Let’s pretend to interview me for Etsy!

Etsy does these little interviews, and I am alternately fascinated by and rolling my eyes at them. Sometimes they genuinely contain words of wisdom and inspiration; but most often (and I hope I don’t get kicked off Etsy for saying this) they read as if the artist thinks they breathe out unicorn farts and poop rainbows.

So I will answer the questions as if I were being interviewed, and I’ll try not to poke too much fun.

Tell us about yourself.

I sprang from the ocean on a clamshell. NO JUST KIDDING. (oh, the pressure) At this point I feel I’m supposed to say something that will endear and enchant the reader, make them feel as if they know me, know my heart, in just three sentences.

I was born into a family of science fiction writers, was taught an equal appreciation for science fiction and folk music, and believe that everyone has a story. I don’t exercise enough, my heart is bigger than I like to pretend it is, and I’m very literal minded. I’m smart, funny, easily irritated, and will totally come get you at 3 AM if you have a flat tire or have been broken into (after which I will spend the next ten years going “hey, remember that time when you called my ass at 3 AM?!”).

No, wait, how about this? I am a dichotomy. I am equally charmed and frustrated by my fellow human beings. I love and anger easily. I enjoy baking but not cooking. I am usually motivated to eat (I’m also the worlds pickiest eater, and have food allergies) but not motivated to exercise. I am just like you, but am completely different.

Apart from creating, what do you do?

Read. Shower. Put on pants.

No, seriously. Almost everything I do is, on some level, creating. I work all day at home, creating things. At night while watching TV, I am also knitting (creating). Cooking is reasonably creative (or, at least, I am very creative about finding ways to set the kitchen on fire…).

What would be the title of your memoir? Why?

See, now… this irritates me. Why am I so important that I’d have a memoir? It seems that here is when people list off all the quotes they’ve been saving that are pithy and funny and inspirational. I would be more likely to use a song lyric. I want to be good, is that not enough…  Play it the way that you feel it… I did it my wayAll that you have is your soul…  Don’t think twice, it’s alrightI learned the truth at 17… I COULD GO ON LIKE THIS FOR DAYS.

And then, why? Why would it be titled that way? Because when the moon and sun aligned in the magical crossroads of the  … WHATEVER. See? This is what I hated about English classes, because I was raised by writers. Maybe so-and-so wrote it that way because HE WAS DRUNK. Maybe what’s-his-face was so lengthy because HIS EDITOR TOLD HIM HE HAD TO MAKE A SPECIFIC WORD COUNT. Maybe my mythical memoir will be titled whatever it is titled because I will not be able to choose from the billions of song lyrics I relate to, and my editor will just choose something because we have to go to print. WHO THE FUCK KNOWS?!

What does handmade mean to you?

It means that it was made. By hand. See? I told you I was literal minded. Handmade, to me, means that it spent more time becoming a finished product in someone’s hands than it spent time becoming in a machine. Some people say that “handmade” means it has to 100% be made by hand. I don’t know about you, but most of the creative and talented jewelry makers *I* know aren’t also alchemists. They don’t make gold down in the basement.

Who has been most influential in your craft?

See, now is the time when the person usually thanks their spouse. Well, my spouse is unbelievably encouraging, but he is not THE MOST INFLUENTIAL. I believe that the person MOST INFLUENTIAL isn’t the one who pays the bills so you can paint big-eyed green-skinned girls on black velvet, the person who is the most influential is the one who TAUGHT YOU TO CRAFT, or opened your eyes to crafting. I think people, when answering this question, are getting “supportive” and “influential” confused. Tim is incredibly supportive; in my husband I have found a valuable champion and cheering squad. But he does not influence my crafting as, say, my grandmother – who taught me how to make ceramics – has been an influence.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

Am I? Do I know that?

So… there’s this scene in the book The Little Princess. Sara Crewe is sent in to French class, because she has said that she has not learned French. It turns out, and she tries to explain this to no avail to the headmistress, that she hasn’t learned French because she grew up speaking French. She doesn’t need to learn French. She *is* French.

How do you know if you’re an artist/maker if you’ve made things all your life? That’s no revelation. That’s just who you are.

How would you describe your creative process?

Show up. Do the work.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?

This is like one of those “you can invite five people to a dinner party” questions, which I always hate because I fear I’m going to forget someone. Sigh. Can I just make a list, and one of you can choose for me? Antoni Gaudi. Frank Hurley. Diane Arbus. Gustav Stickley. Connie Willis. Sheri Tepper.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

Does my dad’s ponytail, which we cut off before he started radiation treatments, count? After all, it is his hair. He grew it himself.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

What ruts?

Where would you like to be in ten years?

In a bigger house, with more room for my crafty explosions. With a few more bills paid off.

6 Comments

  1. Sonya

    This was way fun to read! By the way, the paragraph about why you can’t title your nonexistent memoir off the top of your head was my favorite part.

    I got to Sarah Crewes out of a class called “Music Technology” when I was in college, once they found out I’d been using composition software since I was thirteen.

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