Collector's Corner: Charisma Starke
Charisma Starke (@charismafull) is a hard worker and mother of two precious babies. Originally from the Philippines, Charisma can be what I would call a ‘complex collector’. Let me explain why. Charisma collects a variety of art: Johanna Parker Design, LeeAnn Kress of Charmed Confections, Glitterville and Rachel Garrison of VanDolls Folk Art. To add to her collections, she also dabbles in pottery from Rae Dunn, Lollipop Pottery, Susan Hanft, Catherine Reece and Gitti of Cinder Ceramics. Some of her other favorite pottery artists include Ayumi Hori, Shoko Teruyama, Stepanka Horalkova and Justin Donofrio. Now she is adding vintage McKee and Jeanette Jadeite depression glasswares and Holt Howard pixiewares. Where the complexity lies is not in the pieces that she acquires, but rather in her depth of studying the origin, craft and details of each.
What is your favorite holiday? Tell me why it is your favorite holiday to decorate and what you love about it. Can you share a story or two from your childhood that made you love this holiday:
Growing up in the Philippines, Charisma didn’t really celebrate Halloween during her childhood. The country she is from is predominantly Catholic, and being that Halloween is more of a Pagan holiday, most people never celebrated Halloween. It was not until the last 15 years that the malls are starting to decorate for the occasion with retailers handing out candies to trick or treaters in costumes. Since moving to the United States, she has really enjoyed Halloween. A lot of that enjoyment comes from her history with special effects make-up. While in college, Charisma wanted to follow her dreams of Art, but her father’s constant comments of ‘starving artists’ made her decide to get a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology. After working in the clinical laboratory for 10 years, she took special effects make-up courses to manifest her love for art and as her creative outlet.
Halloween allows her creative brain to come alive and put to good use the skills she has acquired in special effects makeup thru the years. Her uncles, both artists, have taught her methods of painting and sculpting. Now, as a mother, she can use that artistry on her daughter (and herself) when dressing up for Halloween!
How did you start your collection and what are some of the favorite items or artists that you collect?
Taking ‘special effects’ makeup classes from 2011 to 2013 helps her understand the trends and different application techniques of make-up. She learned how they cast the molds, work with liquid latex, use airbrushing techniques and paint build up. In late spring of 2016, she had the opportunity to go to the set of The Walking Dead to observe the art of special effects. The timing wasn’t perfect though as pregnancy hindered her ability to attend.
Then comes the appreciation of art from two of her favorite artists: Johanna Parker Design and LeeAnn Kress of Charmed Confections. She loves their painting skills, the intricacies of the details and how they use paper clay to mold their characters. She also has branched out and started collecting various folk artist’s works like Rachel Garrison and Crystal Cox.
In the world of pottery, it is not just owning a piece of art that is satisfying…she also studies their methods. For example, in pottery there are terms called ‘hand thrown’ vs ‘hand built’. We’ll dive into these methods in a future blog, but suffice it to say, she digs in and learns about anything she collects.
For pottery, she collects artists like Rae Dunn, Susan Hanft, Lollipop Pottery, Catherine Reece and Gitti of Cinder Ceramics. Lately she has been working with a local artist to have some custom pieces made. It is not just the appreciation of looking at the artwork, it is the appreciation, knowledge and respect to each of them.
Can you share some of you favorite pieces:
If you could sit down and talk to the artists, what would you want to see more of?
After giving this question a bit of thought, Charisma came back with Zombies! “Explore More!” she says. I mean, why not!! Haha. There are zombies in her daughter’s show (Zombiedumb) that once I googled, would make some interesting characters.
Color should not be an inhibitor, especially for Halloween. You do not have to keep to black & orange. You can add purples and greens. At Christmas, you do not have to limit to the traditional red & green but make it fun by adding something different. That makes me think of Glitterville. Glitterville Studios have collections that incorporate an array of teals, pinks, and pastels. Halloween and Christmas will not be the same once you add in some Glitterville!
How do you envision your current collection growing? Do you think you will keep expanding with the same artists or do you think you will want to see more artists in your collection?
I pretty much knew the answer before I even asked. Charisma will continue to learn and add to her collections. Currently she is studying vintage glassware such as Jadeite and the components that were incorporated to make certain pieces glow in the dark. We will study this further in a future blog because once you start diving into vintage, it can spiral quickly.
She is also now focused in growing her collection of Holt Howard pixiewares. You can follow her on Instagram and see what great pieces she has added (or will continue to add) to her collection.
What other things do you collect (if any) or do for fun (around your collections)?
Another fun thing that Charisma collects is high-end make-up. There are certain pieces such as the Guerlain meteorites that she has collected thru the years. She mentions the craftmanship, quality and even a sweet powdery violet scent incorporated into every box. I am not much of a make-up connoisseur, so I will take her word for it! Just another fun dimension to Charisma’s many fun facets to her collection!