Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Craft Athens Team: Meet Christy Wooke

Christy Wooke is one of my favorite artists that I met here in Athens. She is a super sweet gal and has such style with her tiny works of art that adorn everything from post-its to wooden disk magnets. I caught up with her to learn more about her and her inspirations.

Tell us about yourself and your craft.
I want to be an illustrator, so I guess I'm that. I'd just like to be paid for it. OFFICIALLY. To supplement creative frustration, I started selling things I could draw on.

How long have you been crafting?

"Crafting," I'd say 1 year.

Are you originally from Athens? If not, how did you wind up here?
I'm moved to Athens after I graduated from college. I'm not sure why, but I think I had this idea that Athens was a haven for artists.

What are some of your favorite and least favorite things about living and crafting in Athens?
Favorite: Big City Bread. Being surrounded by farming country. Living in a liberal county in the middle of Georgia. I love that I live in a town where I can be outside a lot without breathing Atlanta pollution. (I draw a lot outside.) Athens feels small (in a good way). Everyone knows each other, at least peripherally.

I love living here, I just can't afford to! Which is something I don't like about Athens...

Least Favorite: Jobs...?

Do you feel Athens is a good place for artists? Why or why not?
I think whether or not Athens is a good place for artists depends ultimately upon the individual. I find people here are very supportive, and I feel welcomed here (especially by the crafting community here). But realistically, I personally make a very teeny, tiny amount of money on anything artistic or crafty, and of course I'd like to pay my bills AND afford groceries. I do think Athens is great if you're content to stay here. But for most of us, you aren't afforded opportunities for greater success than community recognition. I want to build a career that involves drawing all day instead of trying to illustrate on the side. Where's the jobs, Athens? Maybe if I interneted more...

Please tell about some of your favorite things to make.

What is a typical day like in your studio?
No such thing. I draw on post-it notes at work --sometimes. I try to sell those... The majority of work I do at home is for larger-scale, non-craft projects. Usually I get to work on crafts/small illustrations a few days before a craft show on magnets, pins, pin cushions and the like. You know, the fun stuff.

Name five websites that inspire you.
I'm not really online much. So I'll name the 5 I visit everyday: Politico, Wikipedia, gmail, Universe Today, and ...... I can't name 5. I'll name 5 artists instead: Jim Woodring, Walt Kelly, Kurt Vonnegut, Gary Panter, William Steig. Too bad they're all men.

Besides making things, what else do you enjoy doing?
EATING. But also I read and watch a lot of movies, listen to music, and nerd out with video games. I also love petting my flop-dog and being outside at Big City Bread doin' things (usually reading...).

Thanks, Christy! You can check out more of Cristy's work at her Etsy shop and keep up with her and her creations on her blog!

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