all the ideas I have every day
4. My friends and family - they're always so helpful and supportive.
5. At the moment, Picross for my Nintendo DS. I am totally obsessed.

Well be sure to visit Marceline's Etsy shop now and mention The Little Red Suitcase when ordering to recieve a free gift with your order!

Thank you Marceline:)

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