Check out our latest Crafters’ Spotlight!
Welcome to Crafters’ Spotlight! This is our monthly instalment where we feature you and your incredible crafting journeys. Before you dive on deep into this edition, why not check out last month’s guest and get up to date!
Say hello to Alan Anderson!
Thanks for joining us in the Crafters’ Spotlight! What were your first steps into the crafting world?
Well, technically my first steps would have been at preschool using cardboard egg boxes and toilet roll tubes to make crazy dinosaurs. But if you mean what actually kickstarted my bid to take this seriously, I’d have to say revenge! Yep that’s right, I worked in a call centre with a friend of mine who unfortunately had taken to singing baby shark all day every day for weeks on end. After I had left the job, we stayed friends and upon learning that he and his partner were expecting a little girl I decided my revenge would be to make something that would involve baby shark. This steamrolled and eventually led to a pink baby shark-themed rocking horse that took a lot of trial and error to finish!
What have you been working on recently?
I have several pieces currently being worked on, as I don’t focus on a single craft. I have a few art-style picture pieces, an Alice in Wonderland-themed jewellery box and a toy chest for a friend’s baby boy’s first Christmas. So busy, busy, busy for the next few weeks!
Do you have a signature style?
To be honest, not really, as I work with so many different mediums and the way my imagination goes off like a flash of light at random times. Mostly, I look at an item, have an idea, and off I go, regardless of the time. But if I had to choose, I would say I am heavily influenced by fantasy/ steampunk styles.
You’ve done some repurposing in the past, what is the most practical thing you have made from this?
The most practical thing would probably have to be a bookcase that my mother wanted me to do for her. When we got it, it was basically sky blue, painted in child-style tropical fish of various colours. Again, it was one of the first pieces that I worked on when I began this, and I hope by the end I had given it a new lease of life with a classic almost art deco finish.
Where do you get your inspiration?
That’s a difficult question to answer. Where does anyone’s inspiration actually come from? I’m typically what would have once been referred to as a geek/nerd, a lot of fantasy and sci-fi has influenced my life and my interests. It’s given my brain a little twist that lets me look at things differently from other people and see it all in a different light.
Are there any new styles, techniques or even new crafts that you’d like to try?
Oh yes, there are lots of things I would love to do and try and improve on. I am hopeless with stencils so would love to get better at those and I also would love to improve my blending skills with inks and paints. As for new crafts, I don’t believe there’s a crafter alive who doesn’t want to learn new things!
Do you have any fun crafting stories you’re willing to share?
Oh, there are plenty of disaster stories where ideas or simply just trying to make something hasn’t worked out properly. Like trying to die cut something four times because every time you do it, you cut it the facing the wrong way. But humorous stories? Probably the silliest one would have been attempting to use spray paints on one of my large pieces and realising the nozzle was clogged. So, silly me decided to try and scrape the nozzle clean while pointing at myself, it went off in my face. It was hot pink in colour. Luckily, I was using safety glasses and working outside but still I looked ridiculous.
If you had to name a few, which of your creations are you most proud of?
There are a few I am proud of, the baby shark rocker I previously mentioned. I also made a wall clock that I had repurposed from an old wooden picture frame. But the thing I am most proud of was a picture I made; it was a steampunk-themed nod to the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock. A year later and it’s still the item I am most proud of.
Thanks for joining us in the Crafters’ Spotlight this month! We hope everyone is feeling inspired to do some crafting – remember, there’s only one place to get your craft inspiration and top crafting brands!