Dunedin-based designer and maker Joanna Livingston started her label Little Minx in 2009. She made her Christchurch market debut at A Craft Affair last year and more recently hit the Wellington craft scene at Craft 2.0 in April.
What do you make?
Tote bags, shoulder bags, zip wallets and cases, pencil cases and the occasional rabbit. I like to use vintage and re-loved fabrics, lace, buttons, and zips.
How did you get into your craft?
I used to sew a lot in the past and, after having my two kids and moving with my family back to New Zealand from Australia, decided it was time to get a sewing machine again and get back into making. Originally I planned to make kids clothes and curtains for my home, but had forgotten how addictive sewing is and eventually got into more “serious” projects.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I am really passionate about fabrics, I love the feel and patterns of different cloth. I get really excited seeing a flat piece of fabric slowly turn into something new.
What are you currently listening to?
The iPod is usually on shuffle, but when I am making there is a fair amount of Bob Dylan, Loop Compilations, Holly Smith, retro David Bowie, Phoenix Foundation, Gin, Minuit, and Fly My Pretties.
Recommend an album:
I am completely in love with Bob Dylan’s Modern Times which my brother gave me as a Christmas gift one year. It’s one of those album that just makes you stop.
Describe your workspace:
Recently I finished sorting and painting my workspace, so it is lovely and organised now with lots of natural light and all my stuff where I can find it. Well, that’s the theory anyway.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I like to create solutions for everyday issues, like making bags that are big enough to actually carry all that you need them to, or zip wallets so that life can be that little bit more organised. I also try to use as many vintage fabrics as possible, I love the idea that something will be cut up and have a new life and use and be loved once more.
I have rather a few, but Annie Leibovitz has played a big part in helping me to believe I can do something that is not mainstream. Frida Kahlo, Terry McMillan, Judy Dench, Lauren Child, Gin Wigmore, Cate Blanchett – anyone that shows strength and belief in their own talent, enough to persevere and make it happen.
Your favourite childhood book?
Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne – life is viewed in such a beautifully innocent and simple way in those stories.
A favourite quote:
“A stitch in time saves nine” – I have long ago learned to stop and do things properly rather than taking twice as long to fix mistakes, it’s such great advice (thanks Mum).
Do you have any pets?
Yes, three. A big floppy Golden Labrador called Max, a black and white cat called Oscar, and most recently a wee tabby and white cat called Toot.
If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? A nice soft, smoky blue.