Sunday, September 23, 2007

Featured Artist of the Week

This week's artist makes great and very different infant wear. You have to see this! Our artist this week is FASA.

Describe what you make?

I make clothing for infants (currently sizes newborn to 24months, but I'm hoping to expand to bigger toddler sizes soon). Every piece follows a theme of love for the outdoors & nature.
The majority of my items are hand painted, using a design that I drew, then hand made into a screen stencil, and then hand painted into the clothing.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I love working with fabrics. All of them.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been crafting since I was very little. We didn't watch a lot of TV in my house growing up, instead my mom taught us how to make things with our hands; knit, crochet, sew, draw, paint, bead. My dad taught us how to do wood working and wood burning. I fell in love with ALL of it.
As an adult I've had the opportunity to share crafting with more children than I can count. While I was going to college at Indiana University, I worked at the Boys & Girls Club running the art room. My career has had a lot of focus at camps, where I've shared many skills with the kids that came through the "Handy Crafts" area. (And I absolutely LOVED have FULL access to my own kiln!)

I've been selling my goods here and there for about the last decade. It started because I sew almost all of my own clothes. I get many compliments when I'm out and about, and my husband started to push me to tell people that I made them instead of just smiling and accepting the compliment. Once the word was out, people wanted me to make them things.
I've made bridal party purses, shirts for Phish groupies, custom boxing shorts for professional fighters, items for craft shows (candles, purses, women's tops, little button dolls, and the like), and all my own maternity clothes.

How did you get started?

I started making this infant line of clothing out of a personal need. My husband and I are avid outdoor lovers. Whenever we have spare time you'll find us on top of a mountain or in the middle of a lake. We love kayaking, hiking, backpacking, camping, climbing, and all things similar.

Like many (if not all) parents, when our son, Bryce (named after Bryce Canyon), was born last summer we wanted to dress him similar to how we dress, and to reflect the things we like and do. However, it was not as easy as I would have hoped to find these types of clothes. So I started doing this for my baby. Then I got to thinking that we can't be the only parents who would like these, so just this summer I put some up on my etsy shop.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My shop name is a nick-name for a nick-name. I adopted the nickname "Mufasa" in high school. I ran on the cross country team. There was one particular sectional meet in which around 300 girls were running the race. The starting line was set up terribly: we were all lined up at one end of a large field. We had about 100yards until the field ended, and there was a 5 foot wide path that went into the woods. As you can imagine it was a huge bottle-neck mess. In the middle of the field I was pushed down. The crowd had no where to go except over me (many were wearing one-inch long cross country spikes). I ducked and covered, as my life flashed before my eyes.
I was OK, just a little cut up. So when the coast was clear I got up, and SPRINTED the entire race (2.4 miles), finishing around 100th (I was hoping for top 10). A friend was watching the race on the sidelines and said that she had felt just like Simba when Mufasa gets killed by the antelope. The name stuck. Later friends shortened it to Fasa.

What would you most want people to know about your work?

I'd like people to know how much thought, effort, and care goes into ever step of every piece. It takes me a long time to come with just the perfect design to put on the clothing, and then I make sure that I make the screen stencils well. After I carefully paint the main colors, I do black detail work by hand paint brush.
I also know (through personal experience... I swear my child is going to not only participate in extreme sports... but INVENT the next one!) how hard kids can be on clothing. So I heat set the paint to be sure it will withstand MANY washings!

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

#1: Never give up. Whether you're trying to learn a new craft for personal fulfillment, or taking the next step to try and sell your goods, it can be a challenge. Don't let that get you down, and keep persevering till you've accomplished for original goal!
#2: Follow your instincts more than what others tell you. When you're the artist ONLY YOU can say if something's good or not. Don't let what others say compromise your visions.


Fasa's work is adorable. If you have an infant or not, you must go see it!

While you are at Etsy come by and see us too!

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