Artist interviews are back! Meet Sarah Coyne! January 27, 2012 11:22
It is with great pleasure that I start back up my weekly artist interviews. I'm excited as I have lined up and incredible group of artists, and I can't wait to share them all with you. To kick things off, I interviewed Sarah Coyne from Egg-a-go-go. Her onesies sold like hot cakes this holiday season, so I was eager to get to her know a little better. Happy Friday, everyone!
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business.
Hello! I am Sarah Coyne and I am the artist/crafter behind Egg-A-Go-Go. After receiving my illustration degree from MassArt in '03, I started selling hand-painted pillows and print gocco'ed stationery at craft fairs in Boston. Over the years I've switched to traditional screenprinting for most of my products. I make shirts and onesies, cards and postcards, and prints of my paintings.
Aside from all the art stuff, I work my part time day job for a Boston cancer research non-profit. I live with my boyfriend Curtis and our two cats Hanni and Mischa in Jamaica Plain, Boston. When I’m not drawing or printing, we watch the Wire and build Lego stuff and go for walks in the Arboretum.
Describe your studio for us.
Well, my studio does double duty - part time studio, full time kitchen. I do all of my screenprinting at a kitchen island that stores my printing and shipping supplies. My finished product resides in a closet upstairs - out of the reach of the helpful paws of the kitties.
What is the handmade scene like in Boston?
Boston, as well as Cambridge/Somerville, are super supportive of the crafty types! We have some pretty amazing events like Artbeat, SoWA, the Bazaar Bizarre, and the Mass Market. Shops like Magpie and galleries like Aviary are incredible resources for local artists. The open-studios in and around Boston are huge and very well attended - it almost seems like open studios are happening in a different neighborhood or town every month!
Tell us a little bit about your process of turning ideas into new products.
I don't do much prep-work before making something new. I usually run the idea past friends before letting it off the drawing table. There's always some sketching involved, color palette hemming and hawing, and then full-on production.
What was the inspiration behind your clever girl shirt?
In 2007 I made the joke that every crafty/clever lady I know has a dude (boyfriend, husband, business partner) with a beard and glasses. The phrasing is a play on the quote "Behind every great man there's a great woman" but gives a little credit to the beardy bespectacled fellows who support the ladies in their lives. I decided to put it on a card mostly as an inside joke for the community. Well, the trend expanded a lot further than I expected! Eventually folks started asking for shirts and I was more than happy to oblige. I've been selling cards, shirts and prints with this design for over 5 years now! My favorite story that a buyer of this design told me was that she bought the card for her very supportive dad. When he opened the card, he cried - and that made her cry! (I don't enjoy making people cry, generally, but this was touching.) Stories like that make this endeavor so rewarding.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade is anything designed or made with love by someone who really cares about what they're sharing with the world.
How did you first become involved with Craftland?
I can't remember how I first heard about Craftland - probably from one of my other crafty buddies. My first time participating in Craftland was in 2006! I sent hand-painted pillows and some greeting cards down to Providence. That was way back when Craftland only happened once a year! It was my first time vending somewhere other than in and around Boston.
Eating too much chocolate, watching too many cat videos, buying too many books and art supplies... but I don't really feel all that guilty about any of those things.