Get to know our Paper Daisy trader Muscles by Milarski, you'll can find them at several of our events in 2017, but next up is the Small Business Saturday event in Shoreham.
So, how did Muscles by Milarski start out?
I have always been obsessed with hyper-masculine figures, Hulk Hogan being my first love as young child, and this obsession crept into my art while I was at University. I remember a tutor exclaiming that my work was so much better once I started doing something I loved, a film piece of muscled body parts! After University I was finding it difficult to do art full time and I heard from a friend about a business loan and planning scheme that the job centre could help out with. By this point I had made a few collages of muscly figures and floral motifs for an exhibition, and also decorated a toilet cubicle in a Walkabout with muscled tiles.
Where do you take inspiration from for your unusual designs?
The designs themselves came about from an annoyance with the abundance of overtly sexualised imagery of women: I wanted to level the playing field but also point out the ridiculousness of that weird -woman as object, man as subject- situation even existing, hence the figures are headless and anonymous, they are just parts of a design that we happen to recognise and assign certain ideas to.
How has Muscles by Milarski developed over time?
I have been in business for two years now and love making new designs and looking at bodybuilders ‘for research’. Muscles by Milarski took part in Gay Pride last year and raised money for Stonewall which was a particular highlight for me. This is definitely the direction I would like to continue in, having a playful design range which actually gives back and makes people think.
What’s your favourite part about creating?
I love the initial design stages when I get to browse through hundreds of muscly images, cut up lots of bodies and draw and paint. I do enjoy the digital aspect of my designs but the tactile initial stages are definitely my favourite. I also love screen printing and hope to add more screen printed products this year, the self contained aspect of this is particularly appealing as I can do it all in my living room in my pyjamas.
What do you enjoy most about attending craft fairs?
Meeting all the other designers and makers, everyone is always really lovely and you learn so much from each other. Even if I don’t make much from a fair I see it as cheap business coaching as I always come away with so many ideas and advice on everything from public liability insurance to make sure you stand on cardboard at outdoor markets as it stops you from getting too cold! The only down side is that I am very bad at not buying from everyone I meet, this does mean I own a lot of lovely things though! I also love visitors’ reactions, I’ve had everything from ‘phwoar’ and wolf whistles to complete disgust, which is fabulous!
Will you be offering anything special at our markets?
I will be debuting some new painted ceramic pieces (vases and money banks) and the start of the new screen printed line (notebooks and make up bags)
You can find Muscles by Milarski's on Facebook and browse their online Etsy shop.
The next Paper Daisy Event you'll find them at is our Christmas Makers Market for the Small Business Saturday in Shoreham-by-Sea on December 2nd.
Meet some of our other Paper Daisy traders: