Kathy Cano Murillo, the Crafty Chica

kathy cano murillo, the crafty chicaKathy Cano-Murillo is an author and artist who you surely know by her chosen name: the Crafty Chica! She spreads the gospel of glitter — literally through her DIY projects and figuratively through her speeches, workshops, books and essays. A former syndicated columnist for The Arizona Republic, she is now a full-time creativepreneur, which has led to multiple Crafty Chica mass retail product lines, and partnerships with Coca-Cola, HSN, HP, WordPress, Disney and many others. She has written seven craft books and two novels, and somehow still has time to sleep. Kathy is Mexican-American, a native Phoenician, a mom, wife and owner of five Chihuahuas.

We are thrilled that the Crafty Chica will be joining us in Columbus, Ohio, for Midwest Craft Con 2018! Meet the woman with all the glitter:

How would you describe your work to someone who isn’t familiar with it?

I like to describe my work as Mexi-Bohemian! Everything is Latin-inspired, has a lot of color and a meaningful purpose. And I try to make everything functional!

How does your heritage influence your crafting?

It influences it a lot, it comes to me naturally. I got tired of not seeing what I wanted in the stores so I decided to make it myself! I like to take traditions and give them my own spin to make them different.

You were one of the first modern crafters to make it big — how have your goals changed since you got started?

My foundational goals have always stayed the same — to offer tutorials and art that makes people say WOW! And art that  reflects culture in a positive way, with function and style. I’ve always wanted to strive for community, and it has grown all along. I’m really happy about that!

What would you be if you weren’t an artist?

I would 100% be writing novel after novel in the genre of women’s fiction. I have two under my belt and a third one on the way. There’s room to do both passions, I work it into my schedule!

What will you talk about in your keynote?

I would like to talk about having a bigger vision for what we each do — finding that signature style that makes you stand apart from everyone else. Ways to look like the money we want to charge, the art of evolving and growing, staying relevant.

What three things would you recommend to makers?

  1. A sketchbook to record ideas for when you feel uninspired. You can go to your book and flip through, and I guarantee the inspiration will return!
  2. Taking a workshop in a new genre and leaving your personal tools at home. Just go in with a clean mind and learn from scratch!
  3. Motivational and/or business audiobooks or podcasts to listen to while you work!

What are your pro tips for crafters heading to a conference?

Have some kind of freebie to give away — a link to a free download, or a charm you made. It’s a way for people to remember you and keep what you give them! Create a Twitter list of people you meet so you can follow them and keep in touch. And use the conference hashtag in all social posts to become part of the story of the event!

What are you looking forward to most about Midwest Craft Con?

I’m from the Southwest, so I’m always excited to leave my comfort zone to meet and connect with new people. I’m nervous and excited! I LOVE all things crafty and celebrating the handmade movement. We each have something unique to share and offer. I feel our community is brilliant, generous and open to help each other grow. I’m really proud to be a keynote speaker, because this topic is near and dear to my heart!

Get crafty with Kathy Cano Murillo at Midwest Craft Con in Columbus, Ohio! The event is Feb. 16-18, 2018, and tickets are on sale now!

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