Important Service Note: The links in this week’s post are not referral links. However, John does know the proprietor.
If you’ve been to an anime convention on the East Coast in recent times, chances are you’ve had opportunity to hit the Artist’s Alley and see the work of the artist featured this week. She’s been around for a while, which is an impressive feat for an anime-themed crafter and artist; there’s a lot of churn as people come into and exit the hobby. In point of fact, one of the first artist groups I ever raved about online– Able Sisters Crafts– has shifted their focus to predominantly Etsy sales, as conventioning is expensive work.
Nightengale Needles has been in business since 2008, and her work is beyond phenomenal. NN (I don’t know if sharing her name here is okay with her) is a crafter of all trades, but she focuses primarily on sewing custom plushies and fleece hats. I’m continually amazed at how detailed and well-made they are, and if anything it just serves to remind me how gifted and talented some people can be.
Interestingly enough, NN is once again taking commissions very shortly for custom hats. She’ll be opening up the queue this coming Friday, with the hopes of having a quick turnaround time. Don’t let that fool you: she doesn’t sacrifice detail or quality in order to get work done, and these are certainly worth it. If you’re a cosplayer or just a general aficionado of gaming and anime culture, she can help you get that last piece taken care of (and she’s a cosplayer herself– a fantastic one at that).
Part of the reason why I’m highlighting her this week, though, isn’t just because I consider her a friend, but it’s to prove what I find to be a rather interesting and encouraging point. NN is someone who, when she started, took it upon herself to make the fan crafting business her full-time job. She did so knowing full well that, if the climate of fandom was changed dramatically by the companies which produced the stuff she modeled her gear after, she could be put out of business. Even still, she took the plunge. And her skill has borne her through the last four years with aplomb.
She’s one of the bravest people I have the privilege to know. And that bravery should be rewarded.