Sunday, January 20, 2008

This week's Etsy artist: punkinhead

Laurie Marshall, aka punkinhead, is a girl after my own heart. Her motto: Trash is the failure of imagination.

Laurie’s brilliantly upcycled artworks are the result of family ethics and tradition. She says, “My mom and I are starting a business that will hopefully allow us to capitalize on our habit of picking trash up off of people's curbs. I can't explain the joy I feel when I see a discarded wingback or a stack of shutters sitting next to the weekly trash. My neighbors probably think I'm a bit touched.”

Meanwhile, Laurie’s Etsy shop is filled with charming snowpeople and whimsical tea light lanterns. The shop was full to bursting before Christmas, as you can imagine; but you can still see a few winter creations there while she’s busy replenishing. “My mom always told me I should sell the things I made,” Laurie says. “I just never thought I could do it without a bankroll to start me off. I'm so glad I listened this time and opened my Etsy shop. Just the sheer fact that I have a shop keeps me motivated to think of new things to make.”

Like most artists profiled here, Laurie has been creating art all her life. “One of my earliest ‘art’ memories,” she says, “is the contest held at my kindergarten. I drew a lovely white swan, and when my friends liked it and asked me to draw one for them too, I did. They were hung in the hallway on parents’ night, and when the parents were supposed to pick a favorite painting/drawing/whatever, my mother chose some other kid's train.” Perhaps Mom had trouble singling out Laurie’s signed work among all the surprisingly similar swan drawings?

Laurie didn’t get all of her creative genes from her mosaic-artist mother, though. Her father has an art degree, and her grandfather (a woodcrafter) and her grandmother (a tole painter) were regulars at the War Eagle craft fairs.

Laurie was exposed to crafting as an industry in her early 20s, when she worked at Michael's/MJ Designs in North Dallas. In 1990, she moved to northwest Arkansas. “I actually enrolled in art classes,” she says, “thinking that was what I'd get my degree in. Marriage and babies sidelined that idea, but I kept sewing and crafting whenever I could find the time and extra dollars.”

Her haiku about her approach to art:

Art, as I see it:
"Junk," some say, but it's all good -
I am the artist.

Laurie is an active member of two street teams: AREtsy (the Arkansas Etsy street team) and the Etsy Plush team. She and her craft-supportive husband have three children and live in Springdale, Arkansas. You can enjoy her irreverent personality on her blog, and you can make friends with Laurie on her EtsyLove page.


Fria said...

Laurie rocks! I have a couple of her snowfolk - they are really cute.

Anonymous said...

She's all that .... and MORE. I know her well...she's my friend as well as my daughter. In many ways she's also my Hero. Through the Ups and Downs and then more Downs of life, she's stayed true, true, true to herself. She's a special lady, a great daughter and a loyal friend. And, by the way, I don't recall that 'picking the other kid's artwork thing'. Sorry 'bout that!!

idyll hands said...

Mom picked a train over a swan??? All of this is sooo true about punkinhead. What you don't see from her Etsy shop are the hundres of other wonderful things she has created through the years. My favorite will always be my custom painted Ken Doll underpants. I was the only girl who's Ken actually had tighty whities on, thanks to Punkinhead.

Punkinhead said...

Don't feel bad, mom - I'D forgotten about the Ken doll underpants!

Scrap_a_dot said...

I love her stuff and cant wait to get some myself!!