Friday, December 6, 2013

Feature Friday: Bunnies N Buggies

With the Christmas holidays coming up and trying to find those perfect gifts for everyone on my list, I naturally turn to handmade artists. I love buying from artists themselves who put their creativity and energy into making a product and whose hands actually were used in the production. I enjoy meeting people who have that creative drive and being inspired by them, which is the main reason I began these artist interviews.

I came across this absolutely fun-filled shop recently, Bunnies N Buggies by Tina, a lovely lady who fascinates me with her variety of ingenious bath products. I was instantly drawn to her Doctor Who inspired items, being a huge fan myself, but there are also tantalizing scents ranging from Spiced Chai to Unicorn Burps! Tina's sense of humor and playfulness is evident in her range of products, and I was so excited to read her answers to the interview questions.

1. How do you define art?
I think art is the act of taking things and turning them into something else. Painters transform paints, brushes, and canvas into paintings; writers transform words into books and poetry; musicians transform series of notes into songs – these are all just variations of “art” as a whole. A pastry chef creates a masterpiece through flour and sugar the same way a jeweler may with fine gemstones and metals.
2. How would you describe your art?
Fun, playful, and a little quirky. I like everything I make to be colorful and to put a smile on someone's face. I only actually sell my soaps and body products now, but I still paint and do other forms of art in my spare time. Everything I make takes on my colorful and playful style. I received feedback from a customer the other day that said “these soaps smell like joy and unicorn laughter!” That was the highest compliment I think I've ever received. When I hear back from customers, I can practically picture them jumping up and down, with that same unbridled enthusiasm and joy that little kids have.
3. Name three adjectives that describe your artistic point of view.
Quirky, playful, fun
4. Who has most personally influenced and inspired you as an artist?
I honestly have so many different sources of inspiration, but a lot of it comes from my family, especially my son. Sometimes I feel like I'm channeling his enthusiasm through myself.
5. Has your artistic sensibility changed since you first began?
Oh yes. I went through periods of feeling like I needed to complete everything a certain way, because of a perceived standard of “that's how it's always done”. It has taken a while to get out of that, to feel more free to experiment. Now, I make things the way I would want them to be. If no one else adores them the way I do, I'm OK with that. (Although thankfully that's not the case!)
6. What inspires your art?
All sorts of things! I love SO MANY fun, silly things, and I think that gets captured in a lot of what I create. I love cartoons, and toys, and video games and comic books and all sorts of neat, geeky things. And glitter. Lots, and lots of glitter.
7. Do you have a favorite artist from another field?
It's hard to say. To answer that, I'd have to pick a specific field! I love illustrations and digital art, especially because drawing is something that I am just NOT good at, so I look at artists that can as just awe-inspiring. One of my favorites is Sebastien Millon. ( ) If my items could be turned into cartoons, this is what they'd turn into.
8. Who is your favorite competitor from your field?
This might sound silly, but I've stopped looking at my competition. Doing that ruined me for a while, as I always felt like my work didn't live up to what these amazing artisans were doing. But, that wasn't the case. We're not the same, there may be hundreds if not thousands of other people in the bath and body field at this point, but I think we all bring something unique to the table.
9. Do you have any occupation hazards or mishaps?
Aside from hot soap burns? There's always something, and I'm a natural klutz, so that doesn't help. I always have weird little cut and burn marks in places. I got a piece of jewelry wire straight through a finger once, horizontally. I'm not even sure how I managed that.
10. What did you wish you would have known when starting out?
No one hits the ground running. You need to be patient and still be true to yourself and your craft.
11. What is your favorite item currently for sale in your shop?
Well, I'm a HUGE Doctor Who fan, and with the 50th anniversary coming up it is definitely the Doctor Who gift set at the moment. But I also love the Espresso Shot coffee soap and the entire Paris Romance line – that one smells like shortbread, sweet lemon and blackberry and it is just to die for! One of the greatest perks of soapmaking is being able to open the storage closet on any given day and just pick what I want to use. It's one of my few big indulgences.
12. Who is your favorite author? What was your favorite book as a child?
I love Anne Rice books. I always have. I've read and own most of them at this point. I love reading in general though and I have hundreds of books. I can't ever convert to a Kindle or e-reader because I just like the feel of an actual, real book. As a child, I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I had hundreds of books then, too. My family couldn't get me more books fast enough!
13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young, I always thought I'd be a teacher. I kind of wish I had pursued that further, but it wasn't meant to be at the time. I'd just be happy if some day, before I retire I can open my own actual little boutique shop.
14. Where is the farthest you have travelled? Where did you dream about visiting as a child?
I have to say I'm not one for travelling! I'd much rather stay home with a good book and supplies before going much of anywhere. The furthest I've EVER been was to Bermuda as a child – and I grew up in New York. We moved to Florida about 4 years ago, but we tend to do local day trips rather than big vacations. When I was young I wanted to go to Japan, and if I was going to go anywhere, that would still be my first choice.
15. Which musician or musical group inspires you the most? What was your favorite childhood song?
I don't have just one, and I have rather, well, eclectic taste in music. A lot of industrial, and a lot of electronic, rock, punk, pop. I can play seven instruments and most of my background is actually in music, so I can appreciate a variety of genres, even if I don't personally enjoy them. And never underestimate the power of a perky pop song on a bad day – it can be a huge pick-me-up when you're just not feeling like yourself. You can find everything from FunkerVogt and Aesthetic Perfection to Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in my car. (Don't tell them that. I don't think any of the four would be crazy about my taste in music!)
16. Where can people find you and your art online?
You can find me at (which goes to our Etsy shop). I'm on Twitter @bunniesnbuggies, Pinterest at, and Facebook at I'm working on a new store site as well outside of Etsy but I don't have a grand opening date set yet!