If you love plush then you have very probably heard of “Plush You“. Plush You is an annual plush art show that exhibits the work of some of the most talented plush makers out there.
The event is hosted by Kristen Rask at her shop Schmancy in Seattle, the show takes place in October, I was there and snagged an interview with Kristen.
Plush You is the original plush art show, what first motivated you to showcase plush in this way?
When I opened up Schmancy I concentrated a lot more on vinyl toys. As a person who makes things and sold in small boutiques for a long time by then, I wanted to support more items handmade. To keep with the toy vain, I decided to do this show and it was such a huge success that it kind of just organically evolved from there. I love everyone I work with and it’s still one of my favorite things to do all year.
How many artists have pieces in this years show and are there any there any “new to Plush You” artists that you are excited to share with us?
There are about 55? This year I am really excited to have some old school people I haven’t seen in awhile come back around as well as some new people I have not worked with before. Too many to name 🙂
Plush You is a curated art show, can you tell us roughly how many applicants you get per year and a little of your process in sifting through all of that?
There are a few hundred. It kind of changes each year but basically once the application deadline is over, I go through all the applications and get all my yes’s together. Then I go back and make sure there is a good variety in mediums and styles and then if I need to fill numbers, I go from there.
You must be very proud of your huge part in bringing plush to the attention of a wider audience, what changes and growth have you witnessed over the years?
It is really fun and every time someone takes the time to say thank you or says this to me, I am really touched but just kinda feel like I am just doing what I love to do so if I have brought plush to a wider audience, that’s awesome but wasn’t really the end goal. You know? I have seen it become more mainstream. Famous people post shots of themselves with artists work like Heidi Kenney. People are more interested in it as a medium and I hear less comments like “what is this place?” and “well, good luck”. I have seen work evolve, book deals for many artists, street artists turning to plush, etc. It’s awesome because it just keeps evolving and you never know where it may go next. I would LOVE to get connected with a studio in Hollywood so I could help them choose cool work for film and tv. Is that a job? If it is, I want it.
What is your favourite part of working with artists from around the world?
I love how work can be different depending on where they are from. Including materials used. I love working with talented people from all over the globe.
Your new book has just hit the shelves, wanna share a bit about it??
I had one called Teeny Tiny Animal Crochet that was released in September with Barnes & Noble which is a crochet kit. I worked with numerous artists for that kit and it was super fun. The projects are adorable and the projects range from easy to hard depending on your experience with crochet.
I have another one coming out in November called The Wizard Of Oz Crochet. That one was a fun process and crazy. The timeline to do it was really short for making a book but they wanted it out this year for the anniversary. So I found out about the deal in Dec. last year and everything was due and the photo shoot happened in March. This is crazy. Plus we worked with Warner Brothers so everything had to be approved by them. It was nuts but super exciting and such a HUGE honor to be apart of the anniversary in
some small way. Not to mention I worked with some amazing artists that I admire so much and they were just so on top of everything. It was the craziest deadline by far but seemed to be the easiest one thus far. I guess I know a little more now too so it was easier to explain, plan for, etc. I am so pleased with the end result, I think it’s really adorable. I will be having a release party/art show for it in November.
If you are in Seattle take a trip to Schmancy, maybe you will find something to add to your plush collection.