Getting to know you – Kajsa Wikman

Our first films just arrived this morning, so I’m off to watch The Legend of 1900, but I just had to post the next interview. With the very lovely and inspiring Kajsa, who you might know as syko. Do check out her blog and shop and flickr stream for some serious eye candy of the Scandinavian variety. Which is one of the best kinds! ;-) Have a nice weekend, all!

Your name
Kajsa Wikman aka syko

Where in the world are you?
Turku, Finland

Kajsa’s blog & shop + Flickr

Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I am a full-time artist/crafter from the beginning of this year. I used to work at the university, but I decided to go for it and make a living on what I like most, sewing quilts and appliqué. I also have two wonderful kids, a two year old boy and a 5 year old girl.

Who or what inspires you?
The children are an inspiration, they are also very good at encourageing me! Other things that inspire me: children’s drawings and illustrations for kids, naive folk art, colours, materials (sucha as fabrics and buttons), people and everyday life. And my blog friends!

When / how did you learn?
I did my first quilt when I was in my late teens, I followed my mum to a quilting class and got hooked. A few years later I found that Internet was bursting of tips and ideas for a beginning quilter so Internet has been my quilting university. I started doing appliqué on clothes for my daughter some five years ago and never stopped.

Why do you ‘bother’ to make things by hand?
I get that question very often. The simple answer is that I have to do it, it’s what I want to do. All the time.
What is your craft ”philosophy”?
Use what you have and combine it with something fresh and new. Believe in your instincts and love what you do and other people will too! YOU CAN!

Fondest craft-related memory?
I think I was 12 when I got a pair of knitting needles and some wonderful yarn in soft pastels from my mum for Christmas. I loved it so much. I think I did not manage to make something out of it, but it felt important to get a ”grown-up” gift like that.

When I was 15 I asked my mum to knit a sweater for me. -Why don’t you do it yourself? she said. So I did, it had lots of colour and was about one meter wide, but after that I was a passionate knitter for many years. Until I started quilting…

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
I put the project aside, work on something else and then go back to deal with the problem.

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
Half of our living area is my craft space and office. It feels great to have my own domain and I try hard to keep it in order… I hope to afford to rent a proper studio one day.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
Yes, I have a sketchbook which is full of lose sheets of paper since I draw on any paper around if my sketchbook is not close… It is very much worth it to put down your ideas, I can go back to them later and find the, Usually the ideas I bother to put down on paper are ideas I will use in one or the other project at some point.
Why is crafting good for you?
It makes me happy! And even better, I can share the joy! And I also feel I am doing my little share against mass consumerism by making ”slow” hand crafted things.
Is your craft a business as well?
Any advice on running a crafty business? Yes. Not many tips yet, but having a blog and an etsy shop is a good start! And a flickr-album!

What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
Everything! Without the Internet I wouldn’t be crafting full-time today. I am so thankful for all the wonderful feedback I get for people all over the world every day. There is not a day that I do not give the greatness of the Internet a thought. I can’t count the number of people that I can share my passion for crafting with on-line. In real life it is counted on one hand. Or two. Internet is also wonderful as a source of information.

Do you make art or craft? Is there a difference?
I have tried to combine them in my slogan ”art for everyday life”.

If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or even skill, what would it be?
Get myself a studio witha lot of light, big windows, wooden floor. First. Then I would sew a quilt by hand with lots and lots of details and it would be totally ok if it took a year or two.

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