INTERVIEW BY MONICA ROJAS PHOTOS BY BEN RUSSEL & CARLEY HOLTSINGER

INTERVIEW BY MONICA ROJAS

PHOTOS BY BEN RUSSEL & CARLEY HOLTSINGER

CARLEY HOLTSINGER, AKA THE SPARKLIEST DIVA IN NYC, AKA CREATOR OF ALL THINGS YOU'VE SEEN BEFORE TRANSFORMED INTO THE COZIEST THINGS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. SHE'S SLOWLY TURNING ALL OF YOUR TYPICAL, EVERYDAY ITEMS INTO FUNCTIONAL OBJECTS FOR YOUR NOT SO ORDINARY LIFE.

 

What do you do? Where are you from?

I make things fun! You need a keychain? I’ll put some fake plants and a folding chair on it. Need a place to sit? I’ll make you a bean bag with a cute googly face. Hands cold? How about a koozie wrapped in rainbow fur. Etc. Etc. I’m from Florida.

How would you describe your art to a mom who is fresh off the boat from Colombia?

I’d type this into Google translator: Creative crafts subject, but not exclusive to, any one category of art.

 

What made you start creating this kind of art?

My genius mom actually inspired the Foozies. She made some real fur koozies a few years ago, so I picked up where she left off and took it to the next level. Everything else comes from my own desire for a bedazzled, embellished, or enhanced product or piece.

 

 

What is your favorite part of creating this kind of work?

MAKING MYSELF LAUGH.

Do YOU ALREADY HAVE A LOT OF THE MATERIALS YOU USE TO CREATE EACH PIECE?

I like to make pieces from objects and materials i collect. Some I've had for years some i buy when i'm inspired (or I find a good coupon at Michael's) although some are thrifted or received as gifts. Then of course, specific projects or ideas require sourcing materials.

What is the weirdest thing you've incorporated into one of your pieces?

 A lot of pieces could be considered ‘weird’, but I think one of my favorite aspects of creating would be the unexpected combination of certain items. For instance, mink fur (which is all recycled from vintage jackets) paired with a foam beer koozie.

 

 

Can you Describe your design process and how the final product comes into being? How do you know when a work is finished?

I currently have an “IDEAS” list that I make notes on or edit at least once a day. This isn’t limited to ‘ideas’ specifically, but also words, phrases, colors, places, etc. Then every now and then I have an idea that I get so excited about I have to drop everything and make it ASAP. I usually know that I have a final product when obnoxious starts to outweigh practical.

 

How do you see your work evolving in the future?

I recently worked on a project where I’m not necessarily making tangible pieces, but applying my aesthetic and collaborating with my peers to explore various mediums. It’s exciting to be taken out of your comfort zone and seeing what you come up with together.

 

 
 
 
 
Let’s make my goal for 2025 to have enough pieces to make a Sparkle Diva Playhouse. Obviously inspired by Pee-Wee, who shares my birthday.