Today’s interviewed seller is a multi-disciplined master! Her themes run across an exciting range of products and I can’t wait to see how they look together on her stall. Not that we’ve got long to wait…
Please introduce yourself….
I’m Claire Munday of Beetle Cherry. I live in Hove, and set up Beetle Cherry in December 2011. The Spring Market is going to be my first ever craft fair.
Describe the products you currently make to sell
I sell quite a range of things. Currently this includes prints of my paintings, papercuts, cards, and jewellery, including hand painted pendants. Usually I’ll come up with an idea or a theme or a character, and then decide what form I want it to be – whether that’s a painting or a papercut, or even a piece of jewellery. I find that being able to make a range of things is really important to how my ideas work. I’m fascinated by animals so that’s the thing that ties my work together; theme rather than form!
Where and when do you design and make your products?
I’ve put on my website that I work in my ‘studio’ in Hove, but that’s a bit of an exaggeration because it’s really just a desk in the corner of my living room! I also love working on the floor, so can easily spend hours working out a papercut design or making necklaces sitting cross legged in a sea of pencils and beads. I get inspired at random times, so I’ll design new products whenever the ideas hit.
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?
Not very long! I’ve been making things for years but it wasn’t until I became unsatisfied with my day job that I decided to really go for it and think about making things to sell. I’m a self-taught artist and got no experience in selling things, so it’s been a massive learning curve! I set up Beetle Cherry (with huge help from my boyfriend) just before Christmas 2011 so it’s still a bit of a baby really.
What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?
I originally came to Brighton to do my art history degree at Sussex a few years back. It never really occurred to me leave, I love the little city vibe and all the different shops I can get my various crafty things from. I did move to London for a few months but couldn’t hack it so pretty quickly came back to Brighton!
Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
If it counts as crafty, I do enjoy a bit of gardening! I only started last year when I moved into a flat with a little garden. I grew courgettes, peas, salad, spring onions… all with varying success. This year I want to grow a mini wild meadow to attract all the bees and butterflies. It combines making stuff with my hands, getting a bit messy and being outside, pretty perfect really.
What inspires the things you make?
Animals and being outside definitely inspire everything I make or draw. I think in a second life I’d like to study zoology! I’m really interested in how people interact with animals and the natural world, so anything from how people are with their pets to natural history museum to completely made-up scenarios of girls talking to hares. And the sun inspires me too – as soon as it’s sunny outside I feel a hundred times more inspired!
Give anything a go and don’t panic if, or usually when, it goes wrong!