Hello, hello! Today I’m very happy to be bringing you an interview with the crafty and talented Trevor! Through searching the Dudes Craft, Too hashtag on Instagram I was able to stumble onto Trevor’s awesome page. He possesses an eye catching ability to utilize color and composition. I’ll have his Instagram linked at the end.
What is your name and in which country do you currently reside?
My name is Trevor Thompson and I live in Washington State (USA).
How did you first become involved in card making?
I started card making as a need to alleviate my boredom while watching my sister’s booth at art shows. There is plenty of time to kill at those shows. I actually started with paper cutting but gradually drifted over to cards due to demand from customers who began to take notice of my work.
During my first foray into card making I realized that there weren’t any cards being made that were marketed to the Native Indigenous community (Native American). I always find stereotyped versions of cards being made by non-natives that make me cringe inside. Even though they may have been made with good intentions some of those cards cross the line and outright offend. I wanted to change that so I set off in creating cards that truly showcase appropriate sentiments that don’t offend my fellow native people.
What do you enjoy most about card making?
It’s that I can usually put out a card in 20 minutes as opposed to a painting or some of the other art forms I dabble in that are truly time consuming.
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?
Most definitely. In my area I’ve inquired about crops or retreats but have been turned away because I’m not female. The one common theme I usually hear is, “I’m sorry but having a guy there would make everyone uncomfortable.”
I’ve had two experiences where a set of older ladies (whom I refer to as” Ednas”) make snide remarks when I walked into a classroom. And once I had that Forrest Gump scene played out in real life (where he tried to find a seat on the bus but was told, “can’t sit here”). I’m like, “Ok. Fine, whatever. You are so not getting any of my snacks!”
If you answered yes how do you deal/ how have you dealt with the judgement or discrimination?
It used to bug me a lot but then I think about where my buying power lies and invest in those businesses/companies that don’t discriminate. I have found a few businesses in my area that are more welcoming and fully embrace the handful of dudes who create.
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 feel like gender does plays a part in how we develop and visualize projects. Not overtly, but subtly. We all come from different backgrounds and lifestyles, and I feel like that plays a bigger role even more so than gender.
What is the best thing about being a male card maker?
The smaller community of male crafters take notice right away and is very supportive of one another. I’m also asked by other makers for my input on projects and that makes me feel valued because it wasn’t always so.
What is the most challenging?
Being discriminated against. As in introverted person, that’s the worst. How do I deal with that? I just roll up my sleeves and start creating. Gradually people will start noticing my work, interact with me, and by the end of class I’ll have made a couple of new friends.
What changes, if any, would you like to see happen in the card making industry as far as male cardmakers are concerned?
We “dudes” all need to come out of our creative spaces and join together more often. I like the idea of a “Dudes Craft, Too Retreat” and have talked to several people about it. I love how card making/scrapbooking cruises happen so that would be awesome to partake in. It could be a destination type event for guys to interact with one another and learn new things as it pertains to the industry and to us as makers.
Do you do any other crafts?
I do. Off the top of my head I dabble in various art forms like painting, sketching, paper cutting, jewelry making, and floral arranging.
Another side to me is that I was taught by various people on how to do traditional, cultural craftwork from my native tribes including basket making, weaving, embroidery, bow/arrow making, tanning of hides & buckskin, moccasins, beadwork, and about a million and one other things.
Have you always been creative?
Definitely. Growing up I was exposed to such a huge pool of talent. Both of my parents were artists of different mediums and skills, and I just happily followed along. Our home was always filled with creative energy and my parents made sure that me and my siblings had their support when it came to our creative spirits.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
It depends on what style of cards I’m making. If it’s something based on Indigenous culture, I have a vast pool of resources and experiences to draw from. Everything I’ve been exposed to in life can be conveyed into my projects if I feel like I need to draw from those experiences.
I also find inspiration in fellow artists both online and in the real world. Pinterest is my best friend, and so are the many artist who utilize social media and sites like YouTube. People like Jennifer McGuire, Cathy Zielske, Gina K, and Tim Holtz provide our industry with exceptional leadership. They allow younger and newly beginning artists like myself the chance to expand on our skills. It’s always great to see them interacting on social media.
Is there anything you struggle with in terms of card making?
Time management! I work a full time job and have to carve out time to create. It’s a balancing act because on top of work I’m also involved a lot with family activities.
I also don’t post as much as I should on my Instagram artist page. I’m horrible with taking pictures of projects that I’ve made. That is something I would like to change. Currently the only time someone can really see my full line of work is if I’m set up at a show or something. I’ll get better at posting my work. I promise.
What has been your proudest card making moment or achievement?
I’m truly humbled when I’m able to sell out of inventory at art/craft shows. A lot of my cards are picked up by people who tell me that “it’s about time someone made these”. I have a small but steadily growing base of buyers who now ask what show I’ll be set up at. They well clear out my stock and that feels great!
Then there was the time when Tim Holtz “liked” one of my cards on Instagram. I texted my crafty friends about that and sent them screenshots. We all “fan girled” over it. I felt Knighted or something along those lines.
What, if anything, would you change about the card making community?
Stop with the discrimination! We all just want to create so open up those closed spaces and let all of us join in.
That’s my only complaint thus far.
What,if anything, would you change about the card making industry?
I’m still very new to this industry but I definitely notice a lack of products that are geared towards human diversity, guys in general and the LGBTQ+ community. Stamps, tools, retreats and events; it can all be worked on. I am thankful that stamp companies like Ink Road Stamps has developed sets for those of us who identity as LGBTQ+.
How would you describe your card making style?
I would describe my style as evolving. Constantly evolving. I still have a picture on my Instagram of the first set of cards I made and I cringe when I look at them. I keep it posted so that I can see just how far I’ve come since then.
As an artist I love learning new techniques and seeing my style develop with every new thing that I learn.
What words of wisdom or encouragement do you have for others?
You were placed here on this earth with an ability to create that will brighten and beautify the world. Use that gift. Feed your creative spirit and just have fun. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember that everything is a learning experience.
Just do you and do you well! We all have something to offer to one another so being supportive and kind to one another is important.
If you’d like to see more of Trevor’s work (and ya will. Trust me.) you can find him on Instagram
Trevor, thank you so much for sharing your insight and wisdom with us. I deeply appreciate it. I’m always so saddened to hear of any discrimination experienced and it is my hope that through this blog series I might help contribute to ending some of it.
As for the need for culturally sensitive cards and sentiments pertaining to Indigenous People, particularly those in the United States; I wholeheartedly agree with you.
Thank you again for being a part of this. It’s been such an honor.
Until next time,
Goats, boats, shopping totes,