Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Introducing Amy Gregson, Suburban Graffiti

Want to get to know us Amys better?
Here continues a series of getting-to-know-you interviews.
Next up: Amy Gregson of Suburban Graffiti.

How long have you been an artist and how long have you been active as a business artist?
I have loved to create in the form of drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. My mom taught me to sew when I was eight or nine and I spent maaaaaaany long afternoons designing and sewing Barbie and other doll clothes. In my teens I got into crafting and loved to learn (or figure out) how to make stuff. I remember wanting to make a Rapunzel wig for a skit at school and sitting down with my mom and a couple of skeins of yarn and figuring it out. (The most recent issue of Family Fun magazine teaches how to make a wig EXACTLY like we figured it out . . . ahem . . . 25 years ago!) In college I studied interior design and dreamed of moving to London after graduation and making it big. Then I met my husband the semester before I graduated and decided to change that plan a bit. I spent the next ten years or so "creating" a sweet little family -- a daughter and two sons. With little ones at home I did a few small decorating and sewing projects for friends and family. When the kiddos were all in school full time a couple of years ago I happened into a mural painting career almost by accident. I loooooved that, but it has been a little bit hard to leave my family and travel for a week or ten days at a time while working on projects so recently I decided to fulfill a long-time dream of opening a "boutique" where I could sell all my crafty creations. My Etsy shop Suburban Graffiti has been a wonderful adventure since I opened it on October 1st.

Are you an artist full time?
If by "full time" you mean all of the time I have left over after feeding and clothing 3 children and one busy man, cleaning my home, volunteering at church and school, chaufferring children, baking cupcakes, and generally making those around me feel loved and cared for, then Yes. Yes, I am an artist full time.

Who or what inspires you to create?
I'm not the only person in the world with a very verbose inner-monologue, am I? My mind is constantly spinning, trying to remember every single detail of every single thing that ever happens in my life. I agonize over decisions because I try to foresee every possible option and imagine how it will pan out, like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book. (I always cheated and peaked at both options before turning the page.) And I talk to myself constantly. I have trouble sleeping at night because I just can't turn it all off. Oh, and I'm a list-maker. But I'm not crazy. Because when I am creating something, I get in the "zone" and everything stops. It's just me and blessed, peaceful mental silence for a while. I create to stay sane.

Describe your workspace.
My workspace is a 1300 square foot house in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona that I share with 4 other people and a dog -- my husband and kids and our puppy, Cassie. I've never really had a dedicated "craft space". I was thrilled a couple of years ago to clear out a linen closet and commandeer it as my craft closet. When I'm working on projects, I tend to take over large areas of the house. Sometimes the coffee table so I can be with my kids while they play the Wii. Sometimes it's the kitchen table (which my kids LOVE because then we get to eat out). Lots of times it's the bedroom dresser top when I'm hiding my mess so we can have people over. It's my not-so-secret fantasy to buy the house next door, knock down the wall between the back yards and use it as my office. Someday . . .

What things do you like to do in your free time?
You mean aside from sewing, painting and crafting? I like to drink Coke. Lots of Coke. I enjoy digital scrapbooking and blog design. I love to blog about my kids and our family adventures at My 3 Monsters. I collect ribbon and vintage books. I bake cupcakes. And cookies. I wish I liked to work out.

What is your favorite handmade item?
Several years ago I started a huge (like 16x20) cross-stitch picture of Christ for my mom. I got about 6 square inches done before I threw in the towel. I just didn't have time with three little ones needing my constant attention. After the fact I showed it to my mom and apologized for not being able to do it. She took the kit from me and worked on it pretty constantly for about a year and a half. I was excited that she was going to get to have the picture after all, even if I couldn't make it for her. That Christmas I got a huge package in the mail from my mom. She had finished stitching the picture, framed it and given it back to me. It is one of my most cherished possessions. If time is money, that is the most valuable thing I own, but the selflessness and the love stitched into it are what make it priceless.

What does being an Amy mean to you?
Ooh, that's a tough one. When we would go out as teenagers my parents would tell us, "Remember who you are." I've tried to use that advice throughout my life. To me it means being a good friend and a great listener. It means doing your best and then trying to do more. It means keeping a positive attitude and laughing. Laughing early and often. Making the best of things just as they are. Mostly it means being grateful for all that I have and humble enough to acknowledge those who have given it to me.
Visit Amy's blog, My 3 Monsters and her Etsy shop, Suburban Graffiti.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Nice to meet you Amy! Welcome to the Amys!