Nineteen years ago, my mum had the bonkers idea to use strips of plaster bandage to capture the shape of my enormous pregnant belly.
Three years later I had the even more ludicrous idea to turn this into a business called Rockabelly Lifecasts. Even my bonkers mother thought the idea was bonkers, along with the rest of my family, friends and former colleagues at the job I quit to go on this rather ridiculous adventure in lifecasting.
Today I can declare the silliest idea I ever had was the best decision I ever made. This bizarre career choice that I have fashioned largely from trial and error – smearing goo on naked people, babies and animals in the name of art – turned my world upside down in all the best ways imaginable. It led me to the love of my life, André, with whom I run two lifecasting businesses; and won us regional, national and international awards through our shared passion for this daft-as-a-brush nonsense. We’ve been lucky enough to show at some of the most prestigious galleries in Europe and represented our field on TV, radio and in the press countless times.
But none of that compares to the joy that this round-the-bend business has brought to others, which in turn is what keeps us driven and passionate about what we do. What started as an unusual and stupidsounding idea to make art from lady’s tummies to celebrate their pregnancies has turned into a business that records and honours all of the most special and poignant moments of life. From casting the joined hands of couples when they get engaged, or working with ladies pre-mastectomy to capture their breasts in sculptural form, therapeutic casting for eating disorder sufferers, facial portraits of entire families, casting brides’ bottoms as a surprise for the husband-to-be who has everything but sure isn’t expecting wedding buttocks from his true love, or creating the most incredible, lasting keepsakes for families who are losing a loved one to terminal illness – no two days are the same and no work of art is the same. Everything is made by hand, with love and incredible attention to detail. We are in the business of turning people’s dreams into reality. So bring us all your artistic dreams – however bonkers they might sound to others – and we will turn them into lasting, stunning and personal works of art for you and your loved ones.
We want to pass on the baton of encouragement to other KWIB readers – to embrace your weird and wonderful ideas and don’t be afraid to be different. The success of our business is a testament to what can happen when you follow your heart, not the crowd.
CJ Munn – Rockabelly Lifecasts