GETTING TO KNOW
the Crafty Gentleman
How long have you crafted?
For as long as I can remember! As a child, I used to spend hours doodling, scrapbooking and generally making a mess. That childlike love of making things has never left me – it’s just become a little more refined (I hope!).
How did you get involved in the industry?
In my early 20s, I became frustrated by the lack of craft content that was available for young people, especially men. The majority of craft shops and websites were full of pink and glitter, clearly tailoring to a different type of crafter to me. But I knew there was more to crafting so I decided to try and make a change. I started my blog in 2013 and wrote the sort of craft content I had been craving for years – simple, unfussy, gender-neutral craft tutorials that anyone can try. Fast forward five years and I’ve now shared over 200 free tutorials, all with the aim of making crafts accessible to everyone.
How do you juggle the blog with your job?
It’s pretty hectic! I spend my 9-5 in an office job, then most of my evenings and weekends are filled with crafting and blogging. It’s definitely a test of my organisation – especially when I have deadlines on sponsored blog projects, or craft events to run. What keeps me motivated is my genuine passion for crafts. Even if I didn’t have my blog, I’d still be filling my weekends with making things. I love it.
Any career highlights so far?
Appearing on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on Channel 4, alongside the amazing Kirstie Allsopp! She’s a craft legend, so I was slightly star-struck when she complimented my crafts! Another highlight was visiting the Cricut Make-A-Thon conference in Salt Lake City last summer – it was great to get a taste of the American craft industry and to meet so many amazingly creative people.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I travel as much as I can and take photos of art, shapes, textures and colours that spark ideas. I keep the images and refer to them whenever I need a creative boost.
What are your favourite things to papercraft?
My first crafting love was making greetings cards. Christmas, birthdays, Easter, Halloween, New Year… I’d make cards for everything! And 20 years later, this is still much the same. I genuinely don’t ever remember buying a card from a shop – I always have, and always will, make them myself.
Which crafting celebs do you admire?
I recently worked on a project with Keith Brymer-Jones from BBC2’s The Great Pottery
Throwdown. He’s one of the nicest, most inspiring people I’ve ever met. His passion for the crafting industry is absolutely infectious – it’s impossible not to be motivated by chatting with him! I’m also a huge admirer of people like Tilly Walnes (Tilly and the Buttons), Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman (A Beautiful Mess) and Elise Blaha Cripe (Get To Work Book). They are all people who have turned their love of crafts into hugely successful, thriving businesses. What could be more
Any advice for other crafters thinking about a career in craft?
Make sure you’re doing it for passion, not for the money. Crafting professionally is very different to crafting as a hobby. You’ll no longer be making simply for fun – you may have clients to manage, shoppers to please, even an audience to impress. If you don’t love the fundamentals of what you do, this will come across. However, in saying that, there’s no reason not to just give it a go! Everyone needs to start somewhere, so don’t delay if you have a good business idea. Start small, keep working at it and see where it takes you. Good luck!
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions – instead, I like to set myself creative challenges for the year. For example, I filmed one second of video every day last year (to make a big montage of my life throughout 2018!). At the time of this interview, I’m still not sure what I’ll challenge myself to do in 2019… I’m torn between a daily photography challenge, or daily journaling. I’m sure I’ll write about my decision soon on the blog though, so check back there to see what I decide (and to watch my 2018 video)!
What’s in the pipeline for 2019?
I’m currently in discussions with a few television studios about some big opportunities, which is really exciting! I’m also hoping to book in plenty of workshops and events, too – I love to get out there and meet fellow crafters, rather than solely interacting through social media (although that’s great, too, of course!). Of course, alongside all of this I’ll continue to share loads of free craft tutorials through my blog!
“If I didn’t have my blog, I’d still be filling my weekends with making things. I love it”
Papercraft wall art and a leather-bound notebook