OK, I have to admit, I am a sucker for a cool name and Nelani Palomino (really, what a NAME!) of Dr. Awkward is one funny gal. Her sense of humor reminds me of a certain person named Alaska (Alaska check out her cards!)...Dr. Awkward will be at Atomic's Sunday show on 12/13. Since this is Ms. Palomino's first time to Atomic, let's all get to know her better by reading her interview below:
Name of Business/Website Address? Dr. Awkward / http://www.drawkwardstore.etsy.com
What City/State do you reside in? Tampa, FL
Is this your first time attending Atomic or have you done the show before? Yes, first time.
What do make and plan on bringing to Atomic: Funny Cards, Holiday Cards, Hand Soaps, Mulberry Bark journals hand made by The Karen Hill tribe in Thailand and embellishments added on by DR. AWKWARD, a few hand painted blocks with cute characters, some headbands..maybe some other fun stuff.
Is making stuff your full time occupation? Do you have a day job, are you a parent? How do you find the time to balance making stuff and taking time out for your life? I've been doing freelance, mainly t-shirts, for places like Skechers, Journeys, Spencer, and Urban Outfiters. So I've been able to make my own schedule and work on what I want. Though freelance is dwindling due the crappy economy. So I've been looking for full time work for quite some time now. And since I'm not willing to leave Florida or the west coast it has proven to be difficult to find work in my field. So after some debating I'm looking into getting a Teacher Certification to teach art k-12 and keep my own art on the side. I love kids and coming up with creative projects, plus it'll open me up to more work.
Why are you passionate about "D-I-Y" and what does it mean to you? I love being crafty. I've made a lot of gifts for people in the past and they tend to appreciate it more. It's something you took the time in making and no one else has it.
What's your favorite color? Blue
Do you recycle and incorporate found or used items in your creations? In some of my mixed media art pieces I have. I also love going to vintage shops, or garage sales with a idea and that have it expand when i find something amazing. My packaging for my hand soap, I attached a little barbie hand charms to each one. I went around to god knows how many garage sales and places searching for barbies. My apartment was looking a little creepy with handless barbies laying around.
What inspires you? I don't have a source of inspiration. My inspiration comes from any where. A random thought that turns into something amazing. I do a lot of research when i have a idea and it just explodes from there. google is my best friend!
What are your favorite bands? Jack's Mannequin, Bowie, Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, Sinatra, Val Emmich, Florence + The Machine, Matt and Kim, Jack Johnson, The Sounds, Ok Go, Th Kooks, Flight Of The Conchords...and many more
What is your favorite movie? I love way tooo many movies to have a favorite. Amélie, Wet Hot American Summer, Fight Club, Ghost World, Nightmare Before Christmas, Brick, Royal Tennenbaums, Batman the movie (60's), Battle Royale, Harry Potter.
Are you self taught, did a family member teach you or did you take classes? I went to Art school. But most crafty techniques I learned either thru friends, or books, or on the internet. If I ever want to figure out how to do something I just looked it up.
Do you ever get burnt out on creating things, hit a dry spot like writer's block? Yes, but usually when it's for work. I love coming up with funny saying or characters. And I did that for a living, most of the time it would just come to me. But there were those days where I'd be sitting there trying to force out a joke or rack my brain for something funny.
Is there anyone famous who you think is too cool for school and you'd like to give them one of your pieces? Anyone famous should have one of my pieces and buy them for their friends!
Any oddities about you that the reader may find amusing, an extra toe, can't stand anyone near your armpits, etc.? Well my favorite Fun Fact that I love to tell people is...Mister Rogers was my neighbor! When I was 5 years old I lived in PA and Mister Rogers lived down the block in a big white house. He didn't come over for dinner or anything but my mom says he was always nice cause if he was on his lawn when she strolled by with us he'd give a big smile and a wave.
Where have you traveled or visited that made you feel a bit happier about Planet Earth? I've actually have had the privilege to travel to quite a few places from Alaska, to China, Spain, Italy, France, Greece. I've seen a lot of struggle, but I've also seen the simple happy life. There's just so much beauty out there. Santorini, Greece was just so peaceful. Probably one of my favorite places.