Interview by Yising Kao, Photos by Angelina Singer 2.20.19.
Angelina is in our Feb issue! www.galaxy-mag.com/issues
What inspired you to start crocheting?
When I was about 12 years old, I remember being pretty lonely and bored as I didn’t have a ton of friends at the time, so my mom taught me a couple of simple crochet stitches. After that, I took it from there and fell in love with amigurumi art (the Japanese style of small stuffed crocheted or knitted toys). Since then, I’ve made countless types of different animals, dolls, and even food (like mini donut keychains), and I sell them in person at craft shows or digitally through my crocheted Instagram. And the craziest thing about all this is that my lookalike dolls specifically, get a ton of attention - I actually made one for Dalton Rapattoni (3rd place finalist of American Idol season 15) and one of the fans subsequently made a whole Twitter page for the doll. It was pretty wild - and then Alternative Press even got wind of my art - probably through the dolls I brought to Warped Tour for Awsten Knight, Remington Leith, and Janick Thibault - and included them in their “12 of the Most Unconventional Pieces of Fanart” article.
What's your crocheting process like from start to finish?
My crocheting process is pretty standard: I start with a pretty basic pattern either in one of my books or from an online PDF, and then assemble it as written - but I often will adapt them as I see fit. For example, my custom dolls are based off of a really great pattern book, but I often embellish them with custom jewelry, pocket chains, eyeliner, and sometimes even fabricated props (like the laser gun, holster, and mask I made out of felt for my Party Poison doll). There is also often complex embroidery involved, like the tiny stars on Vic Fuentes' tank top or Alex Gaskarth’s signature jean jacket. The best part about the dolls is the details, and I go all out whenever I can - and the results (usually) come out as planned. Smaller items like unicorns or dragons are usually made as written, except that I make them in a range of neon bright colors. My customizable dogs are also based on a pattern book, but I usually study the picture of a customer’s actual pet to get the fur and details just right. The weirdest thing about yarn is that it doesn’t always translate the way I think it will, so there are sometimes slightly frustrating moments, but I usually find a way to make it work.
You crochet a variety of subjects like animals and artists. What's your favorite thing to crochet?
My favorite thing to crochet might have to be either the unicorns, mermaids, or custom musician dolls (I can’t pick just one). I think those items really speak to my loves of fantasy fiction (as seen in my author page and novels available on Instagram), and music (especially of the punk rock / alternative rock genre). I also have been playing guitar for over a decade, so music is just a really big part of my life and I love being able to take something rather mundane like crocheting and bring new life to it. I never anticipated how hilariously awesome the mix of plush yarn dolls with punk rock music could be. And the coolest thing about all of this is that the musicians themselves seem to really enjoy it - Awsten Knight literally couldn’t stop looking at his doll when I gave it to him (I like to joke that it stole my thunder), and Janick Thibault actually recognized me from my Instagram page when I first met him at Warped Tour this past summer. I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere even close to famous but it sure is fun getting even just a bit noticed by these bands that I really admire!
Here’s a good sampling of my work! There are the ever-popular unicorns, a panda bear, dragon, mermaids, hamsters, Avril Lavigne, Vic Fuentes, and Party Poison for your viewing pleasure.
This is the one and only Awsten Knight of Waterparks holding his custom crocheted doll, made in the style of the "Stupid For You” music video! I can’t believe how excited he was when he first saw it. I have a whole series of pictures that my friend took which capture all the amazing faces he made, LOL.
This is me with my table at the Marion Arts Festival this past summer.
Amigurumi Artisan of Custom Crocheted Critters
Instagram / Twitter: @asinger320