I was so nervous about asking Kit for an interview, she was one of the first artists I hearted on Etsy (via my secret account!) and I suppose I was a little in awe. Silly right (not the awe part obviously)? I am so glad I plucked up the courage to ask and was delighted when I received an extremely thoughtful and intelligently written email in response to my request. Kit’s beautiful work has a still eloquence, her creatures are so expressive and soulful they transcend cute. It is no wonder that the adoptive parents of the Jacabobs and Bunnies, Ursabobs, Burbles, Nudipeds and Pods become so besotted. Hold onto your hats, let’s enter the fantastic world of Kit Lane.
Tell us a little about yourself, the media you work with and your creative process.
“I live in a wee house smack in the middle of the cultural wasteland of Western Minnesota. Much of my life has been spent out of the country in Germany, Mexico, Haiti and most recently New Zealand. I share my abode here on the windy tundra with my only child, the great love of my life who is my 16 year old daughter soon heading to University and a soft-hearted tiny Pomeranian fur beast who earns her nightly ice cream by reluctantly donating her hair to top the heads of the Nudipeds.”
“I’m quite loath to speak about myself, shy even, although outwardly my life has been quite bold and gregarious for the most part. Today I live the life of a recluse, choosing to do what truly makes me happy, making art, crafting and writing.”
“I began felting about two years ago after seeing a demonstration by Jenn Docherty on-line of her cupcake teddy bears and chicks. It was cute, syrupy sweet, benign and physical, all things of which I had no experience. Although I paint and draw, the majority of my art exists in the realm of 3D digital navigable virtual realities which I create for both corporations and entertainment. Those realities tend to be rather dark and somewhat dangerous. The sweet faced Jacabobs and their ilk help balance out the monsters which reside in those digital realms :o)”
“My creative process is maybe a bit strange. I start every morning with a cup of stiff coffee at 6:00AM then read my mail as most is more palatable when I’m half awake. Then it’s off to wander the interweb to some my favorite painters, Dan May, Chris Ryniak and Mark Ryden til 6:30 when the rest of the denizens begin to stir. My wheels are cranking by the time I hit the shower, walk the dog and take kidlette to school. Then with any luck I can head to my work room which is filled to the brim with my favorite things; little pieces of art, hand made widgets and doohinkies, bits of bone, small carvings, thick pads of paper, sharp pencils and pens, great heaps of wool, boxes of buttons, and tools for all occasions. I shut the door to the world at large and begin tinkering.”
From where do you draw your inspiration: music, books, people, nature etc?
“I have, over the last many decades worked in male dominated professions as a therapist, forest fire fighter, welder, training real estate salesmen in the art of thumb screws, trade lobbyist, public speaker and 3D multiuser world developer. But what has captured my attention and my admiration are the women I have watched and some I’ve met these last couple of years.”
” I love their art and their crafts but more importantly I am inspired by their courage and perseverance, their own quirky and often humorous creative sensibilities. Tobiah Mundt, Melissa Stanley, Allison Sommers, Jessica Fortner, Loopy Boopy, Kate Savage, Karna Erickson, Astulabee, Liz McGrath and you Lisa, all inspire me to strive to be a better maker today than I was yesterday. There are too many more to mention but most (not all) can be found in my “favorites”. I get lost in their work sometimes in awe, wonder and admiration.”
If you could talk briefly about the background to one of your pieces which would you choose and why? Please tell us the story behind the piece.
“People have identified me with the Jacabobs and their ilk which live at the far end of my garden, a mostly sweet group of dear wee creatures who populate now the far reaches of the planet, some living solo but most congregating in groups of 3 or more on desktops and shelves of their adoptive and often times addiction prone parents. I adore my patrons and give them what they want/need in the best way I can as up until two years ago I had never created a smidgen of anything “cute”. With a smile of warm satisfaction, I send the wee Bobs affectionately off to their new homes.”
“There are times though when my personal oddities come to the forefront demanding to be acknowledged and made physical. I share those moments when I think they might be palatable to more people than myself. My most recent piece, “Alien Albino Space Peas with 20/20 Hindsight” is a result of that process in wool.”
” On the surface it’s quite sweet but lurking behind the pink cheerful Peas is a deep gazing eye. It might suggest that not everything is always as it first appears, that sometimes there’s more to a thing if one takes the time to really look, or we could make certain conclusions about a being that always prefers to look away from the world staring into dark corners while presenting a pink wide smile to the audience. Or…it’s just some peas and a strange eyeball. You choose. :o)”
“I’m quite struck by the number of Jacabob parents who have suggested I cobble together a book for children. The truth is that there’s a story in the works albeit convoluted and disjointed from all the editing, rending and tearing and the occasional rescue from the yard after tossing it out the window. We’ll see.”
Ah, that’s my boy, Lindt, you see above, I haven’t met him in person yet but I know I am about to become a besotted Jacabunny Mummy! Ok, so I am still in awe of Kit, her work, creativity and seemingly boundless imagination. Now, I also know a little more about the woman behind all that creativity and I am so honoured that Kit agreed to share a part of her world with us here at LL&O. Thank you so much Kit for your words and for being such a sweetheart.
Yipee! Wasn’t that amazing? Hmm, where will we fly off to next week I wonder, let’s meet again soon curious kittens?