Retro Cafe Art Gallery began on Ebay in 2002. At the time, Kristin was selling her retro-inspired paintings, altered art jewelry/collages, and collage sheets. As she told me, "My dream at the time was to open a coffee shop/art gallery, hence the name of the business. Instead, I opened an online "gallery" not long after at http://www.retrocafeart.com."
Retro Cafe Art Gallery specializes in unique art supplies for the mixed media artist and jewelry maker including but not limited to Collage Sheets, Digital Collage Sheets, Antique German Doll Parts, German Dresden, Vintage Goodies, and our popular Coffee Break Design Shrine Kits, Stencils, Cut-Outs, Charms, ATC Frames/Windows, Acrylic Embellishments, and more.
Kristin's jewelry has been published in a few books including Jewelry Beyond Time, 1000 Steampunk Creations, and will soon to be included in another Steampunk book releasing in the UK later in 2012. Her art has also appeared in several Stampington and Company publications including Somerset Studio Magazine, Somerset Memories, and Somerset Studio Gallery.
Let's get talking to Kristin Hubick!
Q: How did you originally get into altered art and collage?
A: When I was younger, I was certainly into collage, decoupaging boxes, furniture, and pretty much anything my mom would allow. I discovered Mod Podge early on, and it's still one of my favorite art supplies. In early 2000, I discovered artists on Ebay, and joined the group Variazone (ZNE) founded by Chelise (Chel) Hery, where I was appointed a moderator. I'm delighted to say I'm still friends with many of the original members, and it's so cool to see how everyone has grown!
Q: Retro Cafe Art Gallery has some great altered art supplies. What is your "go-to" supply when you want to create?
A: My go to supply is most definitely our Coffee Break Design Shrine Kits. Creating jewelry and assemblage pieces is where my passion lies, and the kits speak to both of those things.
Door Shrine - See Tutorial on Retro Cafe Art Gallery
Many of the kits I have personally designed, making them that much more special. As I mentioned earlier, Mod Podge is also a favorite of mine!
And, of course, Stencils are a must have for journaling and layering!
I'm also a huge fan of Gilders Paste at the moment, which is perfect for antiquing our Masonite pieces, metal, plastic, pretty much anything!
Q: There is a treasure trove of vintage finds in your store. How you decide what pieces to stock?
A: Our Vintage Finds Section and our Antique German Doll Section are among my favorites.
For me, the hunt for the treasures is the best part. I adore frequenting antique stores, flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales, and the like. As far as deciding what to stock, it's pretty much things I like and would love to use in my creations. And of course items I'm willing to part with!
Q: Do you have any special tips for our readers who would like to begin creating altered art?
A: When I was first starting out, I found groups very helpful. It was a way to connect with and learn from fellow artists. What I love most about altered art, is the almost limitless number of techniques out there. We do have a tutorial section on our website, and of course the internet is a vast resource. The biggest thing to remember is there are no rules and you can't mess it up. If you don't like it, collage over it! Some of my most favorite pieces were born out of "mistakes". You just have to go for it and play!
Q: You have a delightful selection of handcrafted jewelry and original art pieces available. What inspires your personal art?
A: Anything old, shabby, and rusty is always an inspiration. On the flip side, I'm also inspired by fun, funky, and colorful. If it's vintage and/or kitschy, I'm inspired! I love anything that has history, and I often incorporate vintage pieces into my jewelry and art.
Q: Finally, what do you like best about being part of the art and crafting community?
A: Best of all, I love the support and encouragement I see among fellow artists. There seems to be an unconditional acceptance, that I don't always see in other communities. Retro Cafe Art Gallery also has a Facebook page and the love and support there is so inspiring! It's great to have a place to belong, where it's all about the art and people 'get it'! Artists are amazing people, and I'm grateful to be part of the community!
We would like to thank Kristin for spending time with us today! We look forward to seeing more of her great art throughout the month!
Artwork by Kristin Hubick. Additional photography from Retro Cafe Art Gallery.