Today I welcome Kristin Loeffer Theiss, an artist I admire so much. She creates beautiful creative toys, clothing and accessories through an intricate process that I admire so much. Check out HERE how she draws with thread.
Tell us a bit about your backgroundMy mother sewed a lot of my clothes when I was a kid & I used to love going to the fabric store with her. I learned to sew early on – but really just made things up as I went along (which I still do). So my love of textiles started when I was small. I majored in fine art (painting & drawing emphasis) in college with a minor in art history & writing. I got my MFA in fine art from the School of Visual Arts in NYC & later taught painting part time at a small college in my hometown in Washington State (while always working various full time jobs at the same time). I taught there for about 12 years. I had an opportunity arise when one of my full time gigs changed dramatically in 2005- that’s when klt:works was born.
Describe your Creative Space
Our whole house is my creative space basically. My husband is also an artist so our home is our art project. Over the years we created a space that nurtured creativity- full of textures, colors, images, books, art, & nostalgic hodge-podge that inspires us. Because I work from home, I have literally used all of the spaces of our house to create in. However, my main creative space is in the attic of our bungalow. It’s a place that I spend A LOT of time. There is always music playing in my studio and I surround myself with things that inspire me. My favorite magazines, vintage toys, vintage and new children’s books, my favorite dance costume from when I was a kid, and a cozy sleeping nook. I also created a little hidden fort space for Sayer that he calls his office. He is up in my studio with me a lot so you can see that influence. I never know where my thread is because he squirrels it away somewhere.
Two things you can't live without?This is sort of tough- but I would have to say my Ipod/Itunes & MacBook (these could count as one, right?). Then a second would be my camera (or “our” camera that I monopolize heavily). But then I would have to have some kind of drawing tool … so I would sneak that in my pocket.
Do you have any routine or rituals in your work habits?I’m sure I do, but I’m not aware of them other than turning music on right away when I step into my studio.
How do you keep focused while working?This isn’t easy on a real life level. I take care of my 3 year old and try to work – therefore “focusing” isn’t really that possible. Not to mention, I’m a one-person business. So, focusing is always a work in progress. But when it comes to ideas & creativity, I’m really focused and driven. I stay on task if I’m given time to myself. I generally have a memory like a steal trap, so I will always come back to my ideas if I stray during the day. Once I get in the creative bubble, I can focus for hours. It’s really a matter of creativity as a habit (I borrowed from Twyla Tharp on this term). I actually was a dancer from first grade – junior year in high school so I learned creative discipline at an early age. Many years of art school also helped with creative focus & discipline.
What is your primary source of inspiration?Life & my surroundings inspire me tremendously. I am really aware of everyday things like shadows, colors, textures, moods, and music. I revel in nostalgia & love vintage toys & children’s books- things that are peeling and that show character. Photography, music, movies & other artists/creative people inspire me. But I have to say my husband and my son are my major sources of creative inspiration.
What part of your work do you enjoy the most?This is another really tough question for me. I really love all aspects of creativity. I probably enjoy the process and the challenge of creating more than the finished product – which really is a reflection of my fine art background. I enjoy designing and making – but making for the first time- not making for production sake. I really love documenting creativity. The camera has been a favorite element of my process lately. I’m also a research junkie and like that part of the creative process too. I think that is why I enjoy blogging so much. It’s a way of documenting what inspires me along with giving me a quick, daily creative fix outside of my studio time.
What are you working on now?I’m always working on a million things! I have more ideas than time. I’m really just working on filling orders, expanding my business and product lines, trying to become better at what I do, learning more of what I need to know, along with creatively being a good mom, wife, and friend.
Thank you so much Kristin for sharing your creative space with us and for being an inspiration!!!
Her wonderful Blog
Buy Kristin's Amazing Products here!