Today we’d like to introduce you to Carla Yeatts.
Carla, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Becoming a Creature Maker/Doll Artist was an unexpected path for me, but has turned out to be my true calling and passion in what I call “my second life.” As a young girl I aspired to become a photographer, but growing up in a small town and a working-class family, pursuing college or a career in the ‘arts’ was the furthest thing from a realistic option for me. I always had an interest in using my hands, being creative, and expressing myself outside of any corporate or conservative environment, so it seemed getting a trade in Cosmetology was a good fit for me. I spent a very rewarding ten years as a Hair Stylist, and at 32 had built a wonderful career and a comfortable life for myself, but something was missing. Maybe it was an early midlife crisis, lol, but really I knew, deep down, that it was that still hungry, passionate, aspiring “artist me” … screaming to be free, limitless, and my true self.
A trip to New Zealand in 2015 and a tour of Weta Workshop changed my life’s ambitions. I’ve always loved special effects, horror/fantasy films, monsters, and creatures, so this was a ‘dream come true’ experience. After returning home from that trip, I decided to take the plunge, put my career aside and pursue an education at the Tom Savini’s Special Makeup Effects Program. It is there that I fell in love with sculpting and creature design. After finishing Savini school, I decided to pursue creating my own art for a living.
I was not too familiar with the art of doll making until 2016 when I became more active on Instagram and started discovering many amazing and inspiring Doll Artists from around the world. I fell in love with this art form, and the more I experimented with creating small creature sculptures and then trial and error with doll making, the more excitement, and passion I felt. I’m still early in my art journey and still finding my footing and voice as an artist, but it has been an amazing journey, and I feel everything in my life has led me to the point I am now.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I create one of a kind creature and monster art dolls and sculptures. I particularly enjoy creating miniatures. My creatures are completely hand-sculpted, I never use molds and therefore each one I make is truly one of a kind. I enjoy working with polymer clay, paper clay, acrylic pigments and always use 100% vegan fabrics and fibers.
My creatures are inspired mainly by the fantasy and horror genres, as well as beings from folklore and mythology. Ever since I was a child, I have felt a special kinship with creatures, a bond with nature and a love for monsters. For me, my art comes from a place deep in my heart and soul where that love and friendship resides. I enjoy creating anthropomorphic characters that have their own unique personalities and come across as friendly and endearing. One of my favorite comments on a piece was simply “surprisingly cute!”. Yes! The weird beings that by many may be looked at as creepy, grotesque, scary or ugly, to me are just adorable, sweet, friendly and interesting friends! These characters, in a deeper sense, are the misunderstood, the shunned, the scarred. But to me, that is what makes them interesting, memorable, beautiful and lovable!
I hope to bring joy to people that see and collect my sculptures. When I can bring a smile and a bit of light to someone with my art that means so much to me. One of the most entertaining and rewarding things I witness at events is when sweet looking 7-year-old girls and tough looking 40-year-old men have the same giddy reactions to my art. That is just so awesome and makes me feel like I’m doing something right.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
First I’ll speak to the characteristics I feel are essential to success. Hard work, perseverance, tenacity, devoting time to developing skills, passion, patience, intuition, positivity, and business savvy. To have the insight and awareness of not only seeing your mistakes and shortcomings, but growing from them, and simply not giving up.
Defining success is more abstract I think. I feel success is fluid. To me, it is not finite and depends on the day, week, month, or year I might be planning or thinking about. I’ve learned over my life that your motives and goals can change with each new path you take. Of course, like most, if not every other person trying to make it as an artist, the idea of ‘success’ is to be a thriving working creator. To create what I love and to consistently sell my work. But for me, true fulfillment, what Id call ‘true success,’ is to feel completely engaged, excited and passionate about what I’m doing with my life and what I’m creating. To stay challenged and always be improving. To feel satisfied with my art, but not let that satisfaction make me complacent or become stagnant.
For me also, a big part of success is building meaningful relationships with my fellow artists, my customers, and fans of my work, as well. Its all connected and all means a lot to me.
Success for me would be for that to last a lifetime and be lucky enough to continue to share my weird and wonderful creatures with people all around the world.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I do seasonal and occasional gallery shows and vending events, right now mainly in Austin and San Antonio with hopes of expansion in 2019. I keep an up to date show/events list on my website at www.carlayeattscreatures.com. I also have an online shop where people can purchase my works. It’s wonderful to be able to ship my pieces to customers worldwide. You can find my Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CarlaYeattsCreatures.
People can show their support by following me and interacting with me on Instagram @carlayeattscreatures! It’s the best place to keep up with me and its where I regularly post new works and works in progress. Its a fun and inspiring platform and I really enjoy interacting with fellow art enthusiasts there. You can find me on facebook as well under Carla Yeatts Creatures.
- Website: www.carlayeattscreatures.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/carlayeattscreatures
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlayeattscreatures
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CarlaYeattsCreatures