What happens when an animator discovers needle felting ? Drawings come to life in wool!
Allison Craig is a full-time animator and consummate doodler who found her way to the magic of felting her characters in wool. The first needle felt sculptures she ever saw were those of a past co-worker, who had also been featured on Living Felt for her unique creations.
“I think the first needle felt work I ever saw came from the amazing Steph Laberis. We actually worked together for a while at an animation studio in Boston called Soup2Nuts. Once we had each gone our own ways, I saw some of her needle felt work online and LOVED it. Finally, 2 years ago, I bought some startup supplies from Living Felt and gave it a shot.”
“Being an animator, I’ve always been into character design and doodling different animals and ideas. Pair that with a guilty-pleasure love of stuffed animals, and this seemed like the perfect media for me to try. I love that it’s a 3 dimensional way to create a character; I have a lot of fun scultping (I did a bit of sculpey work back in college)”
“The felt projects I create usually come from doodling in my sketchbook. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of projects for other people, so the idea might come from them, but I’ll put my own spin on the design. I think everything I’ve done has been an animal. I feel more comfortable doing animals than humans! Maybe someday I’ll challenge myself. I get inspiration from a lot of other animators and character designers. I follow a lot tumblrs and artists on facebook (and I try not to get sucked into internet browsing for TOO long, ha!).”
“The majority of artwork that I do is for my fulltime job with Titmouse. I animate/layout/design in Flash and Photoshop on the computer. I use a Wacom Cintiq which allows you to draw with a stylus straight onto the monitor. So nice!! Otherwise, I’m doodling with pencils in my sketchbook. Felting is so nice because it gets me away from the computer but keeps me productive.”
What has been your most challenging project and what was challenging about it?
I think my most challenging project has been the Mia dog. Mostly because it was only my third felt and I was (and am) still trying to learn the best methods and tricks for doing certain things. I was also trying to use different mediums with that one – the resin cast eyes (thank you, Steph, for that tutorial!) and the collar, etc. I love how using different mediums in one piece can make it more textural and interesting.”
What is your “next big challenge”.or the project you are dreaming to do?
“I have a small obsession with unicorns and would LOVE to do a goofy, cartoony unicorn. “
“Anyone can needle felt!! That is what’s so great about it. Everyone has a different style and different ideas, and it’s great to see the variety that comes from this form of art. And with modern day tech – it’s so easy to find a tutorial online that can help you overcome hurdles that you hit. I am SO happy to have discovered needle felting! Maybe you’ll fall in love with it too.”
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