I am trying to remember the first time I saw Coco Howard's work. (I went over the questions and now I do) I had heard of her because her son Atticus shopped at Schmancy and told me his mom made some plush creatures. All I can remember in my sleep deprived state is how much I was in awe of her work when I finally got to see it in person. I do remember emailing a bunch of folks telling them about it and how they had to see it! It's really amazing-that's all there is to it. I am thrilled that she will be showing this year at Plush You! and so excited to see what she does next. Until then, here's more information about Coco for you. Leave a comment (with your contact info please) to win your very own Coco Howard design!
S- Where to begin....Well for our readers that might not know much about you yet, can you please tell us more about you and your work?
CH- I grew up in Hawaii but have been living in Seattle for the past 20 years. At age 21 I had my first child, Atticus. He started drawing at an early age, and his artwork was my original inspiration for getting into character design. When he started school, I volunteered so I could be with him more often, and it was there that I got the opportunity to start an art therapy program. The program focused on plush toy making, and seeing what the kids made inspired me to start making plush on my own for fun. I’d been selling and giving creatures to friends and family, and a lot of people told me that I should try to sell them professionally, but I never thought it would be practical. Then last year I became a single parent and now I need to financially support my family on my own. My hope is that building the Softlife business will allow me the flexibility to parent while earning an income at the same time.
S- The first things I saw of your work were your amazing needle felted wall art at Anne Bonny. Since then, you have moved on to HUGE installations, recycled materials, various animals and creatures. Was the needle felting where it began or just the first stuff I saw?
CH- My first plush were felted dolls and creatures made from recycled sweaters that I made with the kids in my art therapy program. It wasn’t until I started making things at home on my own that I developed the felted paintings, which are my real passion, although they’re extremely time-consuming!
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