Hello, hello. Today I am thrilled to be bringing you an interview with the talented Richard Breaks. Not only is he an awesome card maker (his ink blending skills are insane!), he’s also got a wealth of wisdom to share. I’ll have all his links at the end of this post. Make sure you check him out.
What is your name and in which country do you currently reside?
Richard Breaks, USA.
How did you first become involved in card making?
I was invited to a friend’s house for an afternoon of crafting. I think it took about three cards to get me completely hooked.
What do you enjoy most about card making?
Mostly the wonderful connections I’ve made since starting. I have so many great online friends, and I actually get to be in the same room with a few of them sometimes, too!
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?
I will occasionally get a sidelong “what is he doing here” glance, but once I present myself as someone who is really involved with crafting, those looks vanish pretty quickly.
How do you deal/ how have you dealt with the judgement or discrimination?
Every once in a while there will be a woman who is annoyed with a male interloper in her time with the girls, if I’m being honest. I get it, but I’m also not leaving because of it! My crafting opportunities are limited, and I won’t let anyone spoil them.
My go-to move is to make my detractor my bestie for the day. It seems to be a pretty successful ploy so far.
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 did hair for twenty years, so I was privy to much more female information than most men ever are! I feel like that’s a plus for me.
I find that I tend to have less of an issue designing cards for men than many of the women I talk to/read. Like everyone, though, I too get stuck sometimes.
What is the best thing about being a male card maker?
I will definitely not be confused for another person at most of the crops/ classes I go to!
What is the most challenging?
I find that it can be tricky reaching out to other crafters; women especially, in order to make connections. You don’t want to come off as a creeper, or anything like that. I try to mention that I have a husband REALLY EARLY in conversations, but even that has backfired on me.
What changes, if any, would you like to see happen in the card making industry as far as male card makers are concerned?
I’d like to see more guys joining in! It would also be nice for stamp companies to add a few more gender neutral products to their new releases.
Do you do any other crafts?
I make banners and calendars during the holidays. I am also big into interiors, which I come by honestly. We’ve owned NINE houses over the years!
Have you always been creative?
Yes, I’ve always done something. My mom and grandmother were very crafty.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Instagram, YouTube, the few blogs that come to my inbox, and classes when I can get to them.
Is there anything you struggle with in terms of card making?
Coloring! I struggle to make myself sit down and do it. I’m more of a stamp and die cut person.
What has been your proudest card making moment or achievement?
I was published in the now gone Cardmaker magazine! Two cards in the same issue!
What, if anything, would you change about the card making community?
I wish that we could find each other more easily. I’d really like a crew to gather with.
What, if anything, would you change about the card making industry?
Fewer, more considered releases from everyone. I get shopping sensory overload. I actually find I buy LESS, waiting for the newest, more exciting thing to come out.
I really like Lawn Fawn’s model; they have only seasonal releases, they help you realize all you can do with what they’ve got in between releases, and they work hard to make sure their products coordinate with one another.
Of course, I do go crazy when the holiday releases come out, buying ALL the things.
How would you describe your card making style?
I’m sort of all over the place, from clean and simple to layers aplenty. I think I gravitate to an involved background with some die cuts, etc. I bought all kinds of sentiment strip stamps only to realize that sentiment strips are NOT my jam. Oh well.
Lastly do you have any advice, tips, suggestions, or words of encouragement for other male card makers or card makers in general?
Connect! I try to connect with male crafters as soon as I find them. We are so few in numbers and it’s nice to be able to support those out there.
Buy less, and go back into your stash OFTEN. Especially on those no mojo days.
CASE yourself. Try the new ideas but think twice before jumping in with your wallet.
Make something as often as you can, for YOU.
Richard, thank you for sharing with us. I never thought how difficult it might be for a crafty guy to try to connect with ladies. All too often a lot of us get creepers in our DMs. Or at least that’s been my experience. I’m sorry that you’ve ever been mistaken for a creeper. Note to everyone; if Richard messages you I promise he’s not a weirdo. 😉
I agree with you wholeheartedly on shopping your stash and the importance of creating for yourself as often as possible. Very, very good advice.
Your can find Richard
And on his blog
Until next time,
Knock, door, hit the floor,