And my interview:
1. Who is Kokopinto?
I am Kathea Pinto, I just turned 24. I live with my mum and my 6-year old brother Joaquin who is basically the second-in-command of the whole Kokopinto shop! The name “Kokopinto” actually has a weird history about it. Who would want a brand name associated with an ex-boyfriend, right? Well it was back in college and we have been broken up for a few months when he sent me a brown teddy bear in hopes of us getting back together. I just thought then ‘hmm, he is cuckoo about me’, ‘hmm, cuckoo, kookoo, koko, I’ll name the bear Koko!’ Then it was also during that time that I was studying brand identities in school and it basically came clear to me that I just struck a gold mine! If ever he is reading this, for the record, I came up with the name and stop Google-ing me.
In a deeper sense of it all, Kokopinto somewhat means “doors to crazy rooms in my imaginative noggin” as -pinto is “door” in my native tongue.
2. What kind of crafting/art do you do? How long have you been doing it?
I paint, I draw but mostly I love creating stuff in 3D. So aside from my Playdoh critters, I’m good with paper mache. And if I knew how to pottery or jewelry, I might do well with those too. I’ve been painting and drawing as long as I could remember. I’m also good with painting in a large scale. Like big plain white walls. I did theater props and backdrop throughout high school, then I did a massive painted mural project for Burger King 2-3 years ago, and happy that they still haven’t painted over it.
(You can find documentation here http://www.behance.net/kokopinto and here http://artiste.multiply.com/photos/album/34/Burger_King_Murals )
I made the Playdoh Critters to divert my fear of sheets of clean paper and canvas and basically Playdoh was competing abundance with paper at home, I mean with the mess, if you know what I mean. I can paint and draw on big walls but I suck in painting on small paper and canvas. I hate wasting paper and I hated erasers. Fine art school and Photoshop did that for me I guess, our professors told me then to be sure of our strokes and erase as little as possible. I've never been so sure of my strokes haha, so I just hated erasers instead. And I’m quite the perfectionist too and that doesn’t work well with Impressionism I guess. So I need more training on that realm. But for now, I’m quite happy with my Playdoh critters as they are now moving on to archival prints (I’m working on these lovely dioramas now, have yet to see how that works out) and perhaps on wall decals as well, large scale wall décor are still my best friends.
3. Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Being a full time nanny to my brother, picking up after his toys, cleaning up his mess and then during his school and nap time, I get to surf Etsy and a whole lot of other sites, seeing million wonders of the world in a click.
4. What is your favorite medium?
I find acrylic paint and Playdoh both juicy and yummy, I drool, literally, and Photoshop, making the perfectionist in me survive but more like indulging it.
5. Is Etsy your art your full time job, or just an on the side project?
I worked different jobs and gigs, graphic designer, stylist, art director, muralist, before finally settling in on a one track plan last year - to put up my own business, basically selling what I can produce. I did well with being told what to do but couldn’t really see myself doing it on a long term basis, so the stubbornness won and I just had to become my own boss. I’m still working on a few kinks like I still get my own coffee and would wish to do that for the rest of my life even if 6-year old assistants are readily available. Etsy made me quit my job/s because they offered me more than a job. Etsy offered me a whole life’s work to be had.
6. How did you find Etsy?
I stumbled on this seller’s camera case – http://hine.etsy.com and everything just came after that.
7. How did you become ADDICTED to Etsy CHAT?
Every time I Etsy chat, I discover a whole bunch of new artisans that make me go, “where have you been hiding?” then I stalk them for sometime and when I could squeeze in a bit of blogging, I turn into a really obsessed fan (it doesn't show much) and do a write up about them.
8. What is your favorite piece that you have done?
My favorite pieces right now are the Playdoh critters. I've never came up with anything that grows.
9. What is your favorite Etsy shop (other than yours)?
These are the ones I know by heart: thisisalliknow, fifilapin, littlebrownpen, upupcreative, creativethursday, sarahseven, monograft, rachelmarssden and well a whole lot more!
10. Tips for other Artists?
All artists actually became artists because they do what they love to do, so I can't really say anything more that we all already know on that part. So my two cents would be about these:
When typing your shop or blog URL like on a blog post or a link share, drop the “www” already. People remember your shop name more when they see it first and without the “www”. The “https://” is okay because it is necessary to make it into a working link in some and well it looks complete, but the “www” is a bit too much especially if your shop name is long plus the host site’s name.
If you can already, go green.
Finish the food on your plate, learn to estimate.
Read more, listen more, watch more, eat more, visit more of things and places you don’t usually read, listen, watch, eat, and visit.
11. Tell me a Secret about yourself.
HBO always grants my movie wishes. I think of an old or new movie I want to see, then in a day or two, they’ll be showing it. I recently thought of What Dreams May Come and Sleepless in Seattle and they are showing it right now. Occassionally, I'm part psychic in TV movie guides, in my artworks, and in dreams.
12. Any parting words of wisdom
It’s always ALWAYS better making something out of nothing than nothing out of something.
Giveaway: For every SIX participants in this giveaway, I will draw ONE WINNER who will get a Playdoh Critter Printable Set (gift tags, note cards, letterhead, envelope, PLUS bookmarks, and monthly planner) so if there will be 18 participants, 3 printable sets will be at stake! If there will be 40, I will give away 7 printable sets and so on and so forth! So tell your friends about this for more chances of winning!!
1. Follow (publically) the The Etsy Chatters Blog (www.etsychatters.blogspot.com) and leave a comment here.
2. Go to http://kokopinto.etsy.com and heart your favorite critters and tell us about it with a comment. (Required + 1 entry)
3. Post it on Facebook with Facebook Connect on Etsy and tell us about it with another comment here. (+1 entry)
4. Follow my blog http://kokopinto.blogspot.com (+1 entry) OR become a fan of my facebook fan page http://facebook.com/kokopinto (+1 entry). Do both and you get 3 entries. Comment here if you’re a fan and/or a follower.
5. Blog about this and you get 3 entries. Comment here the link to your blog post.
6. Tweet about this and you get another entry. Each retweet will earn you an extra entry.(One tweet per day) Comment here the links to your retweets.
7. Make a purchase at kokopinto.etsy.com and leave a comment here with a link to the transaction. (+2 entries)
So that’s 12 entries plus your extra entries per retweet!