Welcome to this week’s edition of Meet the Designer! Today we’re taking a deep dive into the playful and vintage-inspired world of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania based artist Heidi Kenney. Not confined to just one type of creating, you’ll find Heidi’s adorable, spirited character art adorning pottery, plushies, custom toys, fabric and a dozen other trinkets you’ll want to get your hands on. We are so excited to get to know one of our community’s Marketplace favorites, that one blog post just isn’t enough. Don’t miss a special Valentine’s Day tutorial created by Heidi just for you.
My day starts with:
“Coffee and a trip to the ceramic studio. I am part of a ceramic guild and like to go in first thing in the mornings to get a little pottery time in each day. I love making things and could never commit myself to just one sort of making or designing. My days are usually filled with a mix of design, pottery, sewing, and maybe a little knitting thrown in somewhere.”
My mantra is:
“Work hard and don’t give up.”
I fell in love with design when:
“I’ve always loved creating things, but did a lot more with sewing and cut paper until I discovered Spoonflower. Being able to create and sell my own fabric designs has really helped me to fall in love with the design process.”
What’s in your toolbox?
“Since I love making so many different kinds of things, my toolbox contains all sorts of items from my Juki sewing machine, to my iPad for drawing.”
If I could live in a painting, it would be:
“I would love to live in any painting by Tove Jansson depicting Moominvalley. Everything about the world she created is cozy and inviting.”
When I’m in my studio, I feel:
“Happy. It’s one of my favorite places to be. My studio is filled with all kinds of things that inspire me from toys, to vintage books.”
Who or what influences or inspires your work and why?
“My children have always been big influences on my work. They like to give their input and ideas. My husband is a prolific painter who inspires me daily with his drive to draw and paint just for the act of doing it. He has a huge body of work he’s built up over the years that no one has ever really seen. His drive to create for the sake of creating has always inspired me. I collect vintage children’s books and have always been inspired by artists like Tove Jansson, Mary Blair, Helen Haywood, and Alice and Martin Provensen.”
My proudest accomplishment over the last year is:
“I have licensed a set of blind bag plush toys coming out with a company called Super Impulse, and they will be produced and released some time this year.”
What piece of your wardrobe best represents your style?
“Probably a handmade tunic I made using a mustard color fabric covered in cute cartoon skulls. I would say it represents my style because it’s a Halloween fabric which I love (Halloween and the fabric), but its also the only piece of clothing I’ve made myself, and I would love to someday have a whole wardrobe of handmade clothing.”
I’d love to see one of my designs turned into:
“Bedding or a kid’s clothing line.”
The secret to a strong collection is:
“Designs that you love. I try not to stress about rules when it comes to creating a collection of fabric. Instead, I create designs that I love together.”
If I could only wear one Spoonflower fabric it would be:
“I think I’d pick the Organic Cotton Knit Ultra, then I could sew myself leggings, T-shirts, and dresses, and it would all be super comfortable.”
The end of the interview doesn’t mean you can’t stick around for more! Make sure you follow Heidi on Instagram and explore her website. In fact, we recommend a fun game of “How many donuts can you spot”? Hint: We lost count around nine then got distracted by her amazing Handmade Plush Pretzel!