February 13, 2012

Member Monday: Meet....

 Ky Nguyen-Zubroski!
1. Introduce yourself!  
My name is Ky Nguyen-Zubroski and I live in Hurst, TX with my spouse, our daughter, six dogs, two cats, numerous fish, and a bird.  I tell people I read the fine print when asked what I do for a living, but really I save the world from dog eared books and lost bookmarks.
THanksgiving: Our raison d'etre, our daughter.  We tell her we make Book-Inz for milk money.  She eats like a teenage boy, so it works.

2.  Tell us what you primarily create, and what your favorite mediums are.

I make Book-Inz, the world's smartest bookmark! I use 100% cotton fabric for all my creations, I guess you could call it my favorite medium, as it's my only medium...
3.  Talk a little about what you love most in the creative process.  How making art makes you feel.

I make one item in a variety of fabrics, so I get to express personality through it.  I love shopping for fabrics.  It has forced me out of my comfort zone because I am making Book-Inz for other people, so I can't limit them to my taste, I HAVE to open my mind to possibilities.  Some of the weirdest fabrics I've purchased turned out to be my bestsellers.  It's definitely been an eye-opening experience.  So now I don't turn away from a fabric simply because I don't care for it.  I think in general, I create functional personality.  It can't just look cute, it has to serve a valid purpose.  And in Book-Inz, I've found my metier.

4.  Is there an art or craft you are interested in learning?  Or have you tried them all?  

I crochet in my free time.  It gets me into a zen state of mind.  I would love to learn to knit, but I get stuck on the casting on part every time! Unfortunately for me, my little sister got all the artistic gifts in the family.  I can't draw a stick figure to save my life, yet she would enter those city poster/art contests as a teen to earn extra money.  Her eye for color and design makes me drool.  Me, on the other hand, I have learned over time to stick with what I know.  I know how to follow a function backwards to figure out how to make it better and I know what to do to make it pleasing to the eye. I think there's enough creativity and imagination in this world that I DON'T have to know how to do everything, I can just point to someone who does and happily sew away!

5.  Talk a little about what being a member of EFW means to you.

To be honest, at first, I wasn't sure being a team member of any team was beneficial - one more thing to put on my plate.  I have since learned that sharing knowledge and experiences is one of the best things artisans can do with one another.  Incubators for creative thinking, critical mass for creativity, and someone who knows what you do and what you need to do and is willing to give you a kick in the butt. Coming together from so many different areas of art and creativity makes for a fantastic team.

6.  Share your workspace, or favorite tools.

My trusty Wonder Twins: I have two sewing machines and two sergers, so technically I have Wonder Quadruplets, but I typically stick with my Twins.  LOVE my machines!  Could not have done any of this without them.

7.  Share an item you are particularly proud of.
Felix the Cat Blingz Book-Inz: a fellow etsian showed me how to make bottle caps and after much trial and frustrating error, I figured out how to attach them securely to Book-Inz.  Now I offer Keepsakes, where the customer sends me their image and I turn it into a Book-Inz.  I've gotten orders for more puppy Keepsakes than anything, and I am so happy to give my customers a way to spend time with their furkids!

Skullz: This is Book-Inz in it's most basic form.  We're on version 2.1.  It has taken a lot of mistakes to perfect the way it works and looks.  It is simple in form, but detailed and time consuming in creation. 

And Book-Inz truly was a fluke design.  Pat borrowed a book from a neighbor and used a popsicle stick for a bookmark because she couldn't find the one I had just bought her.  The popsicle stick cracked the spine.  Come to find out the book was out of print.  We felt terrible.  And in the process, the neighbor was telling us to use other things instead, including a ribbon. Which got me to thinking about how Bibles and dictionaries have that permanent ribbon...I tossed and turned all night trying to figure out how to make that concept happen.  A couple of strange looks from the staff at Hobby Lobby and Jo-Ann's and my sewing skills later, Book-Inz was born.  And here's a funny, I was recently digging around inside the sofa lining to rescue our tv remote and found that cool bookmark Pat thought she had lost...

Thank you!
Ky Nguyen

Upcoming Shows:

3/10 - 3/11: Funky Finds' Spring Fling (Fort Worth, TX)
4/21 - 4/22: Funky Finds' Spring Fling (Longview, TX)

Thank you for a great interview Ky!