Interview with The Pink Ape
Our latest interview features Marissa of The Pink Ape, a multi-dimensional crafter who has been creating for over 20 years. Marissa is a wife and mother of two, who uses inspiration from the world around her to create papercrafts including cards, scrapbooks, and more. Sharing her designs as both a hobby and a business, Marissa’s main goal is to inspire others!
Read on for more DIY projects, crafting resources and inspiration from Marissa.
“Crafting what comes to mind.”
Tell me a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Marissa Walker a married girl to her favorite person! We met in 2003 while we worked at the local children’s hospital in our area. We married in 2008 and soon had two kiddos. We both graduated in the same degree and that has been great. I also have an infinite love of paper crafts – it has become part of my daily life. I come from a large family that doesn’t have many traditions so my love for all form of arts comes from within me and the need to try out all the crafty things. I enjoy coffee at any time of the day as well as my mom’s Mexican cooking and the occasional IPA.
How did you begin making such beautiful crafts?
I think it’s become an evolution of my style. I have always enjoyed creating whatever I could come up with. As a child, arts & crafts were my favorite so I made sure to take those classes when offered. I’ve taken courses to learn how to use different mediums, watched numerous YouTube videos and then just applied my style to them. But I have also grown to enjoy the process more than the outcome because after 20 years of this I realized that we continue to improve, and the creativity doesn’t end. We should make art because it makes our heart happy and then share it so that it may inspire others.
What is ThePinkApe all about?
The Pink Ape started as a place to sell my crafts in late 2011. It took off and I turned it into a business selling headband holders on Etsy. It lasted a couple of years but I didn’t really enjoy it and my heart was not in the right place so I shifted gears back into paper crafting. It has definitely grown now into a place where I share all my creations and just want to inspire others to play with paper. My motto has been “Crafting what comes to mind” and now I’ve got a room full of various items for all the different types of crafts.
Where do you get the inspiration to create your designs – cards, scrapbooks, etc.?
Honestly, my mind is always coming up with ideas and has no off button. I can look at random objects and draw inspiration. I think part of my process in creating is trying to think outside the box. So when I craft, I apply that idea and the results are cool. One of my favorite stories I have is going to support my husband in San Francisco for a marathon he ran and while there I asked the booth from Honest Juice company if I could have their cardboard bases because the idea for scrapbook covers popped into my head while grabbing a juice box.
How do you manage everything? Your time with family? Creating such beautiful designs?
I’ve been crafting for over 20 years, so it’s part of my everyday life. I worked night shift for a very long time and that meant I had some days off in a row where I could spend time in my craft room. My husband has his cycling time he enjoys so we understand the need for a hobby and how it can be a good mental health component. My kids know mom crafts and it’s her thing! They join me at times and together we create fun art for our home. But sometimes dad will order out when I’m in the middle of a big project and he knows he won’t see me until bedtime. I guess I have a very happy family that’s understanding as well as accepting of this craft and for that I’m very grateful.
Do you have a favorite holiday/life event to create for?
Yes I do! I get super excited over the holidays. As a kid we did not really celebrate big nor decorate. It has been in me since I was little, watching so many houses decorated and the costumes everyone wore. So I absolutely enjoy Halloween and Christmas because I want to make my decorations and change the themes. I start the process right after the holiday ends and start coming up with ideas for the following year. I also enjoyed creating the decorations for my kid’s birthday parties as well as their memory books for the occasion. I could go on about all the different Halloween/Christmas crafts, but we’d be here for a while.
Any advice for someone interested in scrapbooking?
I think that right now we have so many options for documenting our photos that my advice is to think about how you want your photos to be viewed. Then take it from there because so many times we see other people’s work and want that style, so you go out and buy all the supplies but then get stuck. If you like a certain style of scrapbooking then do a little research first, gather the ideas and then move forward with buying supplies. Remember that a beginner will not look like an advanced person (that took years). Just like any job you start at the beginning and work your way up. So build that foundation of knowledge that you can build on to grow. Also, don’t worry or stress too much if it’s not what you expected, just enjoy the process of documenting your memories. Or you could just pay someone else to make you a book, hahaha!
With all of the different options available to express one’s creativity, why do you choose paper?
Paper is the base, the foundation I start with. I can always cut it up, fold it, emboss it, stamp it; I mean the possibilities are endless. I have become a huge fan of printing up digital designs now especially since I am on a design team for Ephemoire. It’s allowed me to take my creativity to another level, taking a digital image and create with just that. Sometimes it can be a bit hard but it makes you think outside the box of what can I come up with using only this design. Needless to say, my supply of paper will last me several life times. Thank you to all those amazing designers who create paper designs that make my heart race and my mind go crazy with ideas!
Where do you see ThePinkApe in the future?
I think as long as I’m creating things I enjoy, that will be enough for me. It’s been years of trying so many different things from working in a scrapbook store, owning my own business, to just making a handmade gift that I want to just create paper art that makes my heart happy… to continue to share in hopes that it inspires others to make their own art, no matter the content. Well, maybe just improve on my YouTube skills so that I can offer a platform for ideas.
What other projects/endeavors are you working on?
Well right now is Halloween season, so I am in the middle of a chaotic mess. There is Halloween goodness all around me from the beginnings of my October Daily to a mountain of handmade paper crafts for some Halloween swaps. I have numerous paper collections that I am creating with to do craft sets and plan on sharing them on my Instagram account, @thepinkape. I also want to share some instructional videos on my YouTube channel in October and December. My YouTube channel is The PinkApe. I also have an Etsy shop where I sometimes sell some of the crafts I make.
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