Sunday, August 12, 2012

Buy Handmade vol 17

This week behind the scenes has landed in Milwaukee

Name: James Demski - JIMBOT
Age: 35
Occupation: Self Employed Dreamer, and Magic Maker
Etsy Shop:

Tell us a little about yourself.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy? I've been creating for as long as I can remember! From little drawing competitions between friends in grade school to painting for galleries today. It's just something that has always been a part of my life, and something that my parents had always encouraged in my sister and I. I've been on Etsy since December of 2008... man, time flies when you are having fun.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

Obviously robots are a big part of my work, and "JIMBOT" just seemed like a natural fit. I am a child of the 80's, and I've always been into robots.... so "JIMBOT" was born!

How would you describe your creative process?

It usually starts with a fleeting thought I have right when I am trying to fall asleep, haha. From there, it goes to a rough sketch, and from there I develop it into something that just seems right to me! My studio is filled with notebooks and scraps of paper filled with ideas! I even keep a small notebook with me most of the time to jot down any ideas that may hit me while I am going about my day. I like to work in a number of mediums, so I will often craft whatever I am creating to work best with what I am working in. Painting, drawing, printing, gocco-ing, etc are all things I like to work with!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

More generally - comics, toys, and cartoons are HUGE influences to me! Honestly, just a lot of old toy lines from the 80's are big influences... Transformers, He-Man, Voltron, Tranzor Z, Nintendo, Garbage Pail Kids, Wheeled Warriors.... honestly, I could go on. All of that stuff was super influential to me growing up, and has really been an influence on my artwork. I surround myself with it in my studio too. Also though, my family is a huge influence. Not only did my parents encourage me when I was young, but my wife does now as well. She is really a big inspiration to me in general! Our daughter is really creative too, and I think, I am finding a whole new type in inspiration in her!

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

I do, but I don't have the opportunity to do too many. Just a few per year, and I mostly just stick to the shows within my state.

What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite? 

Art VS. Craft (Milwaukee, WI, and put on by Faythe Levine), Made In Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI), Handmade for the Holidays (Oshkosh, WI)... that's about it. Once in a while, I will do another one, but those three are the most consistent ones. Most of them happen towards the end of the year, which is perfect timing for me! I really don't have a favorite, but these are the ones I make sure I apply for every year. 

How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?

Generally, I start working as soon as I can on the shows. I will mainly start a few months ahead of time for the more time-involved pieces, and during the last couple of weeks up to the show, that is pretty much all I am doing. This year, in addition to my prints, gocco prints, handmade notebooks, etc, I am also going to be selling small/original paintings. I haven't done that for a craft show in quite a while and am very excited about it!

Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work

Honestly, my most favorite experience from almost every show (both craft shows AND gallery shows) is meeting the people that come through... especially the shows I do locally. People are really beginning to know my work, and at the craft shows, I have people that come back every year just to see me. It's a pretty amazing feeling knowing that someone is so into your work! I get to catch up with them, talk shop with them sometimes.... it's great. As a result, people have even invited me into their homes when I deliver some work too their house. It's really great, and I'm SO happy that people are into my work!

What is your most cherished handmade item?

Hmmmmm... it would have to me a gift that my wife gave me for father's day actually. Something that she made. It has a my hand print, along with the hand print of our then 2 year old daughter. It's fantastic... I really love it! It is hanging right above my computer desk, along with a drawing my daughter made, and some photos of my wife and I!

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

Well, I am working on a robot army and my plans for world domination, but I suppose I shouldn't talk about that too much!

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?

I'm not sure... I guess working in computers. When I was deciding where to go for college, it was a choice between going to art school, or going to school for computer programming. I've  always been into computers, and as a matter of fact, I wrote my first computer program (it was a text-based game) in 5th grade. I am glad I picked the path I did, haha.

Five years from now you will be…

... happy, with my family, and doing what I love!

Describe yourself in five words:

(I wanted to add "candy coated" too)

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

I'll list the five artists....
-Best show on WFMU podcast
-Pink Floyd
-Red Fang
Oh wait... I guess that was 6... oh well, whateves :). Music/Spoken word is SUPER important to my work process, so it fits!

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Just go for it! It takes some time, and determination, but if it is something you think you'd like to do, then go for it! Try it out! That's good advice for a lot of your life actually.