"By definition, a prop is an immersive object - something to inform a viewer of a deeper story. Each new object and set is an exploration of a creative world, just as each new costume is an exploration of a deeper character. My job as a maker is to bring that extra dimension in the story to life."
Prop and costume have been my hobbies since early days, from dressing up for Halloween to playing my first video game and making replica props from cardboard and old broom handles, for myself and friends to play with. I first realized I wanted to do it for a living in 2010, despite having taken on hundreds of costumes and prop projects prior to that point, and the thought of the next big project rarely leaving my mind. Despite my rather obvious obsession with making things, it had never occurred to me to make my hobby into a living until, after a long stint putting up with the horrors of the barcode scanners, working the tills at the front of a supermarket, I decided I really wasn't very good at doing a job I had no passion for.
From there on in, my aim has always been bringing worlds to life, of solving that eternal problem of making a character believable and of renovating the everyday into something compelling and exciting. It's the kind of task that sounds pretty, but inevitably when you've spent half your life covered in paint, thread, sawdust and sculpting clay, you learn that the (sometimes messy) process of bringing something to life is just as fun and rewarding as the final product (thankfully I am a lot less untidy in my work now, and spend a lot less covered in paint!).
Thankfully, I have even more enthusiasm for making than when I started out, and with every commission, production and personal project, I feel more challenged, both to produce better final pieces, and to work with amazing productions and people.
- Danielle Starkey