This week's artist feature is Abi Monroe.
(originally posted on the ADO blog)
Please tell us about yourself. What is your name? Where do you live? What makes you tick?
Greetings! my name is Abi Monroe. I was born and grew up in England (I'm still working on growing up!) I met my fabulous husband whilst I was a landlady of a country pub ~ he was in the US Air Force, experiencing England and English Real Ale for a few years! 18 months ago, we moved to Buffalo Gap, Texas, and have an expanding animal sanctuary! I don't know what makes me tick - I am fickle-minded.
When did you start making dolls? Why did you start making dolls?
I started making dolls just after Easter of this year - I was looking for books on how to make curtains, and came across Patti Medaris Culea's Art Doll books. Fell in love with the art doll concept, and thought I would see if I could make one! Willow was the result.
Who or what influences you? Inspires you?
Following my discovery of Patti, I found more amazing art dolls on Etsy, then ADO - I had no idea this world existed. Of course Patti was my initial influence and inspiration - now every art doll artist influences and inspires me in some shape or form. It's totally overwhelming, but rather lovely! I'm sure lots of other things influence me too, I just can't think what they are.
Tell us a little about your dolls and your process for making them. Materials, preliminary sketches, inspiration, etc.
The process is hit and miss so far!(More miss than hit. LOL) I'm still learning, and experimenting with different mediums to find what I feel 'at home with'. I'm about to try Susie McMahon's technique - incorporating cloth and clay. I'll be happy when I find my 'niche'. I like my dolls to have a theme, and to hold or be attached to something pertinent to the theme.
I am currently working on a cloth doll for a book, soon to be published, and I don't know why, but I am totally blank. I'm guessing it's the pressure - it's not every day you get an opportunity like this! :O)
Do you have a favorite doll? It can be handmade by you, handmade by someone else, or even (gasp) mass production.
My favorite art doll? Made by Grace from Little Black Crow - Tony Bear of course!
Besides making dolls, what do you do? Job, other creative pursuits, hobbies, etc.
I have just started working part-time in an arts and crafts store. The rest of the time, I try to train six hooligan dogs and keep eight cats satisfied, and encourage one dove to fly! I'm obsessed with creating Etsy Treasuries, and try to keep up with everyone's blogs!
I'd be grateful if everyone could take a moment to visit Deena's fabby Dolls Blog. Last year, Deena's three teen sons were diagnosed with Choroideremia. This is a rare eye disease that results in progressive, and eventual vision loss. At this time, there is no treatment or cure for this disease. Shocking, eh? I simply cannot imagine how my life would be without my sight. Deena has set up a fundraising site to donate to the Choroideremia Research Foundation and needs our support! I hope you can help.
What are some of your favorite: movies, books, websites, magazines, foods, TV shows? (Any or all!)
Movies - my favorite is A Beautiful Mind. I'm also a sucker for romantic comedies! Books - anything by Sophie Kinsella. I day-dream way too much, and her books suit my personality! Websites - Etsy! (sad I know!) Facebook - I can keep up-to-date with all my friends I dearly miss in England. I haven't found a magazine I like in the US yet. Foods - Chocolate Brownies. TV Shows - Grand Designs (mmm, that's a UK program).
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I live in the middle of nowhere with 40 acres of fauna and flora! I'm happy with that, however, if I could pick Great Britain up and plunk it in the middle of Texas (and it would fit just about 3 times), that's where I'd like to live!! Not sure Yve from Freaky Little Dolls living in Wales would be happy with this though?!
Where do you see yourself in one year? Five years? Ten years?
Who knows! I'm a great believer in fate. However, I'll probably-and happily-be engulfed with more animals, and hopefully beautiful Abi-made, unique dolls!