Detroit artist, Jessica Sheeran, began her craft show career with crocheted and knitted goodies. Just for fun, she put a shark face on a pillow and it sold the second someone spotted it. By the time the next craft fair rolled around, Jessica had made sharks and monsters galore— sales boomed and now the frighteningly adorable stuffed animals are her primary commodity.
She goes into her creation process with a blank slate. The design of each critter is dictated by the fabric and eyes. This plan-free way of making leaves room for a good bit of surprise for Jessica by the time she’s finished the last stitches. No two are alike.
When I asked Jessica what misconceptions people have about her and her work, she said, “Because some of the things I make are so weird and wild, I’ve often been asked if I’m on drugs because apparently I have to be ‘out of my mind’ in some way, shape, or form to come up with some of the things I come up with. I try to take that as an unusual compliment that has been worded a little wonky because I’m completely drug free (I don’t even drink!) but it’s kind of a bummer to hear someone assume that your creativity comes from a chemical.”
In my mind, the flow of her creativity comes from an unbridled imagination. Much of her inspiration came from that crucial time in childhood when anything was possible if you could simply dream it. The world would be a more colorful, fantastic place if people like Jessica and her Cool Critters abounded. To think like a child is quite possibly one of the most valuable gifts of all.
Stay tuned, later on this week Jess is going to give us a tutorial on how to make one of these monsters on your own.