Pellon: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Caren: Sometimes fabric speaks to me (like a placid brown cotton with sweet daisies saying, “pick me! I’d make a beautiful horse!”). Ultimately, though, I usually go for what delights my children. Stories that I read them (or they make up), their unending imaginations, questions, and habits are all part of my inspiration.
P: What does your creative process entail?
C: I get mountains of books from the library (other people’s creativity helps fuel mine), and I do a lot of sketching. Honestly, I am a terrible sketch artist, but putting something down on paper helps me to visualize what is in my head. I make my own patterns whenever possible, and my sewing area is always a mildly organized disaster area.
P: What tips or tricks learned through experience can you share?
C: Start small. I am an all-or-nothing kind of person, but there comes a time to be realistic and set yourself up for success (finishing a small project) rather than set yourself up for failure (getting into something that frustrates you so much you never want to do it again). P: What triggers you to start a project? C: I usually have an idea rattling around in my head, but the trigger to actually start it is usually a special occasion (someone’s birthday, holiday, etc.) paired with a block of free time (very unusual, since I have two toddlers and a kindergartener).