Friday, February 12, 2010

Totally Innocent - Craft Business Of The Week

I haven't done an interview for a while, and actually forgot how much I love doing them.
Learning about other artist's is a great way to feel inspired by their creativity, work techniques,
uniqueness, and clever business minds.
I found my artist this week myself, as I know her and I am very familiar with her product, because I really like it to. She is a great person and I am sure most of you know her too.

It's Lou Pennisi from....

Tell us about yourself?
Always a tricky question...My name is Lou and I am a mumma to three. My dream was always to be an actress and I did a Bachelor of Arts in Performance Studies at uni, but never had the confidence and the hunger to do it in the real world. I spend most of my week in a frenzy - working at a local primary school aiding an autistic girl, building the totally innocent empire (haha) and working on the Yarraville Markets which I run! In my spare time......I like to watch films, take photos,read, be an aunty, hang at the beach, drink wine, and chill with my cherubs who are 12, 11 and 8....I cant sit still...I'm incredibly indecisive...I am passionate...I never stop thinking and never stop dreaming. Always dreaming !

How long have you been crafting and designing, when did it start?
I have been creating since I was a wee one. Both of my grandmothers were crafters and my mother is a beautiful artist. I was quite shy as a little girl and spent hours and hours hiding behind my colouring books and getting lost in making things.I went to a bit of a hippy school and we could do art all day long if we wanted to. And I did. I was a mad photographer as a kid and still ponder the thought of doing that a bit more seriously....maybe one day.
I still remember my very first day on my Ma's sewing machine. She taught me to make hankies.
But it was my mum who allowed my creative soul to blossom. She always made it possible for me to be creative.She always said my work was fabulous (even when it wasnt) and she encouraged me to be creative everyday. She is the reason I do what i do. She is the one who made me believe in my artwork.

Where does the business name "totally innocent" come from?
Ummmmm.....I'm not really sure.I think my partner Charlie came up with the name.It represents my style. All of my designs are childlike,whimsical and innocent. totally innocent.

Where does your your inspiration come from?
Everywhere !
When I am illustrating I often find myself back in my dreamy childhood. My childhood memories are strong and I often draw things that represent that time of innocence. Days of playing outdoors under a sprinkler, dreaming of lying in the clouds, riding elephants and sliding down rainbows. My children inspire me to be the best I can be. I often find inspiration in children's books and vintage cards and swap cards. Inspiration is everywhere. I never run out of ideas...its time that is the problem !!

What is it that grabs your attention from a designing perspective?
Simple design,clean lines. Colour. Always colour. I love colour. Random colours that don't really go. Colours that are bold and brash. Pastels that can barely be seen. Colours that are in your face. Colours that are moody. I also love Japanese design - the cuter the better.

Do you use any 'odd' house hold items to help you create your products?
Not that I can think of...nothing terribly "odd"...

What blogs do you read?
Oh too many. That's why I post every two months. I get on to post something and two hours later find myself lost reading other peoples blogs...For photography - Sheye Rosemeyer (amazing woman.just amazing) For design - Print and Pattern, Design Sponge, For celebrity and film goss - Stars Hollow , For prettiness - Strawberry Kisses, My Folk Lover, Daydreamlily...and then there are the friends who blog...Chalk and Talk, Squirtbaby, Susannah Tucker, Id tees, Shhhhh...its Lizey lou.....but ALL the blogs on my sidebar are visited frequently...including Tiges and Weince....x

I know you also run the Yarraville market. Hows that going?
Very well.Thank you for asking. The market has been running for almost a year now and I am really happy with its growth. I have just "employed" a wonderful woman named Starsha who will be helping me one day a week to answer emails and deal with all the logistical stuff, so that i can focus a bit more on totally innocent. The greatest thing for me about the market is all the incredibly cool designers that I have met in the last 12 months.The stallholders are constantly changing and shifting, but there is a real sense of community, encouragement and friendship amongst the stallholders which really gives the market a great vibe. We encourage people who are thinking about selling their product to have a go - those designers out there who are yet to do a market - contact us - we love new talent !! It is a lot of hard work (as you are about to discover Kylie!) and very time consuming, but so rewarding also. Our first market for the year is on this Saturday (alongside the Yarraville Arts festival). We are expecting it to be a huge day as the festival draws a crowd of thousands.So its an insane week for me this week trying to prepare for it. I'm also organising the Arts Precinct which is an area at the festival specifically layed out for handmade products. I never imagined running a handmade market...and yet here I am !!

What is your favorite music/artist/movie/book/website?
Oh too hard !! Did I mention how indecisive I am?
Music - I'm a bit of a music nerd !My fave album of all time is probably Matthew Sweet -Girlfriend. Also love the Beatles and old 50's and 60's tunes and DIDO (much to my families disgust !)RHCP,
Artist - ummmmm....too many to mention
Movie - Life Is Beautiful,Stand By Me,The Breakfast club....and lots more....but you don't have all day.
Book - To Kill A Mockingbird,Scar Tissue,and anything written by Augusten Burroughs (love that man!)
Website - sadly probably facebook....although it is boring me a tad lately, also etsy and made it!
If you could interview anybody in the world who would it be?
Elvis Presley.Or John Lennon.Or Nelson MAndela. Or the Dalai Lama...indecisive much ??

Where is your next holiday destination?
We just returned a few weeks ago from a trip to Fiji...The credit card is telling me we wont be going anywhere for a while...but...the next trip will be to New mans homeland. Our kids are part Maori and we really need to show them their to speak.

Thanks heaps Lou for your time, you are clearly a busy bee, buz buz... I know I definitely learnt a lot more about you and what makes that creative brain of yours tick away.

You can find Totally Innocent by clicking on any of these links; Website; Blog; Yarraville Market;


Anonymous said...

thanks so much are so sweet. thats my first interview.hope i didnt ramble too much.i love what you did with all the lou x

Jenny said...

Great interview with a great girl. Lou's stuff is absolutely gorgeous and she has me in awe on a daily basis. We sell her cards at my shop and they are divine - everyone loves them.