Author Interview: Kim Werker + Giveaway
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I work as a freelance editor and writer from my home in Vancouver, BC. I’ve worked in the crafts industry for over a decade. In 2010, I started doing a project called Mighty Ugly, which is the foundation of my newest book, Make It Mighty Ugly (more on that, below!). I knit, crochet, and make soap, and am an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction, and I host a podcast called Compulsory, featuring conversations about the things people simply can’t help but make. You can find me here: Website | Twitter | Mighty Ugly
Where can we find your book?
I will be at Urban Craft Uprising on Saturday, December 6th, where I’ll be signing copies. But if you miss it, you can find it anywhere and everywhere books can be found!
Amazon | Chapters/Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Powells | Indiebound
Tell us about Mighty Ugly, what inspired you to write this book?
So, right. In 2010 I started Mighty Ugly leading workshops that walk people through making a creature that’s very, very ugly. On purpose. We usually avoid making ugly things at all costs, and sometimes those costs involve our freedom, imagination, and enjoyment of making. I want everyone to get those things back, and I think the way to do it is to start to really value ugliness. Not that we should try to make ugly things all the time, but that we should recognize and appreciate that occasionally making something ugly isn’t the end of the world, and in fact it usually means we’re experimenting and learning and trying things we’ve never done before. Those are all things we should do a lot of! So through Mighty Ugly, we embrace ugliness as an integral part of being creative, no matter what we make. And when we learn that making ugly things doesn’t kill us, we can go forth and make stuff with a little less pressure and a lot more fun.
You have a lot of creative endeavors (blog, write, edit, workshop, podcast) what is your guilty pleasure?
I have no guilty pleasures. For real. Why should I feel guilt about something that gives me pleasure? That’s the opposite of pleasure! Nope. I read great literature and I read novels many literature snobs would scoff at – I enjoy them (or hate them, sometimes) equally. I’ve been knitting for nearly twelve years, but I prefer to make very simple projects even though I have the skills to make complicated ones; I just derive way more pleasure from making the simple ones. Guilt has no place in my creative life.
You’ve been at this for a quite a while. How has social media and the web informed your business?
I got into this business because I started a website (CrochetMe.com) back in 2004. I wouldn’t be in this business at all if it weren’t for online social media. After I left crochet in 2008 (after starting that website, I ended up writing a half dozen crochet books and becoming the editor of Interweave Crochet magazine), I’ve gotten almost all of my freelance work through people I’ve met and gotten to know online. All hail Twitter and Instagram these days for being the foundation of my business network!
What productivity hacks to you recommend to all of the creatives that are reading this? What do you do to balance it all?
At the beginning of 2014, I started keeping a Bullet Journal, and it’s become my constant companion. I’m so happy to be regularly making notes all the time, and just generally keeping track of, well, pretty much everything.
What’s next for you? Anything you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m working on fleshing out some ideas for some workshop/teaching projects I’d like to pursue, and I’m really excited to have started my podcast I’m so fascinated by the drive to create; I’m looking forward to talking to lots and lots of people about the things they just have to make.
A Copy of Make It Mighty Ugly!
To enter this drawing, tell us about the ugliest thing you’ve made (and why you love it) in the comments below by December 3rd. Be sure to include your first name and email address so we can let our winners know where to pick up prizes at the UCU Winter Show.