I have know Kristen for a few years and when she started making these super neat needlepoint magnets I just knew she was on to something. Flash forward she now sells these and has made a name for self here in Tucson at local fairs, and recently at Tucson Comic Con. So with out delay here is Kristen’s creative journey!
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kristen Lamott of Tucson, Arizona. I moved here from Pennsylvania in 2008 and fell in love the desert and the Tucson vibe. I have since created a beautiful family and life for myself here; and have been refining my niche of designing video game and pixelated inspired needlepoint magnets for my business 8 Bit Kitsch.
2. When did you catch the creative bug?
If I am being honest, I would have to say I have always felt creative. My mom and dad were (and are still) very creative and crafty. I grew up watching them and feeling constantly inspired. My mom would make us the coolest costumes and decorations for the house. It wasn’t until I got older and became a homeowner that I realized the craftiness of my father. He would do these amazing restorations and make broken things look better than new. He was also the seamstress of the family! I think because of this, I always felt a lot of support when I would want to start a project. I also learned how to crochet and needlepoint from my Gran. She would make me do a chain stitch over and over just to pull it out! She would tell me stories of the lady that taught her – it is something I really look back on fondly.
3. What does “being creative” mean to you?
Being creative to me is seeing beyond what is in front of you – seeing the potential in what you have at your disposal. My brain is constantly looking at things, like at yard sales, stores, or even around the house, and going “What could I make with this?” “How could I paint this?” “This would be awesome if I…” Just taking that step to look at what COULD BE is what being creative is to me.
4. How would you describe your art and/or process?
So similar to what I said before, I am always looking at what I have and thinking of what I can make. For my business, that usually requires me to start with an old video game, superheroes, etc. Then I use the pixel sprite as reference to craft the needlepoint design or create a unique custom pattern myself. Each pixel easily translates into one stitch. I take a lot of pride in what I do and really make sure that the colors are accurate to that comic, movie, or game. People definitely seem appreciate it when it looks exactly like they remembered.
5. What has been your favorite thing to create or style to create?
I absolutely have this tendency to feel that latest thing I made is my favorite. With that being said, my new favorite thing I have created is this shadow boxed framed needlepoint design of Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros. crossed with Marilyn Monroe from Seven Year Itch. Her dress is being blown up from the Mario pipe. I love doing cross overs; my most popular being Mega Man inspired poses (like my previous favorite of IT – Pennywise the Dancing Clown). This particular Princess Peach design is also very special because it is being sold at a charity event for Planned Parenthood Arizona, where 100% of the proceeds from this piece (and many others) will be donated. This will be my second time participating in the event and it is truly such and honor.
6. Name a craft product you can’t live without?
HOT GLUE! Even with all the burns, I couldn’t live without it. I use it to attach magnets to the back of my pixelated magnets and in almost every other craft I make.
7. If there were a magic power you could use in your art making, what would it be?
I think if I could have a magic power used when crafting it would be an auto-clean. When I make my magnets, there is constantly little pieces of plastic canvas and yarn around me. Even when I think I got it all, I will stand up and there are tiny pieces all over.
8. Any advice for those out there who think art is to hard?
I think if I was to give honest advice to someone who is struggling, it would be to just do it. I know how cheesy that all sounds but it is so true. My husband and I will see something and say “Let’s make that. We can do it.” So we will scour the internet from references and information and just try it. It isn’t necessarily always a success but that is what make it endearing. Those tiny imperfection that you will eventually learn from and stop doing once you get better. And if you didn’t like doing it, try something else. You might not like to paint but drawing could be your thing. Crafting and creating is fun. Working with your hands is so rewarding. Do it. Try it.
Here are some examples of her creations!
9. What inspired you to create 8 bit Kitsch?
The beginning of the business started with a collaboration with my sister in law, Heather, in 2012. She had made a Mario Question Mark tissue box cover for her brother, who is an avid gamer. When she showed me, I had remembered all the crocheted and needlepoint stuff my Gran and her sister would take to craft shows. We immediately started figuring out what other things we could make and sold them to places like Bookmans and Fantasy Comics. I guess there is a part of me that loves that feeling of sitting behind your creations and sharing them with other people who have the same interests. I love to hear people’s ideas and inputs and some have often lead to my best designs. One of my first goals was to do Tucson Comic Con and last year that was achieved. This year we are returning with even more custom pieces and I couldn’t be more proud of how far this has all come.
10. If we wanted to learn more about you and your art where can we go? (if you have other social media outlets)
I sell my handmade needlepoint magnets at www.8bitKitsch.etsy.com
You can find us locally @ Fantasy Comics at 2595 N 1st Ave Tucson Arizona 85719
Some upcoming shows and events include:
Oct. 1 – 31 Nasty Women Exhibit – Pussy Power: Planned Parenthood Art Show at Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea (1730 E Speedway Blvd Tucson AZ 85719 (100% of proceeds go to Planned Parenthood Arizona)