Being “Just Bananas” is more a state of ‘being’ than a ‘name’ for a hobby/business!
If you were following the 5 Day Art Challenge that I participated in during January 2015 via Facebook you would have had the opportunity to see some of the images that I have included on my Permanent Blog Pages Youth Hobbies. All of these artistic endeavours had a certain amount of satisfaction attached to them but on their own individually they weren’t enough to keep my attention.
Here’s a quick recap of the images I chose for the Challenge.
Remember more information and other examples of my artistic endeavours are included in the Permanent Blog Pages….just click the red text to follow the links.
Day 1 of the Art Challenge:
Day 2 of the Art Challenge:
Day 3 of the Art Challenge:
Day 4 of the Art Challenge:
The beginning of my interest in making Soft Toys was visually portrayed on Day 5 of the Art Challenge… Reading two horse books written by Monica Edwards “Wish for a Pony” and “The Midnight Horse” were the starting point. “Wish for a Pony” inspired me to draw horses and “The Midnight Horse” inspired me to create horses using fabric and other materials (see Toy Making).
Day 5 of the Art Challenge:
I feel like I am “Just Bananas” because I am so passionate & borderline ‘crazy’ (i.e. bananas = crazy) about designing Soft Toys. I love to look at fabric creations and try to figure out how they are made & how to apply the techniques or methods to what I am aiming to create. I strive to learn and improve all the time. When making Soft Toys I aim for realism and prefer to refer to real live living creatures or good photos whenever possible.
I enjoy the design process, the drawing & cutting out of paper & fabric shapes. Sometimes I find the sewing a little tedious because I am such a perfectionist it can take many, many attempts and tiny revisions to get the shape just right! I am currently learning a digital drawing program & enjoying using it to make my Pattern shapes neat. Plus it is always fun to work with photos and create what I hope are clear step by step instructions. Then there is a new creative outlet that combines even more of the artistic skills that I gained as I grew up, namely Custom Fabric Design made possible by Spoonflower.com which is a dream come true! Perfect for all those occasions where I can’t find just the right fabric! If only I had more time I have so many ideas!
But that is not the full explanation as to ‘why’ I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys”… it’s not just about “me” being able to create the things I do it is about encouraging & supporting other people (e.g. other toymakers & designers) and about enabling others to create also (e.g. by creating Sewing Pattern PDFs).
When I heard about the Sewmamasew 6 weeks of Softies Competition I spent a lot of time thinking about whether to enter or not. I was keen to see all the fabric creations and hoped to see people who needed a little confidence boost or encouragement by way of positive feedback or winning a prize benefit from the participation. I felt the need to continue to work on my current PDF and wondered if I could spare the time to sew something(s) to enter.
My main motivation for entering is not based on a desire to win a prize. Even though I have been designing and making Soft Toys (off and on) since I was 12 years old I have only had an Online Internet presence for just over a year (Etsy & Craftsy shops, Facebook Page, Spoonflower shop and this WordPress Blog). By participating in the competition I hope to show a wider audience what I make. The best ‘prize’ I could ever receive would be to fuel and assist other people’s creativity!
Designing Soft Toys is my (almost all consuming) passion! Why have I pursued Toy designing instead of drawing, painting or ceramics? The main reason is repeatability…..
I could show you my drawings or paintings & provide you with some art supplies but would that empower you to recreate the images that I have created?
I could give you some clay and show you techniques and guide your hands but could you replicate what I have made?
I could create realistic Textile Art animals and birds etc using a freehand/organic non repeatable method but that doesn’t enable anyone else does it? However “if” I create a design for a Soft Toy and turn that into a PDF and/or Custom Fabric design I can take things one step further. This is where repeatability is the ‘star’.
BTW If you want to know more about the Cut n Sew Fabric look here!
My aim is to give others the potential to achieve a close if not identical result as I have. As soon as a Soft Toy has been successfully created by someone who purchases a PDF then the imagination and creativity of the maker can be added to the base I have provided. I am longing to see the starting point I can provide become a unique and personal expression of someone else’s creativity.
Does it make sense now? Now do you understand why I say I am “Just Bananas Over Soft Toys”?