For our first ever Suitcase Rummage Staff Feature, we introduce to you, Jimmy Eng from Brisbane! Jimmy has been with the Rummage Team from the very beginning, selling his own handmade treasures when we first set up in King George Square. 7 years later and you’ll still find him unloading the Rummage table and other miscellaneous things for set up, and laughing the whole time. He has a great laugh.
Can you tell us a little bit about your sweet self? Hi folks, I’m Jimmy. I’ve been a part of the Brisbane Suitcase Rummages since its inception, as a stall holder first and then as a market co-ordinator. I occasionally still do a stall and depending on my motivation for the week. I bring either vintage bric-a-brac, books and DVDs (my three Rummage weaknesses!), or handmade goods. My background is in Visual Arts and Fashion Design and at the moment my work is hand stitched leather craft based. I also teach sewing and craft workshops at the State Library. My favourite thing I’ve made to sell at the Suitcase Rummage over the years were hand painted re-purposed dolls with hand stitched outfits (sold from a hand made suitcase made from a cardboard box!).
What do you like to do to keep your toes tapping and the neurons in your brain firing? i.e. What do you do in your spare time? My absolute loves are dance, books, cooking and movies. I’ve learned many street dance styles over the years (my favourite styles are: Dancehall, Vogueing and House) but at the moment I’m totally wild about Ballet. I love photography and Art books and practical ones where I learn something resourceful. I’m not the biggest fiction reader (I’d rather watch the movie!).
Is your creative process rigid, fluid, sporadic? And how do you stay in the groove?Inspiration comes and goes for me so my creative process is as fluid as I feel but I’ve steadily yet slowly learned to push myself beyond the initial motivation and see projects through (my To-Do/promised a mate list is getting shorter). When I see a task to the finish line the feeling is almost overwhelming as even the simplest projects take years for me to complete! There are many crafts I’ve picked up and have never used practically or to its potential which is both a positive and negative consequence of my constant need to understand how things are made. It’s not because I’m bored of what I learn, it’s that there’s so much that I can learn and I don’t want to be anchored to one thing. But an idea needs to be nurtured and made into your hands for it to not be wasted. And, to keep motivated and be unique you need to be open to inspiration from any given experience while constantly be producing an outcome.
What are your hopes, dreams and fantasies? I hope I don’t lose my memory, my dream is to be a house husband that paints and raises a child during the day and my fantasy is to be able to sing good enough to at least do pub Karaoke that people will clap! Seriously, I will take a pity clap.
What’s the best or the worst advice you’ve ever received? The best advice is discovered when you’ve asked for help (which is very important to do) because having different solutions to move towards that are not your own directions can give a sense of momentum and structure. It’s hard to hear advice when it’s not asked for as it can be depreciating to your self worth. I don’t remember a specific piece of advice someone has shared with me but I’ve had many people highlight my talents which has led me to work beyond the scope of what I thought I could do, so having a diverse and aware group of peers around you helps immensely. To introverts and people who prefer to be on their own like myself, it matters. And if you don’t have that around you go look for it because it’s hard to constantly do everything on your own and you don’t have all the answers.
Where can we find your work? You can find my work on Instagram or Facebook as Sada Sata.
Who would you have over for your ideal dinner party and what would you serve up? I go a little nuts for country womens cookbooks, there’s something that I love about making everything from scratch. I’d probably make kidney stew with roast veges and a bush fruit cake for Edith Piaf but everyone else is invited too. The more the merrier!
What do you like about working for Suitcase Rummage? I love the people who sell at the Rummage and the people who come to the event. Social gatherings are so integral to our well being and our desire to be a part of a group and I love how I see the many ways we all participate and contribute to that dynamic.
What tips can you share about being aware of your impacts on the world? (Ethical fashion, sustainable living, recycling, composting, etc.) I’d like to see many people go beyond buying and be curious to how things are made or grown and to try it out to actualise the value of the end result and just as importantly where products go at the end of their use. The disconnect from production and how we are marketed to (and we like being marketed to) is a major influence on how we consume. See products for what they are, not the romantic story on how you must need it in your life, it makes for a more meaningful engagement. I’m aware but don’t think too much about bigger impacts, it’s too overwhelming, and personal changes are more tangible in result for me and I feel it can radiate to wider action and definitely at least kerb environmental impact and improve social awareness. If you have the resources and time to enact large social and environmental improvement that is awesome. Because of the Suitcase Rummage, within the last five or so years I have only bought one pair of shoes and about 10 new garments, and most of those would be underwear! I’d say about 85% of what I have bought comes from the Rummage and the rest are from local handmade stores or op shops. The easiest way to consume smarter is to replace items you have with products that have a lower impact to the environment and improve the livelihood for the makers. It makes no dent in your way of life but it will make you actively participate and each consideration will extend to other parts of your life.
Which artists/thinkers/creatives are you obsessed with at the moment? I am really hooked on Instagram right now so visual stimulation is in my line of sight. I love sign writer @AlexMayHughes, Cartoonists @davidtherobot and @4amshower, Dancers @Stevenmcrae_ and @wond3rwoman1, Bjork collaborator and master embroiderer @james.t.merry and countless meme pages!
What are your favourite things to do in your city? If you’ve never taken the CityCat from one end to the other as the sun sets, do it. It’s the most touristy, cheesiest thing to do and it’s amazing.