Artist Kurt Ryan began began making pom pom earrings and dealing them at original craft shows across Kansas City. Ryan says the expression of queasiness and gender identity is “ ever-present ” in their art, which uses upcycled accoutrements and pattern colliding.
investing their work with plenitude of color and a DIY approach, Kansas City artist Kurt Ryan weaves their identity into each craft, composition of apparel, and piece of jewelry they vend.
Ryan creates their work as Bubble Goo Kurt, and through their business adventure FunStarShine.
“ I surely pull from my own particular style, which I would describe myself as a chaotic kindergarten schoolteacher who’s also a zany on the side, ” Ryan said. “ So I ’m pulling from a lot of color colliding and pattern colliding. ”
Ryan identifies as transgender,non-binary, and mannish, and the expression of queasiness and gender identity is “ ever-present ” in their art, they said.
“ I feel like gender expression and queasiness have always been veritably present in my art, ” Ryan said. “ I did n’t really tone- realize my queasiness or my transness until I moved to KC about four times agone
. I suppose all the work I make is touching on what’s the binary, and what’s gender expression. ”
In that tone, Ryan noted that numerous of the people who buy their pom pom earrings, scarves, and upcycled apparel tend to identify as further womanlike.
“ I view myself as a veritably mannish person, and I feel like a lot of people would put my art in the box of womanlike, ” Ryan said. “ The maturity of people who buy from me are womanlike or identify as women, but I feel like my work really challenges( that double) because I wear it, and I do n’t suppose it’s in a gender box. ”
Ryan’s art background extends back times, they said, as the Iowa native entered an art degree from the University of Northern Iowa previous to starting FunStarShine.
“ When COVID hit, I just got a lot further time, and I was like, ‘ Well, all I want to do with my time is make art, ’” Ryan recalled. “ So I started making pom poms, and I just made a bunch — I was obsessed. latterly, I got settled back into my job, but I really just wanted to ride that high of making. ”
To do that, Ryan began making pom pom earrings and dealing them at original craft shows across Kansas City, along the way erecting a addict base, they said.
Ryan has maintained their “ day job ” in order to have stable income, they said, but has also grown within the Kansas City artist space, most specially by joining the Cherry hole Collaborative last time.
“ It’s been awful being girdled by artists who are in the same field as me where they ’re making plutocrat at expositions but also have a side gig, ” Ryan said. “ We all just support each other, and it’s a great place in KC. ”
As they continue to grow their small business, Ryan said they’ve to flash back to not let their ambition help them from growing at a responsible pace.
“ What I ’ve set up growing a small business is you have to take baby way, ” Ryan said. “ I really have all these grand fancies of making a beautiful table( at a craft show), but I’ve to just bite it sluggishly. ”
In addition to their craft work for FunStarShine, Ryan also commissions large- scale weavings for purchase and to show at galleries, they said, admitting that those pieces are further time- ferocious and precious.
Ryan enjoys the more “ sportful side ” of creating crafts, jewelry, and apparel, they said, especially when they get to see their art in people’s homes or outfits.
“ I ’m just agitated and passionate about these objects, and I want to spark that in other people, too, ” Ryan said. “ When I ’m at craft expositions, and someone buys pom pom earrings, I just want them to be as passionate about the object as I am. I suppose that commodity I ’m always looking for as I make stuff is a binary soul. ”
Ryan encouraged craft fair callers to engage with the makers and merchandisers, saying that they enjoy participating the system to their madness.
“ I just love when people come up and want to talk about how I make stuff, ” Ryan said. “ It’s great at craft expositions if people just want to come and talk to me about my art but do n’t have the plutocrat. That’s still really delightful and validating in a way. ”
further than anything, Ryan wants to insure that the joyous, suggestive, and fun- loving nature of their art gets passed along to everyone who views or buys it, they said.
“ I just suppose it’s really important to be suitable to express yourself in any way you feel, as long as it’s not hurting anyone, ” Ryan said. “ My stuff is supposed to be joyous. I want someone to look at it and suppose, ‘ This is so delightful, ’ because I suppose fashion and expression should be delightful. ”