This is part 1 of a 2 part interview with Angela Jarecki, one of the All Dolls Are Art 2012 faculty. She is teaching a 3-day class, Reluctance, a cloth over paper clay fairy. To see more of Angela’s work, visit her website and blog. To learn more about the Original Doll Artists Council of America or the Texas Association of Original Doll Artists, click on the links at the end of the interview.
Angela Jarecki is a very accomplished artist. She is a member of Original Doll Artists Council of America and the Texas Association of Original Doll Artists, where she is currently president. She has taught various online classes through Dollstreet and will be one of the 2012 All Dolls Are Art Faculty. She creates unique and beautiful dolls which are constructed from paper clay and covered in cloth. Her work has been exhibited in Houston, TX, at the International Quilt Festival, in Japan, and at Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts and at various galleries in the greater Houston, TX area. She has also been published in Art Doll Quarterly.
Angela went to school at the Columbus College of Art and Design as an Illustrator/Advertising Major with a minor in Art Therapy. She started work at Hallmark straight out of school as a toy designer! Isn’t that cool!
AnLiNa Designs: Tell me more about working at Hallmark!
Angela: It was a Babes in Toyland, big department of nothing but toys and fur because we would make bears. It was so amazing. I thought that, since it was Hallmark, at some point, I want to illustrate cards, so I eventually submitted a portfolio and transferred to the greeting card department.
My dad was an engineer and in high school, I thought I would follow that path. I focused on math and science classes like trigonometry, calculus and physics. But I also loved art. The commercial art program at my school was very good and required that you have a portfolio to graduate. So even though I had applied to many colleges and been accepted to two as a math major, at the last moment, I talked my mom into letting me apply to CCAD. That last minute change was the strangest thing I’ve ever done, because I’m really a practical person.
AnLiNa Designs: How did you get from there to dolls?
Angela: When my son was born I decided to quit and freelance so I could be home with him. My chiropractor would always say “Angie, you should come to my doll meeting”, and I thought she meant like tea cozy dolls or something. One day I went into my favorite bead shop, and she was in there with a doll she had made in Christine Shively’s class and I LOVED it! I had to make one! I took a doll class; my first one wasn’t with Christine, but with Virginia Robertson. It was kind of scary, because they showed a picture but didn’t explain what we were going to be doing except costuming. So I showed up with a doll body and had trouble with the hands, and I remember her saying that I was either the stupidest person or I was going to be a very good doll maker.
I was surrounded with good doll makers, Chris (Christine S), Virginia and others. I got to go to the last Wee Folk and loved the art of doll making but I was hesitant to call myself a doll maker. It took me a long time to get to that point. Even today, I still like doing pretty dolls, like fairies, and I’m constantly fighting that. I like magical stuff, I love science fiction and creating your own universe. I just want to create things that I enjoy.
AnLiNa Designs: I think that there isn’t much point in creating if you don’t enjoy it.
Angela: I know, but I have friends who are there where their focus is on the business aspect and I think when you get there, you need to take a break and take up knitting for a while.
AnLiNa Designs: I knit, but badly and very infrequently.
Angela: I love knitting and I’ve been to take the occasional knitting break.
AnLiNa Designs: What other media do you work in besides cloth and clay.
Angela: I like to paint still, both hands on and digitally now.
To be continued tomorrow!