The Crafty Chica may well be the hardest working woman in the craft world. With a novel in the final stages of editing, a new craft book due out in the spring, a syndicated newspaper column, a new line of craft products, museum exhibits, a full family life and more, there’s no doubt her schedule is packed to the gills. And yet, with her sparkly personality (it’s hard to resist the urge to insert a glitter pun here …) and devotion to her family, art and others, she’s able to not only maintain her momentum but also continues to come up with new, fun ideas to bring to her art and craft. Kathy Cano-Murillo will be at Maker Faire this Saturday, October 18 at the Duncan booth showcasing her new line of products. She took some time to fill us in on why she loves Maker Faire, and how she keeps all her glitter-covered projects balanced in her life. Be sure to put her on your list of must-sees for Saturday – it’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss!
If you were able to convince a friend who had never been to Maker Faire before why they need to go, what would you tell them?
Many times we crafty artsy folks feel out of place in mainstream society. Some people just don’t appreciate the joy of sewing through tin sheets, or decoupaging paper to fabric, or embedding anything and everythign in resin. At Maker Faire, it is all like people and you will feel like you are among family. Even if you have never felt the the bristles on a paintbrush, you will be awestruck and inspired within the first few minutes. There is just so much to see, so many creative people sharing their innovatives ideas and technqiues. You will leave a changed person.
With all your creative endeavors going on right now (new product line, novel, newspaper column, museum exhibit, and more!) how and where do you continue to draw inspiration and energy to maintain it all?
I always try to think about what I haven’t done yet. Recently, I’ve been diving into the world of mixed-media chandeliers. I Googled the idea and looked on Etsy and haven’t found anything like them, so right away I became pumped with inspiration! I made one and I’m ready to make a hundred more!!!
You are living the dream that many crafters strive for. How does it feel to experience success in so many crafty business pursuits, and what advice would you give to crafters hoping to follow in your footsteps?
My advice is that they have to work many different angles – design, marketing, appearances, etc. It all works together. Keep your web site updated and fresh so people will want to trade links and come back. You always want to give in order to recieve, so think bigger – beyond just selling your wares. Think of your business as a brand that can branch into all different areas!
How does being a mom influence your work? What do you hope your kids have learned by watching you develop your creative business while maintaining family harmony?
I hope they realize that they can always survive if they use the right creative resources. Creativity can take you a long way, especially if you exercise that muscle and force yourself beyond your comfort zone. My kids have helped us make hundreds of pieces of art. They’ve helped in the art booths at festivals and have even conducted interviews and demos. They know that they will always have these skills to fall back on in addition to their own dreams and aspirations.
Do you have any daily routines or rituals that you practice to keep your creative batteries charged? Can you describe them?
Coffee every morning. Kissing my husband as much as I can. Taking note of all the new things my kids are doing, asking every day about the best and worst thing that happened at school. Blogging. Talking as my dogs to my sister who talks as her dogs, just to be goofy and laugh. Making it a point to shine the spotlight on others to balance the spotlight I’ve had on me. We all deserve to shine! Trying to inspire others to be creative. Thanking my departed ancestors and relatives for the gifts they given me! And then taking all of that life experience and channeling it into making art!
If you had to pick one product from the Crafty Chica line that best represents you, what would it be and why? Oooh, that is a hard question! It would have to be a tie between the glitter, the paints and the Loteria game. Only because those are the tried and true elementsd I’ve always used in my art. Oh, and the hi gloss varnish, too!