Something I love about social media, is the people you meet. Via the wonderful world of Twitter, I recently came across Bonfire Cherry, a handmade brand of gorgeous linocut prints, bags, brooches and notebooks run by solopreneur, Matthew. Once again, I have now added to my ever growing wish list of handmade goodies. Oh I love the handmade world!
Behind all of those handmade brands, shops and blogs out there is a person working passionately to bring you their designs. Being a big supporter of handmade (have I mentioned that?! Ha!), each month I like to share with you the face behind the brand and specifically behind their blog. This month I had the pleasure of interviewing Matthew of Bonfire Cherry. Read on to find out about his creative world and who he would take to a Creative Blog Award dinner if he could choose anyone!
Hello there, Matthew, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I would describe myself a very arty and creative person. I love Japanese anime and manga, the style and story always amazes me. I always have at least something on my mind to talk/draw about.
What is your creative space like?
I have 2 places, I have a bedroom/studio where I produce all the sketches and prepare all the website orders and I have a print shed in the garden for me to get messy!
If you had to take only one craft tool to a desert island, what would you choose and why?
That's a difficult one. I would have to say a lino carving tool so I can carve some cool designs out of the trees to keep me busy (and sane).
How do you work and get inspired?
Copying what I said for the first question, I always have at least something on my mind to keep me inspired but when that fails I always turn to my collection of books as I have a selection based on different themes to get ideas from.
What top tips would you give to anyone starting a blog and small craft business?
If you are going to start a business with a craft like mine, I would recommend not leaving all the advertising down to social media. I often host stalls at numerous fairs, which attracts people to your stuff that wouldn't normally see it online as not everyone is online to see your amazing work. For a blogger, I would recommend social media and word of mouth to get your blog out there.
Is there a story behind the name, Bonfire Cherry?
Glad you asked that because there is an interesting story behind that, well that's what I think at least. While the business Bonfirecherry has been around for 2 years (3 in April), the name itself is over 5/6 years old.
Five years ago I was studying graphic design at college and for the final major project I decided to come up with a fictional t-shirt business (as I had learnt how to screen print earlier in the course) but I was struggling to come up with a name. It came to the evening of bonfire night and I was coming home from college on the bus. Earlier I had bought myself a bottle of cherry coke, which I honestly rarely have. I decided to open it but spilt some while going past a house, which was having a bonfire and that's where the name Bonfire Cherry comes from! At first it was going to be Cherry Bonfire but in the end Bonfire Cherry made sense.
If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people,
who would you choose?
Roy Lichenstein (Pop artist) , Dave Grohl (Foo fighters), Beck (Musician), Jamie Hewlett (graphic artist) and Eiichiro Oda (the man behind one of my favourite mangas, One Piece).
If you had to choose one song to represent Bonfire Cherry, what would it be and why?
Either Cherry Bomb by The Runaways or Bonfire Heart by James Blunt because if you put them together they make Bonfire Cherry, haha!
If you could have produced a famous piece of art in place of the artist who made it, what would you choose?
It would have to be WHAAM! by Roy Lichtenstein, such a great example of pop art that I would have loved to produce it. I got around to seeing it in person for my birthday last year and I was not disappointed! If I had enough money I would so buy it but hey a person can dream, right?
Thank you so much, Matthew! It's been wonderful hearing all about your creative world. That's very good advice about getting your creative business out there and not just solely relying on social media.