This past month The Engine Room hosted an art gallery event in downtown Hagerstown, MD. The event was called “Pocket Market,” a gallery event where local artists were able to showcase and sell their creations to the public. The idea is similar to the way Berkeley Art Works in operates. This event, however, took place as part of a Pop-up shop event in downtown. Pop-up shops are short duration events that borrow or rent space for limited time frames. The participation in these temporary shops was inclusive to many different types of artists. We interviewed Kristi Squires, a friend of Meg of The Inked Fig. Check out our interview with Meg if you missed it.

Kristi learned to crochet at an early age and has continued to work with various crafts ever since. She graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Printmaking, and her goal has been to blend her background in both traditional hand crafts and her contemporary education to create unique and interesting items.  Kristi currently resides in Frederick, MD but has lived and worked in Shepherdstown in recent years.

What is your inspiration for Snug Monsters?

It’s the patterns of the fabrics, the texture, and a combination of layering those items. I like to create things that make me squeal; feel warm and fuzzy inside.

How labor intensive is each snug monster?

It starts by making the pattern, creating it on paper, and then cutting it out. The process is very organic for me.  I try to make the best use out of the fiber or fabric I’m using. Sometimes that’s an old sweater or a recycled fabric. That is part of the process that leads to creating a full creature. Many times, I rework the pattern until it speaks to me. The kittens came organically. I went of the phrase the cat’s pajamas and made kittens in pajamas.

Why do you think art is important to the community?

There is a lot of heart and a lot of effort that goes into it. The creating of art, the process, and the time going into it is almost a therapy as much as it is about creating something that is beautiful or fun or cute.

For me it’s about the process. I know a lot of people who use that as support, the creation, the act of doing. The final product isn’t always what is most satisfying about that process; it’s the healing and therapeutic feeling.

What do you want people to know about your art?

Snug monsters are for all ages and not just for children. It is important for everyone to maintain that element of youth and appeal to the young at heart. Sometimes I squeal whenever I am done making a creature.  

Where can people find your snug monsters?

I have an Etsy store that is a work in progress: etsy.com/shop/SnugginHim.

(Photo Credits: Nicholas Trietsch)

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