Artist Interview: Monica of Monica Moses Designs

It’s a simple question, really: How do you feel about buttered toast? On your shoes? Sounds messy, right? Well, I promise it’s not. It’s pretty awesome, actually. Buttered toast not quite your thing? How about a killer bunny? Or a doe-eyed monkey face? Personally, I’m after the buttered toast. Read on if I’ve managed to successfully pique your interest – I want to introduce you to Monica of Monica Moses Designs. She adorns (and adores) china flats.

Facebook: Monica Moses (It’s mostly tattoos though, although I will add some shoe and hair pretty photos soon.)

Art Medium:  Shoes with hand crafted felt appliqués

ALBH: How did you get into adorning china flats?

MMD: I have always loved Mary Janes and I wanted to customize them.  At first I only made them for myself and to give to friends and it morphed into an etsy account and now selling with A Little Bit Hippy.

ALBH: How hard was it learning how to put the patches together and get them to stay on shoe well enough to survive normal wear?

MMD: The medium was not hard to learn.  I just figured it out as I went along.

ALBH: What kind of materials do you use in your projects?

MMD: I used pre-made Chinese style mary janes and make the appliqués out of felt and thread, sometimes buttons and googley eyes.

ALBH: How should your shoes be cared for? Any advice you want us to pass on?

MMD:  Wear them as you would any shoes, but you might want to avoid mud puddles, unless you are going for that antiqued look.

ALBH: Do you make a variety of items or do you have a pretty standard design motif?

MMD: I sure do have a variety…  My designs include, but are not limited to, vampires, frankies, nautical stars, flowers, buttered toast, skulls with bows, flowers, monkeys, flying pumpkins, anchors, sacred hearts, roses, cherries, killer bunnies, cupcakes, robots, and mushrooms.

ALBH: What’s your long term goal as an artist?

MMD:  My long term goal would be to decorate everybodys tootsies north, south, east, and west of the Mason Dixon line.

ALBH: What does the word “Hippy” mean to you?

MMD: What does hippie mean to me?  Having large hips.

ALBH: Do you have advice you’d like to pass along to other artists?

MMD:  Advice for other artists:  Don’t make a TLC show.

ALBH: What do you find to be your most recurring inspiration?

MMD: My inspiration is anything cute or scary, especially if I can put those two together.

ALBH: How about your “typical” day – what’s that like?

MMD:  I tattoo all day and I make goodies all night.  Sometimes I eat and sleep.

In addition to these super cute shoes, we also brought in some of Monica’s other goodies. So come take a look before it’s all gone on August 30th!!

The Next Life

A retailer that sells through every single thing they keep on hand in their inventory without any damages or “expired” styles is . . . well, my hero. But let’s face it, that just doesn’t really happen. So the question really becomes what to do with the stuff. Do you just throw it away? Do you donate it? If you donate it, how do you choose who to donate to?

For me, I found a place pretty close to perfect. At least for the remainder of 2011, we’ve decided to name Roanoke’s Rescue Mission as our donation center of choice. We try to spread the love around as much as possible and be non-judgemental when it comes to religious views. After all . . . we’re hippies. At least a little bit. :)

What hooked me about donating to the Rescue Mission is what they do with the clothing they are unable to sell: They recycle it. That’s right. They bundle up all their old goodies and ship it off for the fabric to be recycled. I learned about it from an article I found on Google and here’s the quote that sold me:

“The Mission sold 290,268 bales of unusable clothing in 2009, which is fabric that didn’t end up being tossed into the landfill said Clark. That material will be recycled into new fabric and paper. Not only does this effort bring in revenue for the Mission, it saves money by not having to dump over 1 million pounds a year of potential recyclables into the landfill.”

So who really knows – maybe the next order we place will be made from the items we’re donating today – in their next life.