A Crafty Questionnaire: Virginia Kraljevic

Virginia Kraljevic is an illustrator, artist, and self-proclaimed "handicrafter" who shares her Manhattan studio with a dog named Watson, a cat who sometimes answers to Madame Bugglesworth, and the myriad fancies of her creative heart.

Although she opened her Etsy shop in 2007, Virginia has been drawing and doodling French pigeons, mustaches, swirls, curls, trees, vines, teapots, clouds, and magical bunny rabbits since the age of 6. Naturally, other interests snagged her attention along the way, but her commitment to exploring life, nature, and art have never waned. As charming in person as they appear online, you can view (and buy!) a few Virginia Kraljevic originals for your heart and home at the The Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn on June 5 & 6, 2010, and at the one-of-a-kind {NewNew} Treasure Chest on Governor's Island, every weekend this summer.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
The moment. It's pretty amazing.

What is your greatest fear?
Aside from the really morbid fears (like death, injury, darkness, heights, and paranoia in general), finding a cockroach in my coffee cup is high on the list.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Martha Stewart. This lady has completely reinvented home economics for the masses and has helped pave the way for individuals like me to do what I love most: cut, sew, paste, bake, cook, plan, organize, entertain, garden, paint, trim, decorate, design, create, and be a do-it-yourself, independent kinda gal.

Which living person do you most admire?
Definitely my parents. An unconventional pair, these two have shown me firsthand that having a fire in your belly gets you places (and keeps you young!).

Virginia's parents

Do you have a theme song, and what is it?
Yes, the opening song to Murder, She Wrote. It's also my ringtone. But if I could have a custom theme song made for me, I would love to have Mark Mothersbaugh create it.

What is the trait you most like in yourself?
My ability to interject silliness whenever possible.

What is the trait you most like in others?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Traveling. Local or abroad, it is very important to get out there!

When and where were you happiest?
Last Tuesday at 12:04 pm when I was bicycling through Central Park on a magnificently sunny day and the flowers smelled oh-so sweet. Or perhaps it was yesterday when I got away from my computer for two split seconds to walk my pup. Basically any moment I'm not worrying about something heavy, it's every instant I reminisce about living in Paris (outdoor cafes, sipping yummy beverages with friends, but I digress), it's falling in love with a song at first listen, and it's any time I laugh so hard I cry.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would grow a second pair of arms (for purposes of multitasking).

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Working for myself = three universities in two countries, three unpaid internships, five different professional fields, many job titles, two quarter-life crises, innumerable interactions with people from all over the world, some incredible experiences, a bunch of crummy experiences, all so I could one day figure out that what I loved to do more than anything was right in front of me the whole time: doodling and making things.

If you were to be reincarnated as a person, animal, or thing, what do you think you would be?
With my luck, a narwhal.

What is your most treasured possession?
Health(!) and my hard drive.

Which talent or skill would you most like to have?
Being fluent in every language/dialect, including speaking to animals = awesome.

Who are your heroes in real life?
You, you, him, and her. People who inspire, encourage, and embrace the ones around them.

What is it the one thing you dislike the most?
Flirting with disaster. I also have a love/hate relationship with office jargon.

What is your motto?
You Know It! Not a true motto, but I toss it into most conversations. yki.

Who are your favorite artists?
Friendly ones. Crazy ones. And Mr. Jim Henson.

Is there any invention you wish you had thought of?
The sandwich. With a side of chips and a pickle.

What's the first thing you remember making?
A shadowbox based on the short story, The Crabapple. Mine was pretty advanced at age five, and I knew it at the time, too. ;)

If you can't make it to The Renegade Fair in Brooklyn next week, make sure you stop by the {NewNew} Treasure Chest on Governor's Island. And you can always check out Virginia online at her Etsy shop, virginiakraljevic.etsy.com.

jewelry made for you