a few months ago, while browsing through the (mostly country craft fair-esque) wares of oklahoma creatives (and a lot of not-so-creatives), i came across project 8256‘s etsy shop and immediately bought this print. since then, i’ve been a fan of oklahoman and illustrator amy coldren. you’ll be a fan too once you read what her project’s all about. enjoy!
c: tell me a bit about project 8256 and the motivation behind it.
a: Very simply, Project 8256 started out of a desire to help a family grow. When my sister told me that she and her husband had decided to adopt, I knew I had to do whatever I possibly could to help. Adoption, and international adoption in particular, is extremely expensive, so we tried to think of unique ways to raise the needed funds. I was familiar with Etsy from a customer standpoint, so it really grew from there. Once I started creating the artwork for the first set of prints, and as I continued to research more about the AIDS crisis and orphan crisis in Africa, it became very clear that we had to give back in some way. My sister had been having the same thoughts, so we agreed to donate a portion of our profits to AHOPE. It is a really tremendous facility that cares for HIV+ children, and we are so excited to be able to contribute in this small way. What they are doing is truly amazing. The rest of the profits from Project 8256 go directly into my sister and brother-in-law’s adoption fund.
c: where do you look for inspiration?
a: Initially my inspiration came from research I did on the orphan crisis in Africa. I also focused on my own feelings about what this adoption process means to my family, and I am sure to so many other families. Music is certainly a huge inspiration to me, as is nature, love, and a little bit of whimsy. I love typography and enjoy incorporating that into my work. For the items in the amelia mae shop, I think it has a more nostalgic feel. The inspiration comes from the same place, but I really enjoy taking older artforms (quilting, silhouette work) and interpreting them in my own way.
c: tell us about your workspace!
a: I just moved into a new place, and am very blessed (and incredibly excited) to have an entire room that I can use solely as a work space. It’s still a work in progress, but I am loving it so far. I keep all of my papers for collage and mixed-media work filed by color. It would be an absolute nightmare to have it any other way. I’m not typically the most organized person, but I am learning that I have to be if I want to continue to run three different etsy shops. Among all of the supplies, I also have an inspiration wall. And I almost always listen to music while I work. Sometimes a movie might slip it’s way in there.
c: what’s ahead for project 8256?
a: I hope to continue to sell both on Etsy and at Blue 7, and to continue to grow. I will probably do a few craft fairs as well. I don’t have anything in the works quite yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know!
see, i told you she was pretty great. not only that but this busy girl is offering 15 percent off in all THREE of her shops [amelia mae, amelia mae paper goods and, of course, project 8256] through may 5. simply put ‘i am a greedy girl’ in the message to seller when you order, and she’ll send you a revised invoice with the discount.
have fun! there is A LOT to look at. stay tuned over the next several days!