Jocelyn Gayle Krodman of PetitFelts // Felting Artist // Kingston, NY
Jocelyn is an artist living and working in Kingston, NY. She created her brand, PetitFelts, in 2011 and since then she has made it her goal to create high quality, unique needle felted pieces. She strives to make animals that spring to life through their expressions and whimsical humor. She puts lots of love into her work and above all else, she hopes that people can sense that when they come across her creations. She crafts each of her pieces by hand dying wool and using a technique called needle felting. The process involves tangling the fibers of wool with a barbed needle in order to create wool sculpture.
1. I began my #CraftWithConscience series as a way to simultaneously promote the work of other makers and to discuss the complicated issues surrounding creative inspiration and developing ones’ own visual vocabulary. The internet is an ever growing fixture in many artist’s lives and businesses, could you talk about the role the internet plays in your artistic and professional life?
The internet is an absolute asset to my creative business. It allows my work to be seen and purchased internationally, which is a pretty incredible thing. Social media is invaluable when it comes to getting your work out there in front of people as you’re creating and enables you to see what resonates. When you spend most of your time alone in your studio, it can be easy to lose perspective, so I find it very useful to see what’s working. There are of course downsides, one being that I can easily begin to feel overwhelmed and intimidated if I spend too much time getting lost in it all, so I tend to post and avoid scrolling as much as possible!
2. Where do you find inspiration for your work? In what ways has the internet and/or social media impacted your design process?
I find that inspiration comes from countless places. I think it’s something that seeps into us just by being out in the world and taking everything in. My felting work of course is often just inspired by the animals themselves, but I try to put my love for the beauty that’s found in small, subtle details into my work. I try to avoid using the internet for a source of inspiration when it comes to my pieces. I’m in the midst of renovating a home with my partner and Instagram and Pinterest can be extremely helpful when it comes to something like kitchen or floor plan inspiration, but when it comes to felting, I’d rather turn to what I have stored in my head.
3. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are popular places for artists’ to share their own work. They also act as public visual archives, often leading to creative work by others that walks the line between ‘inspiration’ and ‘infringement.’ Have you encountered copies of your work online and how does it affect you? What are your strategies for dealing with it?
I have run into this a few times. It’s such a blurry issue, because I am by no means the only person out there making needle felted animals and I certainly wasn’t the first. I do feel like with felting or anything else, you have to have your own unique style and that’s what sets your work apart. When I’ve found other artists that seem to follow my work closely and very much had their own personal style start making work that looks less like theirs and more like mine...that’s what I struggle with. What I’m working on learning is the ability to not let it affect me in such a strong way. In the end, it’s out of your control and you just have to keep making work and moving forward! Lately I’ve been trying to use it as a reminder to shake things up and not let my work get too stagnant.
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?
Keep at it! I find that when I’m going through a challenging time with my business or even just struggling inside my own head in my studio, that if I keep showing up to do the work and continue to put love into it, opportunities present themselves.
5. Do you have any favorite blogs, artists, or Instagram accounts that you’d like to share?
Andrew Molleur is my partner and I am so inspired by his studio practice. He’s constantly experimenting with materials and new designs. He has endless energy for his work and I love to watch it evolve over time.
Photos provided by the artist.