Artist: Linda Kruger
Business: yellow monday
Web sites: yellowmonday.etsy.com, yellowmonday.blogspot.com, trunkt.org/lindakruger
Location: Sydney, Australia
What do you create?
I make images on paper, and textiles.
Where and when do you do your creative work?
Aahh! The question at the heart of most art practice, especially for those of us who live in the city. We have to be prepared to fit into whatever spare space and time there is.
For many years when I was doing lots of etching, I used a community access studio here in Sydney. Lately I’ve become more interested in other ways of making images which can be done in smaller areas and require less equipment, like screen-printing, drawing and painting, and I also love using the computer.
I do the computer work in my little studio (ie spare room) at home.
Painting, drawing and thinking and planning can be done almost anywhere – in the garden, in a café, in the lounge room. Printing textiles (or paper) is a bit trickier, but I have worked out a system for doing that on the dining room table – unfortunately not three-metre lengths of textile like I was able to do in college, but smaller dining table size pieces.
I also love to go away for weekends or holidays and take lots of stuff for painting, printing and drawing, because it’s so nice to be away from other distractions.
Do you have another "day job"?
Yes, I am a video producer.
Where and what did you study?
I studied film theory and practice, and printmaking (etching), and textile printing and design.
Where do you find inspiration?
Being around people who are passionate about what they do, people who like to have fun, people with a generous spirit. Eccentric animals. Beautifully made and designed domestic objects – particularly mid-20th century furniture and kitchenware. Pattern and colour in nature. Amazing shapes in nature. Handmade objects. Walking in alpine areas. Tokyo.
Inspiration can come from anywhere really. Actually it often seems to arrive at the most unexpected time and in the most unexpected places, and I think the surprise of never knowing where it will come from is part of what makes it inspiring.
What motivates you?
I think I am mainly motivated by the fact that I really enjoy doing this. It’s lovely to sell work and to know that someone has appreciated what you do, but really I’d be doing it anyway, just for the sheer pleasure of it.
When did you start doing this?
I started printmaking about 12 years ago and did a course in textile design in 2005. And drawing and painting always.
Do you remember getting into art as a kid?
Yes, anything and everything! I’ve always loved it.
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
For many years I did occasional exhibitions and group shows, but it wasn’t until very recently that I was told about Etsy, this great online venue where people sell all kinds of handmade objects. I had an enormous backlog of images and sketches and ideas for images that had never been exhibited. And so it seemed like a really nice project to prepare a group of works to put on the site. I decided to rework or develop a lot of the images and once I’d started, I found I was really getting into it, and really enjoying myself. I finally opened up shop a few weeks ago under the name yellow monday which is the name of a particular cicada found only in Australia.
How did you choose the name for your business?
Just sitting around with a friend talking about how her nephews were collecting the discarded shells of cicadas, and my partner said he used to collect them too, and that the most prized ones were called yellow mondays. It tickled my fancy. Especially since it’s an Australian cicada.
What do you love most about creating your work?
I love it when things come together as I imagine, but I also like to be flexible and change direction as the piece develops. I also love it when the materials or process or a clumsy brush intervene to give an unexpected outcome that after all is pretty good – maybe even better than I imagined.
What's the most fascinating place you've been?
Toss up between Tokyo and the Warrumbungles (an incredibly beautiful eruption of ancient rounded hills in northwest New South Wales).
A book you love:
There are lots but most recentlyAudrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
My partner thinks I know what dogs are thinking. He always asks, “What’s that dog thinking?” But that’s really something interesting about him. I don’t know. I’m pretty boring really. Although I am capable of drinking twice my own body weight in tea over a 24-hour period.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I think it’s great that I still love making images. I don’t know that it’s an achievement exactly, but it’s something that gives me happiness.
What advice would you give women starting their own business?
Do something that you love, and then you will be happy to work hard at it.
What's the biggest challenge you face in your work?
Finding enough time and space.
What do you love to do in your free time?
I live near the beach and I love to walk along the coast. I love to swim there in summer too. Travelling as often as I can. Hanging out with friends and family. Drinking tea. Reading, films, music. Yoga. Beer.
What are you working on right now?
I have lots of things on the go at once. I have a huge backlog of ideas and sketches for paintings and prints. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few weeks setting up the Etsy store, and also the Trunkt site and blog. It’s all been a very steep learning curve, and quite exciting too, but I think I need to get a bit of a routine and make sure I actually leave enough time to produce more work.
What do you hope to achieve next?
I’d like to develop the Etsy shop more. I plan to do more painting. And I’ve been working on a range of textiles and pattern-based artwork.