Artisan Appreciation: Interview with Libby of LuxCups

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Hey everyone! While at Comicpalooza a week ago, I had the pleasure to meet the creative mind behind LuxCups, Libby Napier! You all know that I try and keep things related to food, but you guys just have to check out their creations! Faux taxidermy can be cute too~

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Me: Who are you and what do you do?
Libby: I, Libby Johnston Napier and my husband, John Napier, are the brains behind LuxCups Creative. We create hand painted wearable miniature faux taxidermy. Don’t worry, our pieces are quite cute and even make you smile.

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Me: How has your practice change over time?
Libby: I used to work on my own one piece at a time. The kitchen table was my workspace with a small caddy nearby that could be rolled into the closet when company came over.
Even though we are still very small, a lot had changed. Multiple pieces are being created simultaneously to take advantage of the time it takes for coats of paint to dry. I also now have my partner, John, help with the production and act as a sounding board for all of the kooky ideas. It’s a good thing he’s pretty honest and has a great sense of humor.
We have a room dedicated to all things LuxCups. This space consists of 4 desks that all serve a specific function. Pouring resin can be quite a messy process so one desk is dedicated to this step. The other three workstations are for computing, painting and assembling/ finishing.

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Me: How has your style changed?
Libby: I wouldn’t say my style has changed very much but the process and end product has been refined. The first creations were monochromatic and simplistic. The pieces available today are packed with tons of detail and personality.
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Me: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Libby: The extreme responses are always the most memorable. Most people find the work to be quite funny, however I do remember one instance when the viewer referred to our work as ‘disgusting’. With a response like that, I knew we were on to something great!

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Me: What do you dislike about your work?
Libby: I really wish our pieces were easier to produce. I believe the handmade nature of our accessories is very important & separates us from others, but we have spent hours talking about the benefits of flat & printed artwork. Our pieces are all hand painted. When a customer places their order, we either pull from our existing stock or create the desired product from scratch. Think about how amazing it would be if an order was placed and we simply packaged a lovely print and send it on its way!

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Me: What do you like about your work?
Libby: I love that our work gives me an excuse to collect plastic animal ‘references’ and ‘research’ cute animals. Now my love of animals has a practical application. I also love the fact that my quirky sense of humor is now something that people can wear. The idea of our work being worn and shared with the world is quite amazing to me.

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Me: What was the inspiration for this piece?
Libby: The alpaca is everywhere right now! I adore the stuffed versions that come in all sorts of pastels. I decided to do a more ‘sophisticated’ version of a lovely llama. He’s quite regal with his head cocked to the side. I love the way the mint green pairs with the neutrals.

Kawaii Collection

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Me: What was the artistic process in creating the pieces we see?
Libby: I typically choose the animal I want to create first. We now have quite the collection of custom animal molds to choose from. I then choose a frame that compliments the size and shape. The last design decision, and often the most difficult, is color. I usually lean towards blue and green hues, but make an effort to use all colors at some point in our pieces.

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See, didn’t I tell you guys how faux taxidermy can be so cute? Make sure to visit their Facebook and Instagram for more! I’ll be showing off a couple things I bought from them tomorrow, since a lot of the pieces are unique, I had to snatch up my favourites!

Thank you so much Libby for letting me interview you, and thank you for reading.

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~Lapin Chocolat

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