Interview with the artist - Janene from UNcliche Crochet

The next few weeks I'll introduce you to some more ladies I got to know on deviantArt. Actually all of them won in a monthly contest in a group called National Yarnographic, that's reason enough to present their lovely work.
Today it's Janene's turn, have fun!

Crocheted Albino Kangaroo Joey

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

I'm Janene, I'm a 19 year old girl with a passion for anything creative or artsy. I come from Texas, but also have ties to Papua New Guinea where I once lived when I was a child.

What's your craft/art and how did you get to do it in the first place?

My crafts are crocheting, felting, and knitting. My main choice of craft would be crocheting, but I dabble in all three. I also know basic sewing techniques which is necessary to know when making Amigurumis. It all really started when I learned how to crochet. I was home-schooled for a year in 8th grade and would stay at a family friend's house to be watched over in the morning when my mother was at work. She taught me one day saying it could be my "Home Economics" class. I picked it up rather quick in her opinion and my first thing I made was a really ugly scarf that I quickly unraveled once I was done. For a while I had stopped crocheting due to a lot of my hats and scarves coming out a bit wonky, but then I found a book on Amigurumis. It was Amigurumi Animals by Annie Obaachan, I found it to be one of the most brilliant things ever. Since then I haven't stopped crocheting animals and people.

Blacktip reef shark

I think this is one of the most asked questions - where does your inspiration come from?

That is tough, I never really thought about that. I would have to say animals and anything cute, haha. Animals are so magnificently created and are so much fun to see and just watch. Cute things are just nice, but honestly a lot of what I find cute are from Japan; like their anime, manga, and mascots. But also Japan being where Amigurumi originated from it's only natural that the country and its art inspires me.

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.

Well, I once lived in Papua New Guinea which was the last country to be found in the New World. It is also the only home of the Birds of Paradise which is a species of birds that are so unique and so different from any other bird in the world. Since I lived there in my childhood, I was always so in awe by animals making me want to be a zookeeper. Now that I am older I hope to go to college into the field of zoology and see where it takes me. Maybe one day I will be able to actually help care for wild animals and help bring more knowledge into this world.

Platypus scarf

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

I was once taught how to make a bilum which is a bag only made in Papua New Guinea. I was actually brought to a village where very few people spoke English and was taught by seeing and repeating since there was a language barrier. Although I can't fully remember how they do it anymore, if I saw someone doing it in person, I could pick it up again, but I remember it hurt my wrist a lot. I was also taught how to make baskets out of tree leaves, but I don't think that tree exists in America.

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

My cheetah is probably my favorite thing I have ever made. He is a lot more posable than the rest of my creations, and he is just so darn cute. I am not sure who was my hardest, but if I had to choose, it would be my gryphon because she took FOREVER to make. She probably was about a week of work, but only because I kept running out of white and brown yarn. I kept lugging her to school to work on her during art class to hopefully get her done faster.

Crocheted cheetah

Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?

I believe a ton of crocheters I have seen online inspires me, like Brigitte Read, also known as Roman Sock. She, I believe, was the creator or at least the pioneer of the brushing technique to make your Amigurumis look more realistic. Susan Oldfield aka Sad Days Crochet who is a fellow deviantArtist is another one of my inspirations, she made this stunning doll Asmodeus who is so expressive and was a huge impact on me creatively. I was so amazed something like him could be crocheted. Last but not least is Shauna Richardson, she made the world's largest crochet sculptures which were lions for the London Olympics in 2012. She also makes the most realistic crocheted animals coining the word crochetdermy (from crochet and taxidermy). Again another person who blew my mind with her phenomenal work.

If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your craft/art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?

If I had an unlimited supply of yarn, I would probably do a lot of yarn bombing, haha. But also probably try to find a way to use yarn for everything, like furniture, accessories, and so forth. I would want my entire house to be made from yarn. Basically I would just yarn bomb my own house.

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I have a shop on Etsy at UNcliche Crochet. (I was previously known as Yarn Concoctions, but I felt the name wasn't the best.)

Baby harp seal

Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?

Thank you for reading this, and continue being yourself and just stay awesome!!!

I really have to say that I had a lot of fun reading this interview because I learned so much from it. Please take the chance to let the links guide you to discover some amazing stuff!
Also step by Janene's deviantArt page where she's the Yarn Hoarding Dragon! ;-)

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