Dudes Craft, Too: Oliver Gleason

Hello, hello! I’m so excited to bring you the first interview for my new series; Dudes Craft, Too.
First up we have Oliver. I’m very proud to say that he and I are on one of the same design teams. It is such a privilege to work alongside someone as talented as he is.
I’ve enjoyed getting to know him a bit better through this interview. He’s a fantastic person and I’ll have all of his social media links at the end of this post.

What is your name and in which country do you currently reside?

My name is Oliver and I reside in the Bay Area of California!

How did you first become involved in card making?

My mother has been making cards for years and I have always admired hers. One day I made a card for a friend’s birthday and just kept going.

I am a newbie. I’ve only been seriously making cards for the past 6 months. However I have always been a creative type so I am sure I have made many cards in the past. I just wouldn’t say they are the caliber that I am creating now.

What do you enjoy most about card making?

I love figuring out how to make the vision I have in my head come out on paper. From finding the right stamp I need to the right blend of ink; there is a lot of “scaffolding” built into my cards. Figuring out how it’s all going to come together; that is my favorite part.

Stereotypically card making is considered by many to be a hobby in which only females participate. Have you experienced any judgement or discrimination based on this stereotype?

So far no. I have found that I’ve been generally well received and welcomed quite warmly. I feel pretty honored to be accepted into an industry that is primarily female.There are not enough of them!

Do you feel that, as a male card maker, you bring any experiences or attributes to the craft that you might not otherwise if you were female?

I don’t feel that my gender has anything to do with the cards that I make. I feel like it just has to do with my creative style.
If anyone is familiar with my work they know that I don’t shy away from unicorns and sparkle.
For every one thing that one could consider “inherently masculine” about my work there is an equal and opposite contradiction to that. I don’t set out to make a masculine looking card, I just make what I like. My taste is pretty eclectic.

What is the best thing about being a male card maker?

That I can craft standing up! (Lol!😂) Kidding! I don’t know if there is anything that is a plus or a minus to being a cis male card maker. I like to think that if I have any advantage it would be myself and the personal views and the areas in which I draw my inspiration from.
Does that make sense? For the most part the products we use are available to all of us; it’s how we all reconfigure them that makes it interesting and unique.

What is the most challenging?

The most challenging part about being a male crafter is that there are not enough male stamps! Simon Hurley has a great “Dudes Too” stamp set and I think that I have used it to the point of exhaustion in every way I possibly can!
Like I said, as far as I can tell there are no advantages or disadvantages of being a male; creatively speaking.

At times I do struggle with finding stamps that speak to who I am as a person. I don’t always feel that as a gay, cis male geek in his 30’s that there are a lot of materials geared to me personally. I know that things are changing and it is great to see this in a few companies that are out there.
I would just like to see more! Not always having products that speak to me culturally (and I am a part of many different intersecting cultures) can at times affect me inspirationally. However I know that things are changing and I am very excited to see where the future takes stamping and card making!

What changes, if any, would you like to see happen in the card making industry as far as male card makers are concerned and in general?

Besides more chubby guys with beards stamps (other than Santa!) I’d like to see less “this is for us and that is for them.” I think that it is interesting to see all facets of consumer products embracing a gender neutral stance, and for some reason the card making game still seems to be a little old fashioned.
For example take the beauty industry. It is now integrating cis men, transgendered people, non-binary people, and people of color into its campaigns and product considerations.
It would be amazing to see that mentality adopted into this amazing craft & hobby industry. I think that if you make products that speak to a wider audience more people will take notice because they realize that there is something there for them.
Diversity is an amazing thing that can only benefit wherever it is allowed to flourish. I think that diversity in every aspect can only benefit an industry. The more people that see that there is something for them the more likely they are to come around.
I remember being in Spain and looking for stamps there and not really finding any. Then I started researching and found that there were not many Spanish sentiment stamps at all. That could be one reason why we don’t find more stampers from all walks of life; something as simple as language!

Do you do any other crafts?

As of right now, no. I wish I had time for other creative endeavors but I have been devoting all of my free time to card making.

Have you always been creative?

Absolutely. Ever since I can remember I have loved to draw and paint. Stamping is a recent thing for me.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from everywhere. I love movies and am usually watching something while creating. I also let colors and the stamps themselves direct my creativity. Usually as soon as I see a stamp set I am able to start “seeing” the things I would do with it.

What has been your proudest card making moment or achievement?

My proudest achievement so far has been making the Ink Road Stamps design team! Not only is it my first but it is also a company that makes stamps that speak to my demographic. There are many stamps that the company makes which I feel are geared towards a new generation of card makers.

What, if anything, would you change about the card making community?

I would love to see more young people get into this as a valid creative form. I was always creative but my drawing skills have never been up to snuff. This allows me to be as creative as I want to be without feeling like “this is terrible!”
I think something like this would have helped me feel much more artistic than my actual skills allowed when I was younger.

How would you describe your card making style?

Eclectic, I guess. I do a lot of scene building. I studied photography for a while when I was a much younger man and I think that a lot of my cards can be seen as little photographs of a world of my own. That was my background in art history talking.
My style is more is more; basically what that means is when I think I’m done it’s time to break out the Nuvo Drops and go to town!

Lastly do you have any advice, tips, suggestions, or words of encouragement for other male card makers or anyone else?

Get into it! It really is fun. I love seeing what every one creates using the same set of tools. Plus people love receiving cards.
That is something that no one talks about very often; the joy other people get when you give them a card.
Also, don’t compare yourself to others; (although I am guilty of it all the time!) we are all in it because we love it!

For the guys:

Don’t let all the pink and the sentiments intimidate you. There are tons of stamp companies that are changing the face of card making as we know it. If you look around you will find something that will speak to you. Then go for it!

Oliver, thank you for taking part in this series. I deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness. Your answers have definitely made me reconsider and rethink a couple of things.

If you’d like to see more of Oliver’s work (and I strongly encourage you to check him out) here are some of his links:
Instagram
Two of his designs on the Ink Road Stamps blog:
Design one
Design two

Stop by again soon to catch the next interview.

Until next time,

Bread, lead, that’s what I said,

Samantha

2 thoughts on “Dudes Craft, Too: Oliver Gleason

  1. Hi Samantha! Really enjoying your “Dudes Craft Too” segment!! Keep em coming….its so wonderful & interesting to see guys crafting cards, and they’re super awwwwwesome cards!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the series. We’ve got a lot more interviews ahead so make sure you stop back 💚

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.