The Creature Workshop

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We muse with the Caylie, one of our market darlings and the creative mind behind The Creature Workshop, about labyrinths, anthropomorphic creatures and where all the odd socks go.

Tell us a little about the origins of The Creature Workshop.
The Creature Workshop is a Melbourne based hobby business I started in 2012 when my office job was making me feel like a robot and I needed a creative outlet that could make me happy and make me some income at the same time. It’s a blank canvas for the combination of crafts I like to do. I plan, make patterns, sew, knit, paint, woodwork, sculpt, photograph and display my Creatures enabling me to continue to dabble in many different hand crafts without getting sick of any. I’ve been making things since I was able to co-ordinate my limbs enough to sticky tape things together; I used to get rolls of sticky tape as birthday presents when I was a kid because I’d wipe the house clean of any we had lying around. I’ve since advanced to more suitable and technical crafts and supplies but still have quite a lot of tape come to think of it.

Describe your creative process.
My creative process can be different every time I make something. There’s always the never ending collection of inspiration folders building on my computer but when it comes to making a ‘thing’; If it’s something I know how to do I can skip the testing, pattern making, sketching part and just dive right in. If it’s something I’ve seen or heard of I like to do a bit of research either online or from my local library; I love library books, you never know what you might find or become inspired by. Sometimes I have to make a prototype or a swatch before using the more expensive materials and possibly wanting to make changes half way through. Never underestimate the saying ‘measure twice, cut once’ it’s a valuable lesson. Also I don’t like leaving things unfinished, I like to start something and finish it.

What inspires you the most?
The answer to ‘What Inspires me the most’ is tricky. I am constantly inspired by different things online, blogs, tumblr, flickr etc but then there’s the things from my childhood that have made the biggest influence, illustrated books are a great inspiration when it comes to Creature making. I think about characters from fairytales, or movies that really stuck in my head growing up. I have seen the Labyrinth so many times, I used to get in trouble for borrowing the same VHS from the video store. I couldn’t get enough of it, and it’s no shock that it was that particular movie; As I am a big fan of both Jim Henson, ( for example the unintentional and subconscious link to ‘Jim Henson’s Creature Shop’, and the name I chose ‘The Creature Workshop’) and of Brian Froud who’s books I grew up enthralled by, reading all about beasts and faery folk. Some of my other inspirations are people such as Richard Scarry, who’s ‘busy world’ sparked my imagination to spend hours thinking about the hidden lives of animals and Anthropomorphic Creatures.

Name some of your most favourite local artists and designers.
I really enjoy reading about, or visiting exhibitions of local talented creatives. Off the top of my head local talent I am fond of are as follows:

Kirra Jamison – an amazing artist who’s use of colour and line work, make me blissfully daydream.

Noir –  an artist who’s always had that something extra special to me, and I love the similarities I see to Charley Harper on ocaisson.

Ben Howe – Melbourne Artist and friend who’s paintings are so realistic I can spend quite some time looking at just one image.

Cat Rabbit – wonderful Creature maker and Artist who’s style is very much her own, someone I’d very much like to meet.

What are your ultimate dreams for The Creature Workshop?
My ultimate dream for ‘The Creature Workshop‘ is probably to make a real go of this little venture. I really enjoy spending time in my studio working on new things, and am about to start doing a few more markets too. I’d love to see more people buying my Creatures so that there are plenty of homes all over that play host to one of my creations; I love the fact that the things I have made have travelled so far across the world already. They might be small but they could be the one thing that sparks imagination in someone to ponder the things I once did, what do animals get up to when no-body is watching, and where do all the odd socks go?

What will will we find from The Creature Workshop at our April Bend and Snap Market?
The Creature Workshop will be offering the regular Creatures such as the Lumberjack Foxes, and camera ready Tourists as well as some new beings, such as the Sailor Bunnies that took a little longer to come to fruition as I needed to get their accessories just right. They have (fabric) newspaper hats and little wooden ships. I am also working on a range of new non-christmasy deer folk that should be ready in time for the April market. So I hope to see you there, we can talk about where you think all the odd socks get to. 🙂

See the creature comforts from The Creature Workshop and be sure to drape yourself with the delicate pieces by AGNES & I, sniff out the aromatic amazement by CANDLE AROMAS, get dreamy with DREAMING CO, wonderful wares from EELAV MCBEE CRAFT, amazing jewellery by FLEUR DESIGNS, binge on the sweet treats from GINGER GOLD, statement pieces from JUX, get dandier than a dandelion with JACK’S CALLING, cover yourself in HENNA courtesy of the talented KAJAL, decorate cupcakes with sprinkles, sparkles, flowers and fancies with MISS ETIQUETTE, lather up amongst MY GOAT SOAP, fossick about the sustainable sweetness from NINE YAKS, soak up a dreamy daze with PIXIE DAYS, handmade furnishings PRECIOUS LITTLE SAKURA, run wild with RUN WILD HORSES, shine bright like a diamond with SEBO-HANDMADE JEWELLERY, search through the treasures from SEMICOLON, interactive doodling fun with THE SCRIBBLE PROJECT with THE SCRIBBLE PROJECT TATTOO PARLOUR and journey through time and space with WHERE ARE MY STARS? and other delish delights at our upcoming market date at 1000 £ Bend on Sunday 28th April 11:00pm to 4:00pm at 361 Little Lonsdale Street in the city. Insta lovers should follow us on Instagram @bendandsnapmarket . And any keen bean stall holders wanting to get amongst our beautiful bonanza of delights on Sunday 28th April apply here. Much fun to be had!!!

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