My schedule for who is being featured when is a little off right now what with the busy holiday season and shop vacations. Add in my heaping schedule of Doctors appointments, daily life and getting ready for both the holidays and I've decided that I'm going to be flexible about who goes where which is why this feature is running a little earlier than I had originally planned.
Tracy of Runnerbean was the recipient of my Etsy Baby Shower Gift of a customized tree ornament and a baby buggy hand painted and sewn card. Once I saw her shop I knew I wanted to ask her 5 questions.
Tracy is a craft artist and graphic designer who loves color and creating with paper and her creations are full of whimsy and are delightful to behold. Tracy's love of colour jumps out at you as soon as you visit her shop. Her photographs pop with vibrant hues and adorable and elegant creations. With an inventory that ranges from flower fairy, Gurumi and mouse dolls to graphically striking pendants Runnerbean is a treat to visit. To see more of Tracy's intricate and amazing work you can visit her website. You can also check out Tracy's fabulous work in Graphic design on her other blog for Joia Design and of course I have to insist that you visit her Etsy shop too! You'll be glad you did.
Can you describe the palette you use to create with, what colours do you always "reach" for?
When presented with a full range of colors to choose from, and especially when I'm just experimenting with paper and seeing how far I can push it, I'm almost always reaching for the blues. I love to use colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel (e.g. blue, blue-green, and green), so you'll often see this in my pieces. I also love to choose one color and then find lighter and/or darker shades of that color and combine them into a piece.
Do you listen to music when you create? What's on your play list right now and why?
These days my background music is most often a baby monitor ( I have a 26 month old daughter and a 5 week old son!), but when I can I'm listening to VPR (Vermont Public Radio) or currently, here in December, I'm listening to Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas. This is a set of 5 CDs and is full of his interpretation of traditional holiday songs as well as originals and is absolutely the best collection - beautiful music that I can sing along with or tune out as my mind floats and my hands work.
What got you started?
I originally started working with paper after seeing some paper filigree work on a cake topper in a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. I fell in love with the incredibly intricate art and purchased a starter kit shortly thereafter. It was a few years before I began to really experiment and play with the paper. Most of my experiments and pieces come from sketches -doodles- and from things I encounter in life that I want to try in paper form. I've created a paper pendant inspired by the path I took through my house while pushing my daughter in a stroller to get her to take a nap; my Gurumi paper dolls were inspired by Amigurumi crocheted dolls when I couldn't crochet, and often I'm just challenging myself to see what is possible - how small can I make something, or is it possible to recreate that doodle shape in paper, or how many strips of paper does it take to make a 2" diameter solid roll?
If you were granted 3 wishes to furnish your dream studio space, what do you choose and why?
1. Light! I'd want big windows for lots of natural light and also to open to let in air and a breeze, and good lighting for working after dark. My current space has one window, but it doesn't open easily or let in enough light. And the lights are not quite right - too harsh or too dim - I need a professional to help me light the space right.
2. Lots and lots of storage (with space leftover to fill). Open shelves for the neat and pretty stuff, cabinets with doors and drawers to hide the messier stuff, and a good space to store works in progress (I always seem to have 4-5 projects ongoing). I have the opposite of this now and am always wishing for a better system.
3. Big, flat, open work surfaces. Although I work really small, I always have a lot of tools and supplies in use. It'd be downright luxurious to be able spread them all out.
Which Children's book character would you be and why?
I'd be the mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - racing from project to project, easily distracted and moved to action and inspired by things I encounter along the way. I also love to wear overalls. And to eat cookies.
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