Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Steffen. I live in Brisbane inner city where access to lots of galleries, shopping, theatres and restaurants allow me to investigate new works, in art, furniture, fashion. Having two teenage daughters also means we need to be close to the action of inner city.
Can you explain your craft/art and the material you like to use?
Currently working with paper- new, vintage, recycled and using techniques to add texture or interest to the surface- whether that be through embossing, machine or hand stitching, punching or printing, folding or application of translucent layers. I prefer an integrated of layering rather than purely graphic.
Where do you get your inspiration and what is your creative process?
As opposed to a pictorial or graphic based paper goods, I am aiming to provide a textural product of lightness, transparency, layering, something that appears to be more than its integral parts.
How long have you been creating and how did you get into craft/art?
I started the 3GIRLS+aGOAT Handmade Papergoods at the end of 2007 as a means of utilising the myriad of design based material I had at my office and collected as an architect and interior designer.
The use of recycled and vintage paper initially fuelled these paper creations, as well as the desire to create and complete part of the creative process quickly.
Unlike architecture and interior design which can take months and/ or years to complete a project, this small scale endeavour allowed me to design and make items with small snatches of time initially.
How did you come up with your business name?
Three girls in my family, three generations of including my mother, my sisters and my daughters. And no my husband is not the goat, I am Capricorn, a true portrayal in its perfection for detail and execution and strive to make each idea better.
What resources 'have or do you' use to help your creative pursuits (i.e. groups, classes, shops, websites etc)?
Trial and error, and lot of surfing the net for inspiration. I have always been a hands-on girl making things from an very early age. Having been a capable and competent sewer since starting around 9 years old, I have always enjoyed random spurts of sewing clothes, homewares and bags. My art training at high school allowed me to develop screen-printing skills which I still employ. Ongoing courses in other print making using block and lino with a nearby artist has allowed inspiration to blossom for new possible endeavours in fabric printing, gift wrap, with cards. Always looking out for new horizons with my recent move into photography. Next year taking up some sensible jewellery making design and perhaps a course.
What's your best advice for someone starting up?
Pursue your ideals and goals, and attempt to explore and push the boundaries of what you wish to create. Never settle for mediocre.
Do you have any advertising/promotion tips for sellers to be successful?
Until recently I have never advertised, tending to keep a low profile around the production and design and allowing the goods to speak for themselves via online sales. Obviously there becomes a point where exposure needs to be enhanced via retail stores or markets, neither of which I have employed but seriously need to look at if I am to continue doing these paper goods. The response to my goods has been excellent with many compliments on workmanship and the high quality of materials I employ.
Can you share any lessons that you have learned the hard way?
Always stick to your guns and your inner 'gut' reaction. If something does not feel right, then it will not satisfy your creative needs. Try not to follow the pack, but follow your ideals, and be willing to accept any criticism along the way. Accept this for its positivity and how you may improve that item, the service, etc next time. If you are able, then perhaps stop producing that particular item and move sideways. Sometimes this distance allows a new perspective and perhaps new inspiration or new ideas and direction.
What do you like to do besides creating?
I love creating things. Being an architect/ interior designer during the day means projects can take a long time from beginning to end with lots of constraints and restrictions along the way. Creating through art or craft allows things to happen quickly and effortlessly and in a more impromptu way where your creativity is in the frontline. Having the time is always the issue.
What is your favourite music, television show, film, book, website?
Music - Always loved the music of the Eurythmics and Annie Lennox and Icehouse from the 1980s, Jack Johnson, James Blunt and Nora Jones more recently. I prefer a more low key music for the background rather than up-front sound, but generally I find having music on to be too distracting. Having two teenage daughters means the likes of Goetye, Florence and the Machine, and Adele will find its way into the studio.
Television - I do not watch much television but always loved X Files when it started as well as House and more recently Munroe.
Book - Not sure I have a favourite book, but an author I go back to again and again is Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Thousand Years of Solitude).
Movie - I love going to the movies and again not sure I have a fave movie but recently loved Jane Eyre and Bright Star.
Website - My favourite website is flickr where I upload shots daily but alas not for my papergoods.
What would be your perfect day?
Getting lots of things made and ordered out the door with time to ponder and create something new.
Who is your favourite madeit seller, explain why in less than 10 words?
andODesign - they have beautiful and simple contemporary ceramics with exquisite wrapping!
3GIRLS and a goat visit store
20 November 2011