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Interview with Donna of The Donut Lounge

The Donut Lounge combines my love for cuteness, corniness, and cravings, by allowing me to design and incorporate foods I love. I’m a stickler for good clean font and simplicity and although my tastes are consistent, I’m always thinking of new and different goodies to make. In my spare time, when I’m not working or doing schoolwork, I enjoy spending countless hours on the internet, messing with my D70, and buying books/magazines I never get to read.

Donna will be at the November 2nd 2008 You Bazaar! in SF.

I like the name of your shop. The Donut Lounge. It sounds like a speakeasy where they serve nothing but donuts and moonshine, I can see the coaster design now… How did you come up with the name? When and why did you start your business?

Donut has been a nickname since way back. In the second grade we had to do an alliteration type thing with our names and mine was “Donna Donut”. Nobody really started calling me Donut until I retold that story to my middle-school friends. Ever since then, Donut has stuck with me. In high school, I actually had dreams of opening up a music store/lounge place and that’s how “The Donut Lounge” was birthed. But, I didn’t turn it into an actual business until my last year in college. I saw a site of homemade goodies by a girl from my area and I thought, “Hey, I could do that!” So I bought my dotcom, made a few Mother’s Day & graduation cards, and started selling them to friends. It has grown a lot since 2006 but it still has much growing to do.

The Donut Lounge

It looks like you turn your hand to many crafty endeavors. Were you a crafty kid? what part of the creative process is your favorite?

I don’t know if I could say I was a crafty kid, but I always had a crazy imagination and was known as the “creative” one in the family. I didn’t do much crafts but I found other ways to channel that creativity and I was always finding new ways to do it. I went from music, to poetry, to painting/drawing, and now sewing & crafting. So I feel like the crafty thing is just something that I’ve built upon over the years and hope to build on for the rest of my life.

My favorite part of the creative process is the designing part. It’s fun to see something go from an idea to a reality and all the little trials and errors that go into making it for the first time.

What are your inspirations in your daily life that you use in your art too?

Most of my inspiration comes from Japanese products… the kawaii (cute) things. A lot of Japanese goodies are very inspirational because the style is so cute, colorful, and daring. I feel like they don’t care about age or gender and even if I’m almost 24 years old, I can rock Domo-kun and not feel childish about it. Also, FOOD is a huge inspiration. I’m always trying to think of a new food to incorporate into my work whether it’s something corny for my cards or to turn into a charm or plushie. And a lot of my card ideas come from jokes or phrases I’ve used in conversations with friends. Pretty much anything funny and joyful is a huge inspiration.

I was excited to see your plush sushi photos on your blog! Will you talk about creating those and will you be showcasing sushi’s at You Bazaar! in November?

Yes, I will definitely be selling those at You Bazaar! I actually was hoping to sell them at the last anime con I went to but was pressed for time. And there will be more to the series. I’ll keep you posted on my blog :D

The Donut Lounge

I’m always interested in other peoples work habits and work spaces. Do you set specific work hours for yourself or work when you’re feeling creative? Are you super organized or messy? What does your workspace look like (include pictures if you like!)? What kind of sewing machine do you use?

I don’t really have specific hours but I do like to set aside crafting during the days I don’t have class. But, that’s more so to put aside time to study. Most of the time I just do it when something pops into my head. I wouldn’t say I’m super organized or messy but I definitely cannot start working until my workstation is clean. However, when I have to get ready to sell at a convention and I’m multi-tasking like crazy, my room can be a total wreck. Sometimes I can’t even find the floor. My workspace is just a table, a desk, and lots and lots of plastic bins. I use a Singer 7462 and it’s only about 2 years old. I love how easy it is to use and learn and I haven’t even used all the features on it.

Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?

I like Heidi Kenney of My Paper Crane. As an aspiring plush maker, her stuff is absolutely motivating. And it’s so amazing to see how much she has grown…going from making plush donuts to these amazing, elaborate pieces she does for shows & now having done a collaboration with Kid Robot! That’s pretty cool!

Some other artists I enjoy: Shawnimals, I Heart Guts, Planet Tokki, Social Studies, Fat Rabbit Farm, & boygirlparty. All amazing artists/crafters and huge inspirations that keep me moving forward with this business.

What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making things for The Donut Lounge?

I’m trying to get back into photography so my friend and I have been trying to come up with little photo excursions to go on. And if you haven’t already noticed from my blog I’m really big on anime & movies. I could get lost for hours watching an entire anime series :] A new hobby of mine is cosplaying. I get a lot of heat from my friends about it but it’s so fun and I love the challenge of trying to create a costume. I may not be hardcore and get into character, but I definitely love dressing up. It’s like Halloween all year round! That’s probably the geekiest thing about me :D

Minnie, the interviewer, also blogs about crafts at Thank You For Not Being Perky.

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