Nora Meets the Maker: Marie from Imaginary Animal!
by Kollabora Follow

posted 9 years ago

Designer, artist, sewer, maker - Marie Gardeski's creativity knows no limits. Whether she's stitching up a new project or sketching out a new fabric design, Marie's whimsical, colorful, detailed work captures our imaginations and inspires our creativity. 

My name is Marie Gardeski, but you may know me as Imaginary Animal and my DIY weapons of choice are pencil and sewing machine.

When I am looking for inspiration I doodle or look through my sketchbooks for forgotten ideas.

After a long day of making things I like to drink tea and knit or work on a jigsaw puzzle.

I got started making when I was a tot.  I can’t remember not making things…  Sneaking into my Mom’s sewing room to make outfits for my dolls and animals.  Once I even made a leather harness for my guinea pig, Tuffy.

The one thing that drives my creativity is my brain.

When I think about starting a new project I get giddy, start sketching, researching and experimenting.

The best part about running my own business is being able to share things that I designed and created with people who appreciate my ideas, craftsmanship and sense of humor.  Also nice is working my own hours and being able to work alongside my husband in our shared studio.

I started my business because I had various ideas for things that I wanted to make and sell.  I was lucky enough to have a product (Handsoap) become popular enough that I was able to quit my job to create full time.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to continue my business, making art, handmade goods and now original fabrics.

When I think about people making/using my supplies I feel honored and happy.

My advice to anyone looking to start their own business is…  Stay organized and motivated.  Make what you are proud to share with the world.  Be original.

If I wasn’t an artist I would love to be a photographer or musician.

The first thing I do when I wake up is make a cup of tea and head to the studio to draw or check and answer emails.

Making makes me feel like making some more.

I get out of a creative rut by waiting (not always patiently) and doing things that don’t require much creativity…  Sewing, knitting, cooking, playing scrabble, etc.

My favorite artists/designers/makers are Marcel Dzama, Wes Anderson, Mina Perhonen 

My favorite thing about making is experimenting and problem solving while creating something new and original…  And the good feeling I get when a project is complete and I am pleased and proud of the outcome.

To me, DIY means choosing to take the time to create something with your own hands instead of buying it at a store.

I can’t remember the first thing I made, but something I made that I remember working very hard on was a Halloween-themed scene carefully constructed from scraps of wood and fabric.  It had a picket fence, jack o'lanterns, a black cat and several ghosts.

Three words that describe me:  thinker, perfectionist, silly

Three words that describe my textile designs:  whimsical, hand-drawn, detailed

Best creative advice I ever received is if all else fails, draw something weird.

I never leave the house without my sketchbook and current knitting project.

One fact about me that’s embarrassingly awesome is I like to play ragtime on the piano.

My DIY secret weapon is my brain.

My next projects are:  A blouse for myself from a 1960s pattern and a fabric design featuring a bunch of ducks.

Discussion 1

  • Maddie commented 9 years ago

    How did I not know about Marie before? Love her work!


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