Hello, everyone! Welcome to my brand-new blog series: #CreativeQueens! Every few weeks we feature an up and coming female content creator in the video game and animation industries!
This week we interviewed the founder of PixelatedComfort aka , Erica Childs! Let's get started!
Hi Erica! Before we start can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from and about PixelatedComfort?
Hey there! My name is Erica Childs, I'm a 25-year-old Filipino American born and raised in Arizona! Pixelated Comfort is the business I started to create handmade comfortable quilts featuring pixel art, so you can wrap yourself in the warmth of your favorite fandom!
What’s your story? What got you into making quilts?
"I’ve been sewing ever since I was a kid, both my mom & grandmother are seamstresses so it was always an activity I associated with happiness!"
When I was 19, I had a HUGE crush on the sweetest guy who not only loved Megaman but owned everything related to him. Which left me very little to work with present wise when the holidays rolled around.
I think quilts express a lot of love because of the arduous process of making one, so what better way to woo someone than with a handmade Megaman pixel quilt?
It took me forever to make (probably because I cut each quilt square with scissors back then) but when the quilt was completed, the feeling of seeing him opening it Christmas day was near indescribable. He was just beyond happy to see his favorite video game character on such a heartfelt item and later told me it was a Mega Man item he cherished over all other ones. (We are also married now, so I think that speaks to the power of a quilt haha)
Ever since then I’ve wanted to help spread that same feeling, quilting has a lot of upfront cost with the tools & materials it takes to make one. So I am just overjoyed that people trust me to make such a personal item and see the happiness it gives them and their loved ones!
What is your creative process for creating a quilt and how long does it take (on average) to bring a quilt to life from an idea to the finished product?
From conception to completion, it averages about 3-4 weeks (2 if I’m being good) I think the design process is almost as long as the actual construction of the quilt. With each one I’m always willing to put in however much time it takes to make that absolutely perfect design!
What is your favorite/most memorable quilt you've ever made and why?
Oh man, I have so many favorites. Though one that was very memorable to me was the Lilo & Stitch quilt! For one, I loved that movie so much when I was a kid and it was the first time an artist I admired, Dalton Keen (Keen_tech on Instagram), reached out to me and showed me the pixel art piece he created himself that he wanted made into a quilt. It gave me so much confidence that an artist made a design specifically for me to transform and it made me feel much cooler than I actually am!
What would you say is the hardest thing about making quilts and pose the biggest challenge for you as a small business owner in this market?
The hardest part of my business was proving my worth so to say, obviously with projects this big and intricate, it takes a long time to create so the price point can be high. For the first couple years starting out I sold quilts at cost, if not less, to just try to build my portfolio and credibility.
"Even at that time I felt so honored to do it because it meant I got to wake up and do something I loved!"
This year has been the first where I’m booked several months in advance, which is such an exciting feeling.
What does your workstation look like? What tools are essential to your quilt making process?
The tools I use are just sharp things in different forms haha I’ve got pins, scissors, thread clippers, rotary blades. Most importantly, I have my Heavy Duty sewing machine which has truly lived up to its namesake, together we’ve created over 100 quilts together.
Other than that, I try to make my whole work area feel very uplifting & happy, so I decorated my space with beautiful art pieces, toys, handwritten notes, pictures of my husband (and Kylo Ren).
It’s hard to be stressed out when you’re surrounded by so many things that make you happy!
Your quilts seem to go to all sorts of homes! From little kids to adults and that's absolutely incredible! Do you have any memorable stories involving creating a quilt for one of your customers?
It really is incredible! I think one of my favorite memories was a mom who commissioned a Pokemon quilt for her son and when they got their quilt she sent me pictures of him crying because he was just so happy.
"That was truly a moment where I stepped back to see the joy I was able to give this family and knew that everything I’ve done in my career has been extremely worth it."
Apart from quilts, you also sell really cute clothes on your Etsy shop! Do you think you'd expand into apparel more in the future or are you pretty set on quilts?
I would absolutely love to get into apparel, enamel pins, and stickers. Making quilts is my first love but I think I would find a lot of joy in pouring my creativity in smaller/more affordable items.
I hope to dedicate more time to making fashionable nerdy clothing and products this year!
If you could collaborate with any artist in the world to make a quilt, who would it be and why?
I have a long list of pixel artists I admire that I would LOVE to work with, two that come to mind are Watt.designs and omegachainoboy on Instagram! Something that’s very important with turning pixel art into a quilt is making the best use of the space, both of these artists are exemplary with their shading, posing, and colors in such a way that would transform beautifully into a quilt.
"I’d also like to add that I’ve had the honor of collaborating with many talented pixel artists in the past couple years, because of them my quilts have become a variety of so many amazing pixel art styles!"
What fandoms would say have had the biggest impact on you as a creative?
Legend of Zelda, is a video game series that has grown with me through the years! I get so happy when I get to create a quilt from it (especially Majora’s Mask) I even sometimes listen to LoZ music to make my quilting feel like more of a heroic journey! Haha!
Also, Pokemon has always held a special place in my heart, the show and games played a big role in my childhood. The art is incredible, from colors, silhouettes, personality to almost limitless imagination that goes into making them.
I could honestly spend the rest of my life making Pokemon quilts and be 100% happy!
What advice would you give for someone looking to get into making quilts?
Invest in good tools (it will make your life so much easier) and make sure to find a good tv show, youtube series or music playlist to play while you quilt, it really helps break up the monotony. Most importantly be kind to yourself, quilting can be a very tedious and rigid form of sewing.
"You’re going to make a lot of mistakes but nothing that a good attitude and a seam ripper can’t fix!"
Apart from making the actual quilts, you're also an artist! Is art something you'd say you always wanted to pursue from a career standpoint and quilting branched from that? If not, what was the story behind merging art with quilts, of all things?
I think I’ve always wanted to create, no matter what form that took! I cosplayed for ten years, I make videos in my off time and enjoy a lot of different crafts. Quilting for me is just so fun because you take single-colored squares that alone aren’t much but together can create something new and beautiful.
"For a long time, I think the perception of quilts for a lot of people has just been it’s old fashioned roots so I find a lot of joy in modernizing the art of quilting to be enjoyed by a nerdy audience!"
Be sure to support this #CreativeQueen on social media!
Facebook: Pixelated Comfort
Pixel Art Credits:
Animal Crossing- Pixel Jeff (Pixeljeff_design)
Mandalorian, Baby Yoda- Manolo Saviantoni (the_oluk)
Lilo & Stitch- Dalton Keen (Keen_tech)
He Man- (thevendelo)