Designers are the unsung heroes in the crafting industry. To borrow a term Walt Disney used, they are the “imagineers”. I figured you’d like to meet some of the folks behind the scenes that drive the scrapbooking industry and feed your muse with their amazing creativity. Brenda Pinnick is one of those creative folks who is passionate about what she does and has inspiration oozing from her pores. For anyone who has ever used the Wedding dies from Sizzix, you perhaps already know how amazing and versatile Brenda’s designs are. For those who are meeting Brenda for the first time, you will be blown away by how insanely talented she is.

Welcome Brenda Pinnick

SH – Give us a real quick bio about who you are and what you do?

BP – I’m educated in both fine art and design. I studied painting in college (years ago) and more recently graduated from Creative Circus in Atlanta, a prestigious portfolio school. I’ve received awards and recognitions in both genres and refer to myself as an artist/illustrator/designer. (makes for a crowded business card). I’ve worked in-house for Hallmark Cards as a Designer and for Plaid Enterprises where I headed up the papercraft/stamp team of product designers. I continue to create fine art for gallery sales and I license my work for a variety of products including textiles, scrap booking, paper crafting & stationery products.

SH – Documenting our memories is one of those insanely personal type things, how do you define scrapbooking in your world?

BP – I see “scrap-booking” as a very loosely defined activity. I view it as any means through which you put your memories into either a “written or visual expression”. Who’s to say that an audio recording is NOT a scrapbook? Of course, working in the crafting industry, we DO hope that people continue using products! I’m happy that many people who do scrapbook allow it to become a personal expression of not just memories but also of their dreams and aspirations.

SH – What Inspires You?

BP – Passion. You know it when you see it… People who are absolutely dedicated to a cause, a goal, an issue or even a hobby.

And people who are “givers”, people who share knowledge, who are encouraging to others and love to see other people succeed, also inspire me. It saddens me to see the cut-throat, competitive nature that shows up in certain, well-known scrap booking forums. I mean, this is where passion has gone astray. It’s a hobby for crying out load!

Artistically, all sorts of things inspire me, nature being first on the list. Not just colors, but patterns as well. My latest obsession is the patterns you see from the sky, looking out the airplane window. It’s just fascinating!

SH – If you are stranded on an island, what 5 art things do you bring with you?

BP – Paint, pastels, paper, canvas and my bucket of brushes.

SH – We all wear so many hats. How does being a Designer affect your work? What I mean is, if you know someone is going to use what you create, does it change the process for you, do you think about your work differently?

BP – Absolutely. This is the difference between design and art. In the crafting world, it’s all lumped into one descriptor, “DESIGNER” but in the rest of the world, the activities are much more clearly defined which I think the craft industry should adopt.

Design is purpose driven, meeting the needs of the client and the end-user. Design is not self-indulgent or self-serving. Art, on the other-hand is of a personal nature, done to satisfy the creative soul we each possess. I believe we are all artists of some type, but not everyone is a designer. This requires training and discipline. I do choose to go in a general direction of what I, as a crafter would want to use. It’s important to keep a “hands on” approach by actually being a consumer/scrap booker so you can gain a good understanding of what products are missing from the category and how you can fill that need.

SH – What did you think the first time you saw your designs being used by someone else?

BP – It was a blast! I’m very versatile in my design, meaning I see a million different ways to do things every time I approach a project. When I see totally different takes on what I envisioned, it’s refreshing and very satisfying. I love it when people send me pictures of their creations; it helps me become a better designer.

SH – The Sizzix is such a versatile machine. Talk about your dies, why you created them and how you envision them being used?

BP – The first collection, which is available now is a Wedding theme, but the beauty of it is, much of the collection works as all occasion or “general”. Flowers, butterflies, foliage, hearts, etc.

These types of icons work for both scrap booking and card crafting, not to mention collage work. And of course, many Sizzix dies can be used with fabric, foam, chipboard, shrink film, etc. The creative opportunities spill over into many other areas such as home décor, fashion and jewelry making. It’s a wonderful product and I feel many people don’t realize the huge creative potential of using dies.

SH – This is a Gossip Blog; can you share with us any pre-CHA secrets?

BP – Well, I can say that my new, yet to be announced collection is debuting at the Sizzix booth where I’ll be making some appearances at the “make and take” table. Please stop by and take a look, “don’t be scared”, (hint).

SH – Lastly, what interesting Trends do you see?

The difference between trends and fads is longevity so I’ll mention the shift that I see happening in scrap booking; I’m loving it that there is so much cross over in categories happening at the consumer level. Scrap-bookers are using fine art supplies; fine artists are incorporating crafting supplies. I’m glad to see more personal expression and I’m hoping this will lead to less copycatting, also called “lifting”. Aren’t you tired of every project in the magazines looking the same? I am. A lot of manufacturers and even “designers” of product are using clip art, just resizing, layering it, etc. No creativity or inspiration involved, just more of the same. And the digital scrap-booking genre is even worse.

SH – Where can folks see your work?

I’ve had scrap-booking products on QVC for a year and a half and they continue to be top sellers! There are several new kits coming later this year, one of which is from my new collection, “Kirkwood”, (my maiden name). This kit is fabulous, (in my humble opinion!) very different in format with art that is warm and homey. Color is my passion and I always bring unique, original color ways to my products. By the way, plans are for this collection to become a textile line, possibly launching next spring

SH – Anything else you’d like to plug- classes coming up, projects you are involved with?

BP – I keep saying that I’d love to do a class tour or teach at retreats. I’d really like to teach a mixed media class. I want to help people learn to use paints and other fine art mediums in their scrap-booking. And, I need a change of scenery so I may pursue some opportunities later this year.

I would also like to thank Brenda for her continued hard work on making more people aware of the Orphan Works Legislation. You can learn more about it and how it could effect the way you document your memories online here.

By sarah hodsdon




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  1. Brenda Pinnick · Craft Gossip :: Craft Blog Network on June 26, 2008 4:39 pm

    [...] Read the full post Brenda Pinnick [...]

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