Sunday, February 21, 2010

The[Crafty]Gamer: Joey Fernandez (Embroidered Patches)

This week The[Crafty]Gamer features Joey Fernandez, who has created some incredibly detailed embroidered patches inspired by popular video games. Check out this post to learn more about the effort that goes into designing and assembling patches, and take a peek at his work.

Full name: Joey Fernandez

Age: 30

Hometown: Peru

Occupation: Student

Tell us about your work. What’s the inspiration behind it?

It started a long time ago. Like any other kid in the world, I had favorite superheroes (one of them was Captain America), or just loved to watch a lot of cartoons on TV and play video games. I always wanted emblems for my clothes, uniforms and other stuff, but unfortunately they weren’t available in the market at that time, well at least not for me. When I was 17, I started to work at a friend’s shop making backpacks. That's when this all started. I became interested in the field that in the following years I learned how to operate embroidery machines and consequently the art of digitizing. I now make and customize my own stuff (clothing and accessories), and try to help people with their embroidery projects.

How much time does it take to create each patch?

Well, each patch is unique and the time it takes to create/make each one of them can easily vary from 10 minutes to weeks of work. The embroidery process has several steps, but let’s focus on the two most essential ones: digitizing and embroidering.

This article about embroidery digitizing pretty much explains what digitizing is:

"An embroidery digitizer must have an artist's creativity and problem-solving skills. A digitizer's canvas is the computer monitor. The keyboard and mouse are the brushes, and the embroidery digitizer's pallet is the embroidery software. However, the digitizer's work is not confined to a computer screen. Knowledge of fabric types and the push-pull factor of each is also required. The embroidery digitizer also needs to know about needles, thread, and stabilizers and, perhaps most importantly, must creatively expand the boundaries of machine embroidery."

Once work is digitized, a computerized machine equipped with needles, sensor, knives, bobbins and threads will take your digitized design and independently stitch the patch. This step requires supervision to avoid any flaws, with stitching tweaks required in the end to perfect the finished product.

Is your work up for sale? If so, where and how much?

Yes it is, and prices will depend on the nature of the work. You can find my stuff at very affordable prices from $3 to $12. If a customer wants something special, then the price can be over $20. I also have a website that you can check out. Fortunately, a few years ago I found and started to sell my patches there. I think their fees are, well, they are better than the rest. I also have some of my work listed on eBay and it sucks because, let me tell you, they rip small sellers (like me) off. Not cool!

Any other information you’d like to share about yourself?

I am a guy with a life like any other person, but I like to invest my spare time on what I like to do. I have been digitizing for over 10 years. I know my work and I know how things work in the mainstream world of collectibles (embroidered iron-on patches). I know how mass production is managed. The manipulation of resources in order to increase production by decreasing quality is something I am not partisan of. That is something you will notice in most of my work, manifested through the use of color blending, gradients, and other techniques.

My favorite video games are Super Mario World, Contra, Tetris (I love Tetris). I think I should make a patch of it. If you don’t see one of your favorite video games in my work gallery then let me know!

I have several projects for this year, one of them is to make custom cases for the many electronic devices out there: iPods, Nintendo DS, PSP, etc. I really hope to do that. It is just a matter of finding the supplies I need.

The[Crafty]Gamer has officially moved from the Editor Blogs section to the Features section. We are regularly looking for new entries, so if you'd like your work featured, please send me an e-mail to express your interest and I will follow up with details:

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