Let The Grown-Up Version of This Wonderful 80’s Classic Sooooothe Youuuu
February 23, 2009
Profiling ART AKIMBO
When I was a wee thing back in the 80’s I had a very special bedtime toy called a glowworm, which totally made my short list of favorite kid possessions. It was a soft-bodied doll whose face that lit up softly, like a nightlight built into a doll head. That sounds kind of creepy, and maybe it is. Nonetheless, when I first laid eyes on the art of David Cramer in his awesome shop Art Akimbo, I could not help but draw a parallel between my glowworm companion and this cool sculpture:
Art Akimbo is like the grown-up, fine art version of the IT STORE (which may or may not have been an exclusively Canadian mall phenomenon in the 90’s), where you could buy all kinds of weird gifts and oddities that could be found nowhere else. I am drawn to Cramer’s quirky style, particularly the way he delivers what could easily be dark subject matter in a way that is remarkably sunny and fresh. His use of clean, rounded lines and slightly softened colors brings a whimsical element to the work, making the pieces feel like something out of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse or cult filmmaker John Waters’ famous collection of eccentricities.
The Lil Buddy face magnet set is so amusing, and it comes with 3 eyes, of course!
I am willing to bet that David’s work aptly reveals the delightful oddness of the Connecticut-based artist, as the biography he posted in his shop reads:
can’t stop it
gotta gotta gotta
Read on for Your First Sale’s interview with Art Akimbo…
What do you make, how do you make it, and where or how did you learn your skills?
My Etsy shop is evolving, let’s say. For now, I have a few sculptural pieces and some functional decorative pieces. They are designed to be cast, then uniquely hand painted. I plan to introduce prints soon. For many years I have been a studio furniture maker. My furniture pieces have shown in numerous galleries and museums including the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, Mass, Sansar Gallery in DC , the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, the Amarillo Museum of Art and so forth. More can be seen at www.dcramer.com
I went to the NYC School of Visual Arts in the early 70’s. Minimalism was fading out and conceptualism was all the rage. Technique was frowned upon, generally speaking, although in those days Chuck Close taught freshman drawing…
Anyhow, great exposure to galleries, museums, ideas and attitudes- many fond memories but little actual training…
How did you find out about Etsy?
Possibly in a New York Times article.
Do you have any favorite Etsy shops?
Probably the first shop I took notice of was Art and Ghosts – really lovely stuff.
What crafting supplies or tools could you not live without?
I have a pretty full shop, but lately I’ve been digging my computer as a design tool.
Other than that, I’d have to say a pencil.
Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?
I’d like to be the sort of person that throws things out regularly, but I seem to be the sort of person that accumulates piles of stuff that I just might have a use for someday…
So yeah, I collect possibly useful stuff that sits in piles, awaiting that fateful someday.
Who is one fictional character that inspires you?
Cartoon characters like Wile E Coyote, etc, who keep trying no matter how many times they have failed in the past (which seems to be always). They keep on scheming, coming up with new ways to achieve their (possibly evil) goals – I like that dedication, minus the evil part.
Who is one actual person that inspires you, living or dead?
I have 3 kids – one approaching college, one in college and one just graduated. They are all funny, smart, talented and enormously creative.Anyhow, they inspire the hell out of me.
Do you listen to music, books on tape or watch movies/TV shows while you craft? If so, what are some of your favorites that you find complimentary to crafting?
I am quite fond of 30’s Hawaiian steel guitar. Sol Hoopii, Andy Iona. Floating along in a moonlit lagoon…
Thanks so much for participating, David!
Be sure to check out his shop at: