Posted Sep 16th 2010 by

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An interview with
Monstafaktorywords by , September 2010

As part of the ever-growing Renmen Project, we were approached by Anna (aka Monstafaktory), who offered to make us a custom Droplet. We gratefully accepted, and thought it would be neat to have a chat to find out more about what makes her tick, and also how she made this awesome piece. Oh, and don’t forget to bid on the amazing item… all proceeds go to Unicef!

Hi Anna, welcome to TC… how are you doing today?

I’m doing very well thanks for asking.

How would you sum yourself up in 3 sentences?

– I like nature.
– I like the outdoors.
– And I like to try and bring both those elements into my customs.


Some of Anna’s customs

Tell us about a typical day in the life of Anna Hamilton.

Crumbs! Each of my days can be so varied these days, basically consists of driving a minibus full of volunteers to a chosen green space in or around Glasgow where we carry out practical conservation tasks. I love my job!


Anna on her bike at work

The main reason we’re talking today is to let people know about the brilliant custom vinyl you’ve done for the Renmen Project. How would you describe it to our readers?

It’s my interpretation of the Hispaniolan Trogon, the national bird of Haiti and the chosen symbol for the Renmen Project. Based on a Droplet with added ‘bits’.

The item was originally one of Gav Strange’s Droplets, but looks a million miles from that now… what was the process of that transformation?

Lots of punching! The ‘feathers’ are made from funky foam, and each one was lovingly punched out of strips of the foam using a leaf shaped craft punch. Each one of those punched shapes was then snipped to remove the stalk of the leaf and the feather shape was born. Each feather shape was then stuck onto the Droplet to create the feather effect; larger shapes were cut for the wings and tail feathers. Once the figure was covered the painting began and then the completed bird was perched (stuck) into the wooden heart shape – eh voila!


The transformation of a Droplet!!

What would you say is the most difficult step when doing a custom?

Deciding when it’s finished, I’m always finding wee bits I want to add a bit more paint too or change a little bit, sometimes I just have to be strict with myself and put down the brush.

Obviously this is just one of many customs you’ve done over the years. What’s your favourite one to date?

I think it has to be the custom Dunny of Captain Olimar from the Pikmin game I did for my friend. It was quite a challenge to create his helmet but I was so happy when I came up with something and achieved it. Since then he’s travelled far and wide with his owner!


Captain Olimar himself!

What sort of reactions do you get from the original creators when they see how you transform their pieces?

I’ve had lovely feedback from Gavin Strange and Andy Woo to my Droplet customs and it was a pleasure to create a custom for Gav’s Droplet Series 2 launch party.

Beyond the world of customs, what creative things have been inspiring you recently?

My job throws up a lot of things which often require a spot of creative thinking to solve. I took a willow weaving course earlier in the year and have applied the skills I learned there to make a living willow structure and some willow spiling to repair an eroded riverbank.


The willow constructions

I also visited some gardens at the weekend which had beautiful mosaics set into paving; I’m desperate to reproduce this myself in a future project.


The mosaics!

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve bought recently?

It has to be my new bike, a Specialized Tricross. It helped me complete the Pedal for Scotland on the 12th September, Glasgow to Edinburgh bike ride, 51 miles achieved in 3 hours 25 minutes and 34 seconds riding time. And for a laugh I also rode back to Glasgow from Edinburgh, another 59 miles along the canal paths.

The new bike!!

What’s your next big project?

Sometime next year I want to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End, a big challenge but I’d love to attempt it.

Finally, what’s the one thing everybody should do today?

Spend at least one day as a volunteer with BTCV (info on the BTCV site)

Big thanks again to Anna. Check out more of her stuff over on the Monstafaktory site, and of course, one more plug… don’t forget to bid in the auction, every pound counts!!


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