Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Artist Behind The Shop: Kerrin Forster

Kerrin Forster is the amazing artist behind Sigmosaics and Signified. Her work is very creative and stylish, and her mosaics are a truly deligh for the eyes ( I´m the proud owner of some of her pieces). But not only that, she´s also a wonderful person and I have the luck of knowing her.

I invite you to know a little more about her:

When did you start crafting? What was your motivation?

Like most other people I was always a crafty kid and as I grew up I never seemed to have the time available to 'give' to making things. Around 10 years ago I discovered mosaics and when I moved to Portugal I had time to truly absorb myself into learning and making mosaics.

Which one of your designs makes you feel prouder of yourself?

Oh, without a doubt it is my Japanese Hanamoyou mosaic centerpiece dish .. I am seriously proud of that!At home in the garden I made an octopus mosaic .. that was my first effort in using ceramic tiles .. I'm pretty jolly proud of that too!

What kind of things inspire you?

My inspiration is varied, at the moment I am in love with colors, any color, maybe it's do with the change in season .. I'm never sure, as like I said my inspiration varies .. sometimes it's flowers, nature etc. I love contrasts and tones .. so people will often see that reflected in my work. 'Pretty' inspires me a great deal at the moment as well.

Do you have a favourite book, movie, comic etc? Which one and why is it your favourite?

Firstly, I am an avid book reader .. I get totally absorbed into my reading and am always on the look out for new books. I usually re-read all my books over and over again and am always pleasantly surprised how it seems 'new' each time I read them. My absolute favourite book without a doubt is Wild Swans by Jung Chang, I have a serious fascination of Asia and of the history of the region. Jung Chang's book takes you through pre and post communist times through the lives of 3 women. I often wonder if I was an asian in a previous life, the whole region fascinates me and I feel very fortunate that I visited Japan when I was in my late teens. I still have a favourite movie from the late 80's and that is The Highlander. I believe I love it because of the thought of immortality & I rather like action movies too (not to mention that Sean Connery is an absolute dream in that movie .. I could sit and listen to that mans voice all day long!), but seriously I was captured instantly then (in my very early 20's) and and continue to love it now .. oh and Queen's Freddy Mercury has always been one of my favourite singers (their music is throughout the movie)!! I wasn't ever a comic book fan so i'll pass on that question .. although I did LOVE The Muppet show as a kid .. does that count? Fozzie Bear rocked!

If you could choose any fictional character (from books, movies, comics etc) which one would you like to be and why?

Oh gosh, this is not an easy question! Oh, without a doubt I would want to be the Bionic Woman .. her name was Lindsay Wagner right? When I was a 9 or 10 year old I used to run just like she did .. she was my heroine back then .. I can still hear the bionic sound?! Crazy how some things stick with you through life! Why would I want to be her? Mmmmmmh, well, then i'd be semi-invincible ;) (not to mention the fact i'd be able to run really really fast).

Do you have any mania or obsession?

I don't think I have anything I am completely obsessed by .. just the normal things like, shopping, eating 'naughty' foods .. I am a bit of a handbag lady though, that I will admit to. I have numerous bags so I'm forever chopping and changing handbags! I suspect I'm a bit of a compulsive supply shopper too actually .. a while ago I did a blog post about my yet to be finished work .. ummm, the table is now groaning under the weight of a HUGE amount of new pieces waiting ever so patiently to be mosaic'd. I have a problem now too .. when I go out shopping I am often only looking at things with my mosaic eyes and wonder if I can put a mosaic on it!

Is there a place you've visited that left a big impression on you? If so, why?

I have been very fortunate to have travelled widely through my life. If I have to choose only one place then I would say it would be my first experience of travel. When I was 18 I went to Japan and stayed with 3 families there over a period of 6 weeks. I was spoilt in the fact that I got to live with the Japanese and experience their culture and life through them. That was magic. The Japanese people are absolutely adorable and I cannot say enough how hospitable and sweet and lovely they are as a race of people. I got to travel all over japan, I was integrated into these families as one of their own, I think that was definately one of my life experiences.

Would you like to share advice with your fellow artists?

Photographs. Yes, it took me a while but I believe I'm getting there. The photographs are most probably key to selling .. this is all that people can see over the internet. But maybe not just 'photographs' but also on how they are photographed (I know I still have areas of improvement here) .. make them interesting, show people how they could 'use' your creation in 'real life' and also never be afraid to think nor experiment 'outside the box'. Join a team if you are an etsy person reading this. I cannot ever thank people enough for the support and friendships I have gained personally through belonging to the European street team. Magic bunch of creators!

Where can people find you? (blog, twitter, flickr, facebook etc)

I only use facebook for personal use eg friends and family.I am continually berating myself that I do not use the other three to their utmost! This is a BIG area I need to improve on!

Anything else you'd like to share?

Keep smiling, never give up and always remember that you are not alone. Life deals us lots of 'curly ones' from time to time .. learn and grow from all experiences!

Thank very much dear Kerrin! It has been wonderful!
Please, don´t forget to visit her fantastic shop!


Rita from said...

A wonderful interview! Thank so much both of you for sharing!

Rosebud Collection said...

Great interview and she sure does beautiful work.

ingermaaike said...

I so love reading about my fellow creatives, thank you for sharing!
Kerrin is a very dear friend who makes the most wonderful mosaics and utter delightful magnets full of ingenuity!

Amanda Yu said...

brilliant! great interview, I love Kerrin's mosaics. ^-^ and glad to know more about the person as well.

karuski said...

So nice to read of her thoughts and experiences! She's such a positive and encouraging Etsian!


Sigmosaics said...

thank you so much sweet maria for this wonderful opportunity to share!!

thanks also for being such a wonderful and supportive friend .. it is with the greatest excitement that i look forward to meeting you in august .. we'll get to have that coffee after all :-)

hugs and kisses, Kerrin xxx

ArtMind said...

Kerrin is just the sweetest girl! I love her & I'm grateful that we already met once! Can't wait to see her again in August! And you too, Maria, it will be so cool & we'll throw a party!!!! :)
Kerrin, I loved reading about all these things - that Japan experience sounds absolutely incredible & unforgetable! WOW! Big hugs to both of you!!! :)

ira said...

It's always a pleasure to find more about you Kerrin!:) And that octopus is look fantastic!

Audrey said...

WOW!! She has an amazing shop! I love everything. Really nice feature.

Star of the East said...

Such a wonderful interview, thanks for sharing Kerrin and Maria!

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