maker: jeanette champion-fanning of sweet perversion
let’s give a warm welcome to jeanette champion-fanning of sweet perversion for our maker weekly! we’ll let the artist behind the word-smithing speak for herself… trust us, she’s gonna win hands down in the “most clever” contest…
my name is jeanette champion-fanning. my family moved from waukengan, illinois to so cal when i was two years old. from then on, we moved quite a bit all over oc and had a brief stint in northern california. i currently live in fullerton with my husband (mr. sweet), two cats and two dogs.
what do you make or do?
i make quaintly crass greetings cards, stationery, art prints and screen-printed goods.
where can we find your creations?
my products are currently sold on etsy. they can also be found at various retail stores across the nation and in several craft shows throughout the year.
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
i’ve been creating in one form or another for my entire life. my first love was photography, but then digital hit. instead of moving with technology, i put my camera away and pouted. although i still mourn the loss of film and chemicals, i’ve come to realize that i can’t leave my first love behind. sometime in the near future, i’m going to give in and purchase a digital slr. *sigh*
as for my full-time job, sweet perversion has recently become full-time. however, i still bartend two nights a week. as much as i detest bartending, the idea of giving it up completely is nerve-wracking. sweet perversion is my heart and soul, but truth be told, some months it just doesn’t bring in enough cash. there’s comfort in knowing that when online sales are slow, i still have two nights a week to make up for it.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
enjoy dinner/cocktails with friends, watch mindless tv with mr. sweet, walk our dogs and partake in happy hour sushi with mr. sweet (my fave!).
is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?
since the mortgage lender doesn’t accept rubber checks, it’s definitely a necessity. however, it’s also a necessity for my sanity. although i love making products for sweet perversion, it can, on occasion, become mundane. it’s important for me that i make it a point to try a new project that has nothing to do with my business.
a few times a year, my friend & i enjoy what we call drunken craft day – it’s exactly what you think it is… the two of us girls choosing a random project, filling our gullets with booze and getting our craft on. the motto for dcd is “no blood, no craft”. due the cocktails involved, we have both sustained our fair share of craft related injuries. if we didn’t shed any blood, then dcd wouldn’t be worth it.
what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
in regards to my business, the biggest obstacle has been my computer skills. i’m not as technologically advanced as the average bear. i would love to escape etsy and sell on my own website, but for cryin’ out loud, i can’t even figure out how to start a blog!
i’ve taught myself enough to create my cards, but not enough to build and maintain a website. i just sent out my first newsletter and it took me two months to figure out that damned chimp mail!
where do you find inspiration?
my inspiration comes from everywhere, literally. conversations with friends (which generally include adult beverages), brushing my teeth, sitting in traffic, laughing with/at mr. sweet… i keep a notebook on me at all times because i never know when an idea is going to hit.
what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
mr. sweet and i are in the baby stages of starting our second business called five twenty one. 521 currently features mr. sweet’s screen-printed neckties and i’m in charge of pimping him and keeping him motivated.
as for me personally, my life revolves around my business, mr. sweet and our house (full of animals). i’m not sure what’s on the horizon for me, as i’m quite happy where my life is right now. of course, there is always room for improvement…
if money wasn’t an issue, how would your life change with regards to your art?
i think it would only change in the sense that i would have the means to try anything i wanted.
what would be your perfect day off?
what is this “day off” you speak of?
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives?
no blood, no craft.