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Entries close on March 31!

Hello Reader!

Don't be shy! The world can never have too much creativity... and no one does it quite like you do. I know it can be daunting to put yourself out there, but please know that your submission will be reviewed with care and appreciation by me personally. I'll be nice, I promise! 

Today I'm sharing quite a bit from a recent submission by Elyse Wigen. She understands that craft is mostly a solo pursuit. "Being introverted, my first instinct is to say that I'm more of an observer of craft communities. I have creative idols who I follow on social media and have gotten to "know" pretty intimately through their posts, but I’m typically shy to even like someone's photo unless I've actually met them!" However, these days, however remote our studio might be or how isolated one might momentarily feel from a creative community, thanks to the internet, kindred spirits aren't far off. Elyse continues: "In a world where virtually everything is available to us, people want more and more to be deliberate about the things they choose to consume and to craft their own surroundings."

One of the intentions of the Compendium book is to bring people's stories together in a more tangible and intimate form than the internet provides. Elyse echoes this sentiment: "I think people are drawn to the handmade movement because they can point to a specific person and story behind each item, which adds to the story behind the life they are crafting for themselves, and what they want that story to say about them. I think that in itself is the larger trend — crafting on a macro scale."

I've been practically around the world and back since I last sent a message about the Compendium, but now that I'm back from Australia, I'm in full design mode to get the next issue of UPPERCASE off to print. Which means... I'm keeping the Compendium entry open until the end of March since I won't be doing final reviews until April anyway! So please take a chance, gather your images, and submit to the Compendium today!

Describe what you make: what is it? What is its function? What it is made of? Who is it for? As Prim Society, I both make and design modern baby goods - particularly sewn goods: mini quilts, soft toys, bibs… I first came up with the idea of color swatch baby toys when a close friend from design school was pregnant. I wanted to give her something unique and personal, and so i thought - what if I made a baby version of the color swatches she uses every day at her design job? 

As I made more of these toys as gifts, and as I first started selling them online, I refined the finished product and streamlined the process with each iteration. I began to develop more products and add new items to my shop. Now Prim Society is my full-time job and a legitimate business.

What makes your work unique? Do you have a signature style or recognizable object that you are known for? Prim Society’s signature pieces are the Primtone color swatch teether toys. I’ve never seen anything like them, and their uniqueness is what prompted me to start selling my work in the first place. My aesthetic is modern, which in my work I define as using basic shapes and bright colors paired with fabric patterns that will coordinate, but won’t compete with other objects in the space. I tend to use techniques from traditional quilt blocks, but mostly make up my own quilt patterns as I go. I try to pair modern designs with the tactile qualities and textures that people love about traditional quilts.

Conversely, do you see yourself or your work as part of a larger trend? In a world where (thanks to the internet) virtually everything is available to us, people want more and more to be deliberate about the things they choose to consume and to craft their own surroundings. I think people are drawn to the handmade movement because they can point to a specific person and story behind each item, which adds to the story behind the life they are crafting for themselves, and what they want that story to say about them. I think that in itself is the larger trend - crafting on a macro scale.

 
Please describe your workspace. I'm very lucky to have dedicated space in my home to work. One corner of our open-plan loft (once an old cotton warehouse) is sectioned off as my studio. It’s wonderful! I have three giant windows with lots of natural light, tall cabinets for supplies, a sewing table, and a desk for computer work. The aesthetic is very white, whereas the other areas in our home are dark woods. It turns out that my creative health is very much tied to light and bright (which was learned from many years of cramped crafting in badly lit apartments). Despite all the storage, my workspace is usually overflowing. There's always some kind of folding table set up to hold the excess, which I always try and convince myself is just temporary. Ha!
 
What is your process for making your object or craft? My creative process is very organic. I always start by making computerized sketches of an idea (I’m better with scale on the computer), so I can change and rearrange as I go. But once I start to implement the idea with fabric, the design more often than not takes over and finishes itself. It usually ends up more minimalistic than I originally thought, since sometimes things don’t look quite right in person, or fabrics that seemed to match start end up looking out of place. I’m a perfectionist, and I feel guilty about “wasting” materials, so letting myself experiment as I go is hard, although almost always works out in the end. I love the satisfaction that comes with completing each step. Even midway through the process I usually get a feeling of, “Ooooh this is gonna be my best one yet,” and that feeds the creativity.
Elyse Wigen
Prim Society


"I’m a Minnesota girl from a small town near Minneapolis, where I grew up with my family (two parents, two sisters, one pup), before attending Carleton College and getting a B.A. in English lit. Still trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, I landed a lucky internship at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis shortly after graduating. It was there that I fell in love with design. I went back to school to complete a graphic design program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and long story short - eventually found myself working as a product designer at a large corporate retailer.

My creative path has been shaped by many. My family and my husband are the ones who gave me the encouragement and confidence I needed to start Prim Society. They’ve proofread my listings, worked at events, and participated in LENGTHY “should I do this?” or “should I do this?” conversations. I owe so much to them!"





A few complimentary spots are available for those who can't afford the entry fee.

The entry fee of $75 goes towards the production costs. You'll receive a copy of the book as well (even if you don't end up being selected.) However, if the entry fee is a barrier to you, I can offer some complimentary spots. If that's the case, please 
email me so that I can see what you do and if your work might be a good fit for the book. 





Hey, guys! (again!)

I'd like to include more men in this book, so if you're a creative fellow reading this message, your chances of getting in the book are quite good! Please share the call for submissions with your creative and crafty fellows.





What to support the project but aren't planning on submitting? Preorder your copy here!

Thank you.
Please share the call for entries with your friends and colleagues.
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Who and what is UPPERCASE?

UPPERCASE publishes books and magazines for the creative and curious: products that spark the imagination and inspire creativity. The eponymous magazine was founded in 2009 by publisher, editor and designer Janine Vangool who continues to wear pretty much every hat imaginable. The quarterly print magazine is loved by subscribers around the world. Truly an independent magazine, UPPERCASE is supported by its readers through subscriptions and by a roster of stockists.
Copyright © 2015 UPPERCASE publishing inc, All rights reserved.


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