Tuesday, May 3, 2011

art talk Tuesday: Rebekah Grafton

I'm so excited to have art talk back this week!  I have one of the sweetest girls I know being featured today, Rebekah Grafton.  She's the kind of girl you know you want to be friends with after the first time you meet....such a  sweet, sweet spirit.  Oh, and her crafting skills are pretty amazing too!

Name, age, hometown, blog/website
My name is Rebekah Grafton. I'm 22, and I'm from Laurel, MS. I don't have a blog...yet. But you can check out some of my listings on my etsy page (www.etsy.com/shop/beetlebutton) and more of my items on my facebook page.

When did you first discover your creative talents?
I don't know if being creative is something I "discovered" one day, but it's always been a part of my life. Ever since I could hold a crayon and cut with scissors, I've spent countless hours making things. I do enjoy first discovering a new creative outlet though. And here lately it's been headbands.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated to create?
Girly things inspire me, as cheesy as that may sound. I'm not talking about hot pink ponies and princess stuff, but that classic beauty of feminine fashion, design, clothing, way of life that was part of women in the 1920's-1940's and 1950's too. There's just nothing "made in China" these days (no offense China) that compares to the detailed, handcrafted, good quality and made-in-the-USA stuff that was part of decades past. Pretty quilts from the 30's, feather hats from the 40's, and lovely party dresses from the 50's are just a few of the kind of things I find inspiration from. I especially enjoy creating new accessories from vintage findings such as lace, floral fabrics, satin, scraps of quilts, handkerchiefs, and last but certainly not least, BUTTONS. To say I have a lot of vintage buttons would be an understatement. It's really quite ridiculous how many bags, mason jars, and hat boxes I have full of buttons. Seriously, I'm embarrassed to even show my friends the craft room with mountains of buttons and fabric. But that's what keeps me motivated to keep creating----finding a large, dusty mason jar full of colorful grandma buttons in a flea market that needs someone to appreciate them and being able to preserve a vintage item into a wearable piece of art. If I'm able to make a headband with a scrap of old lace and a one-of-a-kind glass button that you like enough to buy and wear, well then that makes me happy.

How would you describe your style?
A lot of what I said is my inspiration heavily influences my style. So I would say my style is vintage inspired with a retro twist.

Who are some people that have inspired your work?
The first name that comes to mind is Molly Gee Waggener. She is a MS State graduate too. I don't know her personally, but I loved her designs the first time I saw one of her headbands in Libby Story, a vintage inspired retail store in Starkville and Madison, MS. Also, just anyone who makes good quality handmade and aesthetically pleasing things.

What is something funny that's happened to you recently?
I work as a tech at an eye clinic. The other day I was in an exam room with a patient. I had just finished adjusting the phoropter (the funny looking thing with all the lenses you look through) and turned around to walk towards the counter. I accidentally stepped on the leg of a little round stool with wheels and did a split and fell across the patient's lap! And the patient was an older man. It's funny now, but was really awkward at the time. 

How do you bridge the gap between creating and running a business?
I'm not too terribly focused on running a business right now, so it's not a difficult thing to juggle with creativity. Not that I'm not interested in building up the business side more, but will a full time job it's hard to find time right now to put into the marketing part! Beetlebutton is a fun hobby and a way for me to recycle a lot of stuff I have. So I would say the creating comes first, and the business part is sort of on the sidelines for now. But bridging the gap between creating and working 40 hours a week is another story!

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Motivated. Daydreamer. Creative. Dorky. Adventurous.

Any advice for aspiring artists/designers?
Focus on making what you love to make and be good at it, but don't worry about comparing your talents to others. There will always be someone's work out there who you think is better than yours. Create because you love to. And if other people like it too, well then that's just an added bonus. 

Thank you, Rebekah for being featured today!  Your interview was such a fun read! :)

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