Today, on Day 3 of CRAFTING WEEK, I'm thrilled to introduce you to Drew Emborsky, better known as The Crochet Dude!
Sharon: At what age did you know that you wanted to be a crochet designer, and how did you become involved in the crochet design industry?
Drew: I started crocheting at five years old and I always wanted to be an artist. Through high school and college I would design original items as gifts but it never clicked until about five years ago when I started my blog The Crochet Dude, and that's when I realized that my passion for art and crochet could be melded into a career. I then started taking steps to break into the industry and I haven't looked back!
Sharon: At what point in your career did it finally sink in – “hey, I’m famous,” and did it make a difference in your designing?
Drew: Oh wow, you made me LOL. I have a studio in the back of my home in Houston, Texas, and the "fame" of being a designer or having a t.v. show doesn't really permeate my day to day life. I often chuckle when I'm scooping the cat box because my two cats Miss Chandler and Cleocatra didn't get the memo that I'm "famous" - But I tell you what, when I was at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC in January I was overwhelmed with the number of people that actually knew me from my blog, books, and t.v. show. It made me happy on such a deep level to know that what I am doing is making other people happy. What more could a dude ask for? The only difference this has made is that I have the drive to keep going and expanding, and challenging myself as an artist.
|Drew and one of his fans, author Debbie Macomber, at a recent trade show!|
Sharon: Who are some of your favorite fellow crafters/crocheters? Who inspires you?
Drew: As a crochet designer I am inspired by Vashti Braha, Marty Miller, Doris Chan, and Melissa Leapman. In general as an artist I am inspired by Jonathan Adler, Cathie Fillian, and Steve Piacenza. But as you can imagine, it would be very hard to list everyone that inspires me - everyone from my late mother to Oprah Winfrey - the list would be enormous.
Sharon: What projects do you have coming up in the future?
Drew: I have three new books coming out in 2011, and one very large book (maybe even coffee table sized, that's tbd) in early 2012. We are hoping to go into production very soon on a new season of Knit & Crochet Now (PBS), and I have one very big but very top secret project that I'm in the midst of developing but it isn't quite time to announce. Stay tuned!!
Sharon: What advice would you have for anyone wanting to take their crocheting/crafting to the next level?
Drew: Be authentic and don't try to figure out how to capitalize on your craft too soon. Be yourself, network via social media, through guilds and trade shows, and be willing to pay your dues. It takes a huge amount of effort, time, hard work, and humility to make a business out of your craft or hobby. Most of all, trust your instincts; if it feels wrong then let it go free, and turn toward what you feel is right.