Artist Interview: Felt Flanerie

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Amanda Ondretti is a maker of plush toys and felt goodies under her brand Felt Flanerie. You may have seen her one-of-a-kind creations in the window display of Leanna Lin’s Wonderland. Read more about this Los Angeles artist in my latest interview.

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What’s the story behind Felt Flanerie? How did you bring your brand to life?

My grandma taught me to sew when I was 10. But I got into sewing plushies when I needed some gifts for my four siblings one very broke holiday season and after that I was hooked. I haven’t really looked back since. I love it too much to stop.

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What’s the process of creating your unique pieces?

I start with sketches of the idea and once I’ve gotten a grip on the basic form, I test out the shapes and sew together a crude prototype. Drawing the form from the sketch on the fabric and cutting out all the pieces that will be sewn together. Once all the detail pieces are stitched I sew it up and stuff it. If changes need to be made I make notes and start up a second prototype to fix any issues or oddities. If that second version is satisfactory I’ll make a third one with all the polished embellishments. Once the third versions is stuffed, tags go on and it’s stored away until I can take photos for its online post.

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What’s your dream felting project? Assume that you have all the time in the world to produce one special piece – what would it be?

If I had all the time in the world I’d love to make a huge fantastical forest scape, something I can fill to the brim with whimsical flowers, plants, and animals from the tree canopy to the forest floor. It’d be really sweet if it’s was big enough for folks to walk through too.

Do you have a green thumb or black thumb?

Unfortunately I’m a black thumb, but I’m trying to learn more so I can one day graduate to green thumb tho, definitely would love to grow my own basil and tomatoes.

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How will 2017 unfold for you?

Smoothly I hope. I hope overall 2017 brings felt plushie lovers of all kinds with custom work for the shop. I love when folks come with special requests for custom pieces. Cause I get to step out of my comfort zone and working on something special for someone.

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Visit Amanda’s Etsy shop to order Felt Flanerie goods. Custom orders are welcome and appreciated. You can also connect with Amanda on Twitter and Instagram.

Artist Interview: Vanessa Ramirez

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Vanessa Ramirez is a Serial Doodler and Sculptor of Things. Her sculptures and drawings tend to be expressive snapshots of monsters in their daily lives. Her monsters are a mixture of cute, odd, and just a touch neurotic. Vanessa’s creativity and imagination are fueled by a lifetime love of traditional and stop motion animation. See what’s she up to next in my latest interview.

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Anyone who knows you knows you’re fascinated with sharks. When can we expect shark sculptures from you?

I LOVE SHARKS. And 2017 is the year. I will be releasing my first resin sharks tomorrow [February 3]. There are two different version that will be available. I will have more information about the second release on my social media feeds and of course progress pics if you like that kind of thing.

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What does the future hold for the Dark Nesh?

The Dark Nesh character is a lot of fun to draw and using that character in some way is something I have been rollin around my head for a while. I have some ideas for a comic of sorts that I am hoping to get to this year if I can get enough material together in a way that makes sense. So she’s still wandering around in the background wreaking havoc.

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How do you balance your art life with your day job?

It’s not always easy but I find planning helps. Things don’t always work out how I plan of course and there are days when it’s just not happening but planning is key. The hardest part is knowing when to stop. There are times I work way too late and have to be at work early and that is not great. So I try to stick to a quitting time that gives me time to unwind and sleep properly.

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How will you keep your work fresh in 2017?

I will hopefully stay fresh by staying consistent. Continuing to work hard and push myself. Make things I want to see in the world from my perspective and expand the little world I am building one neurotic monster at a time.

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Vanessa can be found making her creations under the cover of night from an undisclosed location in Los Angeles where she currently resides. Her works are available on BigCartel and her first shark release will launch tomorrow, February 3. She also has work available at Stranger Factory.