Saturday, March 9, 2013

Meet the Maker - Poss & Wom and Minty Baxter

Hey all, happy Saturday to you!  This morning we're getting to know artist, Helen Shadforth from Poss & Wom and Minty Baxter.  Read on for glimpse into Helen's sweet, whimsical world:

How would you describe your work?
Poss & Wom is a brand I developed based on two characters, Poss the possum and Wom the wombat. Quirky, modern Australian art for children and adults to enjoy. It is stylish, whimsical with a humorous twist.

Minty Baxter is a pseudonym I use as my ‘designer name’. Under this label I create prints, stationery and textiles in a variety of styles, depending on what happens to capture my imagination. I feel my overall aesthetic is organic, quirky and textural.

How did your Etsy shop come into being?
I opened my Poss & Wom Etsy store over 2 years ago. As a graphic designer by trade, I found it quite a natural step. Poss and Wom are characters that evolved in my mind as a result of motherhood – realizing there was a real lack of beautiful Australiana, with an international appeal, for children. I quickly came to realise this was something a lot of ‘grown ups’ were after too!

Minty Baxter is a new label just started this year. As I expanded into textile design with Poss & Wom, I realized I wanted to dive in further and design other projects as well as Poss & Wom. I decided to brand myself as a designer under a pseudonym that would not limit the type of work that I do. This label will allow me to explore more as an artist.

Who or what inspires you?
Nature is a huge inspiration. I love to use animals , plants and food as my subjects. I also love patterns and textures.

Do you ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ as part of your creative process?  If yes, how is your art / craft eco-friendly? 
I do try to source eco-friendly materials for my work. Eco-friendly inks, some papers (as long as it doesn’t compromise the quality), fabrics, post-consumer envelopes, organic cotton and eco-friendly, non allergy cushion infills.

Can you describe your studio / work area? (you can provide a  pic for inclusion on blog if you wish.) 
I am lucky enough to have a beautiful home studio that overlooks a small forest with oceanviews! I have a lovely big imac that is like another limb to me. I like to surround myself with beautiful pieces of art purchased from other very talented artists also selling on Etsy. A hot cup of tea or coffee is usually in arms reach!

What is your favorite thing to make? 
I have only started dabbling in textile design in the last 12 months, so right now I am obsessed with making fabric and cushions!

How did you decide on your business name?
Poss & Wom: When my first daughter was born I always used to call her my little possum. This soon shortened to ‘Poss’. One day I was wondering what I would have nicknamed her if she was a boy, I thought ‘wombat’. Naturally, this would have been shortened to ‘Wom’. Voila! ‘Poss & Wom’ were born!

Minty Baxter: When I decided to brand myself I didn’t want to use my name for several reasons, mainly because I didn’t think it sound very ‘designerish’. After weeks of brainstorming I came up with Minty Baxter. Purely just a name I plucked from nowhere! I like it because it’s quirky and I think it suits my work.

Where do you hope to see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I would like to further develop Minty Baxter and get my etsy store nearly as consistent as Poss & Wom. I also plan to have more ‘grown up’ items for sale in my Poss & Wom store (like purses and bags).

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?
I have just purchased a Cat Rabbit alpaca, I am so excited! It hasn’t arrived yet but I am already obsessed with it!

Where can we find you online?

Poss & Wom:, Instagram @possandwom

Minty Baxter:, Instagram @mintybaxter

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