Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Creative Little Soul: Sarah Barnett of twice designs



Sometimes, when I stumble upon a like-minded creative soul, I get so excited that I want to grab them and hug them and run around in the playground holding hands with my new kindred spirit!

I have been so inspired by all the incredibly talented people I have met lately that I decided to begin a new interview series for Wicker & Stitch as a way of sharing these wonderful creative souls with the world and exhibiting their work for everyone to see!  I'm so intrigued by what makes creative people tick and I love having the opportunity of delving into people's lives and discovering their motivation.

I hope you enjoy reading!

CREATIVE LITTLE SOUL INTERVIEW

Creative Soul: Sarah Barnett
Lives: Sydney, Australia



Today, I am so excited to introduce the gorgeous Sarah Barnett of twice designs - a writer turned crafty mama with an eye for creating quirky vintage-inspired cards and artwork.  Now you know how much I love anything remotely vintage and quirky, so it should come as no surprise that I have become mildly obsessed with Sarah's whimsical designs - please check out her fabulous blog and Etsy store to see her full range of beautiful products!



WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN BACKGROUND?

It’s funny you should ask that, because I don’t have a design background! My background is history and writing and after postgraduate study, I ended up as a movie reviewer! Since childhood I always considered myself inartistic. I have always wanted to be able to draw and create visual wonder but felt completely lacking in skill. Words were my thing. I wanted to write and I did write a novel that was short-listed for the Vogel/Australian Literary award. I still wouldn’t consider myself a designer or an artist. I call what I do, “almost art”. It’s really just tinkering and recontextualising what someone else has already created.

I started making cards when my third child was about one. I stopped work just before he was born and I felt the need to make something. I had a whopping case of writers’ block and was frustrated. As a mum there’s a feeling of never finishing ANYTHING. There is always more washing, more cooking, more cleaning. Nothing is ever done, complete. And while I love being a mum it is a fairly thankless job. So I started making cards, then soft toys, then brooches and my almost art. And I couldn’t quite believe that people liked it! 

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR STARTING twice designs?

The special thing about twice designs is the notion of recycling. I am passionate about vintage goodies and recycling so I’ve combined them to make one-off and limited edition pieces. I have a lifelong love and fixation with vintage books, posters and games - there is a richness of colour, illustration and texture that issues a warmth and humour that is hard to explain. 

I am also inspired by the whole recycling / upcycling movement in the US and also Australia. Light fittings from milk bottles, Knitting needle bracelets, seat belts into bags and fashion belts – I enjoy the recontextualising of items and the creativity involved in seeing something transformed. I enjoy using vintage and preloved materials because they have already “lived”; they have a story. They have been used, worn or played with and are getting another chance to be useful and beautiful. And then there’s that idea of a second chance, the opportunity to begin again. I love that.

HOW DID YOU TURN THE IDEA OF A BUSINESS INTO A REALITY?

Well it’s still kind of small, but I started by selling at markets which was great for getting feedback and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I still do markets because I love that contact with people who have bought my things. After that I visited a couple of shops and left samples. Some led to sales, others didn’t. But I was amazed at how kind and encouraging people were.

WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR BEAUTIFUL VINTAGE PRODUCTS FROM?

I find some items locally through garage sales and op shops, but mostly I find my vintage delights from the US and the UK through ebay and etsy. A few lovely people have donated buttons and buckles. It’s amazing how many mothers and grandmothers collected buttons!

ARE YOUR PRODUCTS PRINTED LOCALLY?

My cards are all made and printed by me. My “almost art” wall pieces are assemblage pieces so I use genuine vintage playing cards, maps, scrabble board, toy cars etc. I don’t make any prints of these – they are just one-off special pieces. (See image below of vintage scrabble board artwork).

WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?

I sell at Mosman Markets (NSW) which is held on the first Saturday of the month. I also do a few other markets that are Iisted on my blog. I sell through Madeit and Etsy. Sous le Soleil (Roseville), Pulp (Balgowlah) and Neck of the Woods (Manly) also sell my products.

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF RUNNING twice designs?

Time and juggling. Even at this stage where things are small there is so much more to do than just making stuff.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT WITH REGARD TO THE BUSINESS?

I think maybe I’m still waiting for that one, but I must say it is lovely when people seek me out to tell me that they’ve bought something and they love it. That does my head in.


9 comments:

Felicity said...

thank you for the introduction Angela, I'm heading over now to have a peek, x F

Kristyne said...

This is a great interview!

What a fabulous idea Angela. I look forward to "meeting" all these cool people thru you. I know I'll like anyone you like ;)

YHOSIE said...

an inspiring interview...
she really is a creative soul

XoXo

Kellie Collis said...

Her designs are just lovely! I can understand why you chose her for the interview. Have a wonderful day, Kellie xx

Jane said...

Woo hoo! You clever minx, coming up with this nifty idea, Ang. Thanks so much for the introduction - I'm now following Sarah and have yet another Etsy favourite! J x

Nina of Living In said...

I get so excited hearing about mums starting their own creative businesses - that's an ultimate dream of mine. I'll be eagerly following your new series.
Nina

Classic Style said...

Great interview !! you have a nice site :))will be back to explore more /Marie

Keren - The Brown Trading Co. said...

I'm going to skip through the playground with you - kindred spirit!

Loved this first interview, I really enjoy getting inside info on creative people and their lives, it's fascinating and inspiring.

Keren
xx

Bree Oliver said...

I look forward to reading more of these interview series.

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