Robin Bledsoe, a full-time mother and social worker, prides herself on helping others, so in a way, it makes sense that her art is meant to be used — rather than admired from afar.
Recently, the Johnson City Press caught up with Bledsoe via email about her work, how she got her start and her advice for aspiring artists.
Favorite color: Teal and blues
Favorite local restaurant: “Probably Main Street Pizza Company. I'm a sucker for pizza.”
Winter or Summer? Winter
Cats or Dogs? “Doggos are my favorite.”
Coffee or tea? “All the coffee! But I drink hot tea on a regular basis too.”
How did you get into art and crafting?
I've always dabbled in drawing since I've been old enough to hold a pencil. I would doodle in the margins of my papers in school, and I feel like I absorbed more information that way, still do actually. Drawing helps to soothe my mind when it's going in a thousand different directions.
What made you decide to start doing your art on wood planks, spoons, etc.?
You know, my dad just randomly brought me a wood burner one day and said he thought I may like to try it out (he had one when my sister and I were little, probably too little to be unsupervised with it, but hey, we didn't burn ourselves or the garage down.). I like practical art and I love to cook so I combined the 2 and started writing witty things on spoons. I like to be able to reuse old pieces of wood as well.
What's the hardest part about being a craft artist?
I think the hardest part for me is just time in general. I do most of my work at night after my girl is in bed, so being able to carve out time for myself after my day job and being a parent is hard.
What's your favorite part of being an artist?
My favorite part is to know I've been able to create something that people enjoy. I like art that people can use, but most importantly, own. Art is great when you can admire it, but when someone feels like they can actually afford it? And THEN they keep coming back for more, there's pride in that. It gives me a bit more courage to keep putting a piece of myself out there with everything I make.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Keep making. Keep creating. Not everyone is going to dig what you make. But you know what? When you like it, you're proud of what you've done, and it's a positive process for you, that's the most important.
Bledsoe sells her work at various local craft popups and is working on getting an online store up and running. For now, you can contact her through her Facebook (@LadyRuckusMakes).
The Press is always looking to highlight new artists, if you have a suggestion for a Featured Artist, email Jonathan Roberts at email@example.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.