I have to say that T&A Friendly sends the most outrageously hilarious plush to Plush You! I hope to see more this year. If you don't know what I am talking about, after this you will.
S- When did you start making plush?
T&A- The first time I officially made something plush was when I was about ten years old and I made myself a pink felt teddy bear. Unfortunately, I wasn't well-informed on the art of making a three-dimensional figure back then so this little guy wasn't a great technical success. I came back around to it with full force in 2005 by making a large shrimp sushi cushion. It made me pretty proud.
S- How do you promote your work?
T&A- I'll be honest, promoting my work is a skill I need to work on greatly. But I try my best by posting little in-depth descriptions and snippets on any new projects on my blog (www.tafriendly.blogspot.com). But I think so far, my favorite method of promotion is by entering my stuff into various group shows. I work in various media such as plush and painting so I'm always on the lookout for shows that sound like fun and will draw in an audience. Also, because I make varied work, I'm always sure to make my mark on all my pieces so that anyone interested in looking me up will encounter the full "T&A Friendly experience."
S- What made you get into making plush taxidermy?
T&A- Originally, T&A Friendly was a collaboration between myself and an old college mate that continued for a bit even after graduation. I was "A" and she was "T" and then "T" was going to have a baby. One day, while at a local Goodwill, we came across a toy that made me say to her, "Oh my god! I want to make a toy for your kid." Then we just started brainstorming about putting our own twist on stuffed animals and taxidermy by making life-sized critters in outrageous and colorful prints accompanied by names and personal stories for each and every animal.
But since then, the Stuft Acquaintances have definitely morphed into something more-artistically and meaningfully. Part of the proceeds earned from the Stuft Acquaintances is donated to the Humane Society. I love wildlife and wish I could be more hands-on with preserving natural habitats and helping to eliminate abuse to animals and this is just my way of doing so.
Artistically, I never tire of creating my plushy taxidermy because the nature of these guys just allows me to take a different approach to each new head. Plus, it's so awesome taking on the dilemma of trying to figure out how to make an almost life-size rhino or ostrich head.
S- What's your favorite aspect of making plush?
T&A- I gotta say, My favorite aspect of making plush is when I first cruise through my fabric collection. Anyone whose seen my work knows that I'm not afraid of a lot of plaid here or a lot of glittered vinyl there! I especially love when I'm able to break out my heavyweight fabrics. I just love when I'm able to make something that's extremely physical and huge.
T&A- I don't know, I have so many. Um, I gotta say...my sewing machine. I know that maybe that sounds a little boring but most of my stuff just would have been made possible if it wasn't for my "little engine that could."