|DF INTERVIEW: CHRISTY KANE
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By: Beth Delaney
Christy Kane of Sisters Kane is an eye-catching woman that Beth Delaney has seen at a few east coast comic conventions. Christy’s unique style with doll design and her own personal fashion expresses her childlike imagination which she uses to bring a fantasy gothic world to life. Beth was able to ask Christy a few questions about her business and future goals for Sisters Kane.
BD: You create these wonderfully quirky dolls with such gothic flare. Where did you get this idea?
CK: Well it started with my friends, whom I would dress up like dolls and then photograph. When I realized they were too human I decided to make dolls! Once I made my first doll, Lily, I knew I had found the best outlet to create this world I see in my head.
BD: What were you like as a little girl? Were you always in party dresses having tea parties or were you playing in the dirt?
CK: Ha! Well I was often in party dresses and having tea parties, and occasionally they were in the dirt. I spent a lot of time playing in the woods and hiding under cabinets. I always had a companion, either a doll or stuffed animal. Things haven’t changed too much!
BD: Who has been your greatest influence – on your work? In life?CK: That’s a hard one. There are so many. I would say Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales for Children has had a lasting impact on my work. I remember the first time I read it and how hard I laughed. They are so tragic, yet hilarious. Even at a young age I realized how that paralleled life in this world. I always hoped to write and create visuals to illustrate something of that nature.
Mary Pickford and Edward Gorey are also two huge influences visually. Gorey was a total genius in his art and his poetry. And I watch Mary Pickford films on a very regular basis. I even named one of my dolls Amarilly after her character in Amarilly of Clothesline Alley. She was so emotive in her films. I often watch them while sewing the dolls. It’s always inspiring.
In my life, I would say my parents. I could go on and on about why, but I’ll just say they are amazing, loving, and encouraging, and I aspire to be more like them all the time!
BD: How have sites like Myspace and Etsy changed business for you?
CK: They have been amazing. Myspace has introduced the dolls to so many people all
Over the globe! It’s really wonderful to be able to reach people who may not otherwise be familiar with our little world. Etsy is great too. I shop on there all the time!!
So many wonderfully creative people out there! That site has also enabled me to reach even more people who are on the hunt for hand-made goodies!
BD: You’ve been attending Pop Culture conventions for a while now. Were these places you attended before starting your business as a fan? How are the cons important to you?
CK: I had never been to a convention before I started selling at them. I had no idea how important and great they are! It’s such an amazing way to get your work seen by so many people. The beauty of it is that the crowd is there to see new things, and they are so open to all different kinds of art. The dolls and I have made some major steps forward because of the Conventions; NY Comic Con and Screamfest in Orlando are two of our tops!
BD: Is there another artistic arena that you’d like to branch out into, like fashion designing, special effects, or even cartooning?
CK: All of the above! I have such fun making clothing for the dolls, I would love to make some of their dresses in sizes big enough for me and girls like me who love to dress up!
I’m branching into the cartooning world with some new watercolor paintings I’m working on of the dolls. I always open and excited to try new art mediums.
BD: Tell us about Callalilly. It’s your film short that is making a number of film festival appearances for 2008.
BD: What drove you to make a movie featuring your dolls?
CK: I had always dreamt of making a film with the dolls. I knew I had to find the right people to make it happen, and when I approached the Chiodo Bros. they took me in and got New Image Media involved and before I knew it, we were making a film!
BD: How involved were you in the film?
CK: Very! I brought a lot of my own props from home to the house we shot in. I did the set dressing, and some of the puppeteering, as well as the music.. . with Callalilly’s help of course.
Stephen Chiodo and Jerrold Ridenour from New Image Media and me did the final edits and any suggestion I had Jerrold made happen. He edited the final version of the whole thing and I’m still amazed at the job he did. Both he and Stephen really took the time to make the film look like a moving version of the book.
BD: Did you ever consider taking a claymation approach to your film and animating it rather than using a live-action story?
CK: I would love to, and in the future I’m sure I will do versions of certain stories that way.
For this film it was a matter of time and capturing the feel of the book. We were all very excited to see just how emotive the dolls were with just the slightest movements. And by doing live action we were able to use all the actual dolls from the book which made them all quite happy!
BD: Explain the importance of screening Callalilly at film festivals.
CK: I am beyond excited about Callalilly in the film fests! I just attended one of the festivals.
It screened at The Newport Beach Film Festival and to see it on the big screen was wondrous for me! I hope a live puppetry film is a treat for people. By screening the film it’s getting the dolls seen by more people all over who may not know about us. It’s a vital step for the future of the dollies! And with Callalilly’s tale, they are getting a good little moral lesson too, which in this world certainly can’t be a bad thing!
I’m hoping to get Callalilly seen in as many festivals as possible, and hopefully it will generate some more interest and I can start on my next film!
BD: What’s your goal for your dolls?
CK: I have lots of goals for them! I want them to reach out to the people they will bring a smile to and teach their valuable lessons to those who will listen!
On the web:
Etsy shop - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5428189
Blog - http://www.christykane.com/blog/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/kanedolls
Callalilly Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aPFTk39kIg
Songs of the Sisters Kane – http://www.myspace.com/sisterskane
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