This month I am introducing you to Krista Benskin who is Dazzling Peacock. Krista is a paper mache artist, specializing in “furry friend” art.
These monthly features of other creative businesses are a way for all of us to get to know these wonderful businesses; It has been a long-time interest of mine to explore how other creative people make their way as professionals.
Introducing Krista Benskin, Paper Mache Artist
Q: Krista Benskin, welcome! I did paper mache-like art growing up. I specialized in Christmas angels. I’m so interested in how you’ve taken it much further. Tell us how you got to be Dazzling Peacock.
A: When I first began my creative endeavors, I actually made jewelry. It’s still a love of mine, but with it being such a saturated market I began dabbling in using unexpected materials. It was during this time that I came across this amazing paper artist, Elsa Mora. Her creations inspired me to push the limits of the traditional uses for paper and led me down the creative path I travel today.
As far as actually turning my creations into a business, the first person that really made me feel like it was a possibility is Kelly Rae Roberts and her Flying Lessons course. As a person who doesn’t have an art degree and feeling a bit self concious about it, Kelly Rae gave me hope because she started her journey as a social worker and is now a successful artist.
Wow Krista, thanks. Two more artists I knew nothing about.
Krista Benskin, Furry Friend Artist
Q: Tell me what made you become a maker of pet art? I’ve seen some of it and it is amazing (and I’m not a pet person)!
I’m a mixed media artist and self proclaimed cat lady. I was also mom to a sweet Corgi until she passed away last year so really I’m not cat lady exclusive. Much of the art I create now is geared toward those who share the same level of love and obsession with their furry children. I especially love creating custom pieces from pictures of a pet. I enjoy the challenge in trying to capture the personality of each animal so that there will always be a part of that pet’s essence for the owner to hang onto. In addition to creating an heirloom quality homage of special fur babies, the beauty of making home decor from paper is that it is less likely to get broken should the members of the household get a bit rowdy.
Adorable cats! I am a cat person, just not a pet person. I speak to every cat I see!
Krista Benskin, A Room of Your Own?
Q: Tell me where you create, and where those lovely kitties live.
A: I feel incredibly blessed to have a studio space in my home. We just moved to North Carolina last year so I’m still settling into the space. I would love to share photos of a pristine work space where everything is kept stowed away in a cute container but have learned to embrace the fact that I thrive in being able to see all of the supplies I’m using out in the open. I have found that I often get inspired to use a tool in a different way if it is out where it can call to me.
Q: What are you focusing on now Krista?
What I’m most excited about right now are my paper mache pet ornaments. Christmas is my favorite Holiday and I began making these ornaments because I got tired of losing ornaments to pet catastrophes. I’ve lost count of the ornaments lost to my tree climbing cats and, at the time, my sweet pup who thought the tree was either made for getting that hard to reach itchy spot or a toy smorgasbord.
I have created ready made ornaments of various breeds of dogs and cats available for immediate purchase and I also create custom ornaments from pictures of pets. These ornaments are super durable and less likely to break when a furry baby decides to take up tree climbing. The ornaments make really great gifts for those who are pet obsessed and seemingly have it all, or someone that has recently lost a special furry family member. You can get your own ornament in my Etsy shop at www.dazzlingpeacock.etsy.com.
Krista those photos of you creating on your Etsy site are really great. I’ve seen photos of the custom ornaments you did for Ann Tudor and they were so wonderful. As I said, I’m not really a pet person, so if I am taken with them, they are special!
Important Links for Krista Benskin and Dazzling Peacock
More about Krista Benskin and Dazzling Peacock
Buy or order from Dazzling Peacock on Etsy
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