If you’re a geek looking to decorate your Funko POP! figures or you want more jewelry or fandom sketches to show off in your room or work desk, look no further than Houston’s Fangirl Creations. Bree Ibarra, Angie Ibarra, and Billie Martinez are the artists behind Fangirl Creations. The trio runs an Etsy shop and travels to comic cons. Even if you’re not in Houston, you can definitely catch them at a con somewhere in Texas.
Interview questions by ChinLin Pan
What made you come together to create art and fandom items?
Bree: I went to my first convention two years ago and I loved the artist alley. I could really see me and my family selling in it, so we signed up for our first convention last year and had an absolute blast. I never thought that we would actually start doing so many conventions! I had just wanted to see what it was like, but it was so much fun and I don’t see us stopping anytime soon! What banded us together was our love for being creative and having an awesome outlet like selling at conventions to let our imaginations run wild.
Angie: Fangirl Creations is the brainchild of my daughter Bree Ibarra. Our family as a whole is creative so when Bree wanted to start a small business selling handmade fan items, it was only natural for us to want to add our individual talents to come up with fun items from our obsessions. We always made “stuff” anyways and now we could sell it.
How do you all work together? Does one person draw sketches? Does someone else knit the hair-bows or little POP! figure hats?
Bree: Angie makes the prints and does all the crocheting, from the Totoros to the Funko hats. Billie makes most of the jewelry and is just now getting into felting. I make some of the jewelry but do most of the selling and am pretty much the face of our little business. We also have a few other friends and family members who are sort of testing the waters and seeing if they can join in on our business. We all feed off of each other, sharing supplies, swapping ideas, and just overall helping each other out in every way possible.
Angie: I am the main crochet lady and I create fan based digital artwork. Soon we hope to add more artwork from Bree’s sister and father. I generally will make something and then show her and we will decide if we think fans will be interested in it.
Billie: I would say that the creative genius is definitely Angie. She just naturally comes up with the greatest ideas. I get a lot of inspiration from her, but I think we each try to find things that we enjoy doing so that it stays fun. Jewelry was something that I was doing before I joined the ladies, so that was my first contribution, but as we grow, we find new and interesting things to make.
I love the knitted pokeball hats for POP! figures. Whose idea was that?
Angie: Bree and her sister saw some hats that people were making online for their own Funko POP! dolls and saw that people were asking where they could get one. They made the first hat which was a sock monkey hat and I just had to try my hand at it, and then I couldn’t stop! We all started having more ideas for different hats and fans would request hats like the unicorn hats and we continue to make them!
For the sketches, how do you decide on what/who to sketch?
Angie: The artwork is digital and I have prints made. At first I relied on Bree and and my other daughters to tell me what was popular and what they would like to see then I began making creating things that I was interested in like “The Walking Dead” and “Doctor Who.”
What is your creative process like? What challenges do you come across?
Bree: My creative process is visually orientated. I like to see and know what I’m making before I start anything. My biggest challenge I have is motivation. Often times, I find myself starting a project and then abandoning it, only to start another two projects.
Angie: My creative process is simple: I see, hear or just plain think of something and it triggers an idea and I try to figure the easiest way to bring it to life. My challenge is that I can’t make things fast enough!
Billie: My creativity comes in waves. With jewelry, I like to lay out a variety of components and just start working a piece out as I go along. I recently took up needle-felting. I’m still developing my skills, but inspiration for needle-felting projects is everywhere, from TV, internet, and books. Needle-felting is perfect for the world of fantasy.
What are your favorite fandoms of all time?
Bree: As of right now, I’d say my top three fandoms are “Supernatural,” “Haikyuu,” and “Voltron.”
Angie: Since I grew up in the ‘70s, I love the old cartoon memorabilia from “Speed Racer” to “The Flintstones.” At this moment, I am obsessed with Ursula and Harley Quinn. I also have a strange obsession with some real life people, namely Giorgio Tsoukalous (ancient aliens), Gene Simmons, and Greg Guttfeld (Fox News). Don’t ask why because I don’t know! I just LOVE THEM!
Billie: My all-time-favorite fandom would have to be the “Discworld” series of books written by Sir Terry Pratchett. It is set on the fictional Discworld, a flat disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A-Tuin.