Strange, colourful, collectable creatures made by Baltimore monster creator, puppeteer and textile artist Jennifer Strunge of Cotton Monster. In her senior year at the Maryland Institute College of Art she started making quilts with eyes and hasn’t looked back.
Jennifer was kind enough to answer some questions.
Jennifer, you are incredibly prolific. What is it about monster making that appeals to you that keeps you creating?
I’ve always been driven to create constantly, one of those folks who can’t sit still for long without something in my hands to keep me busy. Monster making is especially exciting to me because each one I make is one of a kind and I sew pretty much intuitively. So often times I don’t even know for sure what a creature is going to look like until i turn it inside out, stuff it and add the eyeballs. It keeps it exciting for sure!
What are your favourites that inspire you in your work?
1. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. I love all his work and think he is a master at blending reality with the unreal/fantastical. Currently on my night stand is another by the same author Dance, Dance, Dance.
3. Jan Svankmajer’s Alice and 4. Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. I am inspired by the crazy amounts of detail and time that goes into a really amazing stop-motion animation film. I’ve dabbled a bit here and there, but one day I would LOVE to make a real stop-motion animation of my own!
5. Artist Yayoi Kusama, I have always been inspired by her obsessive repetitiveness and her seeming desire to cover the world with polka-dots!
6. The blogs Shutterbean and 7.My New Roots. So, these are not directly art/monster related, but I think procrastination is a big part of my creative process! If there is a time where I can’t bring myself to get in the studio or need a break from an intensive sewing session, i love to look at pretty food blogs and find new healthy recipes to try out, then head to the kitchen. It helps me clear my head and fill my belly, and then I can get back to work!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully not with carpal tunnel and still sewing up a storm! (I aim to not to look too far into the future!).