It's time once again for Local Talent Tuesday, and this time I've got Kristen Pumphrey from Pommes Frites (get it?). Kristen makes an assortment of things - "Reused, Repurposed, Really cute!!" Her clever book safes, hand-carved into vintage books, are super-cool. They'd make great gifts for that hard-to-buy-for guy or gal on your list. And her obsession with plaid has resulted in adorable buttons and magnets!
Beth: First, please give us a little background on your studio.
Kristen: I work at home. My boyfriend and I have a two bedroom house and I quickly adopted the second room as my "work room." Finally a place for all my junk! In addition to Pommes Frites, I work two part-time jobs (at Art House as a gallery attendant and as a hostess at Woodland... I'm a professional greeter!).
The beginning incarnations of Pommes Frites started back when I worked at Adorn Magazine as an Editorial Assistant. I was making owl-shaped soy candles and did a few craft fairs, like the Bust Craftacular. But of course, it was hard to build a business when you already crafted all day long at your day job! When I moved to Texas, my big goal was to "officially" start my business, and that happened in October 2008. I mainly sell on Etsy, but also sell at some local craft fairs.
Beth: Where do you find the inspiration &/or motivation for your creative work?
Kristen: I like to create things that make me (or others) laugh. I love old books, and hate to see such pretty ones on the bottom of the clearance pile or on their way to the trash. I think I find my biggest inspiration in thrift stores, looking at all the things people gave away and wondering how I could give it another life.
Beth: Describe how a really productive day of making art goes for you.
Kristen: Since I work two other jobs, it's really about squeezing in work time when I can. After I get off work, I'll carve a book. Before work, I'll take pictures while it's sunny. When I have full days off, I listen to hours of "This American Life" and carve, carve, carve. Then I sand and glue. Then make a few buttons.
Some days, I can get up to five books finished, but other days, I'll get distracted by dishes or Etsy and only get a couple done. That's the problem with working from home. Since my work isn't really portable, I jot down notes all day long - ideas, to-do lists, doodles for new logos. The most productive tool I've discovered? Having a designated workspace! I've become 200% more efficient since that happened.
Beth: What are your big-picture goals for yourself as an artist & your art-related business?
Kristen: Big picture goal? To support myself full time [with] my business! Ah, that'll be the day. Until then, I'm happy just creating what I can, when I can. I love what I do!