Featured Artist: Derek Gentry

We are thrilled to feature crochet artist Derek Gentry! Derek is a Tucson-based crochet artist whose unique, varied, and adorable plushies and pillows are incredibly soft and crave to be held.

Where are you from?

Local Tucsonan!

What got you started making art?

I started crocheting in summer of 2021, hoping to make a change in my life. I taught myself using YouTube tutorials and reading any pattern I could get my hands on. I relied a lot on dollar store yarn and free pattern websites.

What’s your artistic background? (experience, education, etc.)

As long as I can remember, I’ve been an artist. Even back to elementary school my favorite subject has always been art. In middle school I took ceramics, art class, theatre, and choir! Moving into high school I was president of my choir sophomore year, and found my love for tie dye and everything rainbows!

Who or what are your biggest artists’ influences?

My friend and my chosen families influence my art, they’re who I love and I love to make things that make us laugh!

Where do you get your inspiration for your art?

I get most of my direct inspiration through Instagram, I love to scroll and see the free patterns and everyone’s art and it inspires me to make my art.

Anything else?

SoGayCrochet is a queer owned business with the goal to spread joy and support our community! At our booth you’ll find cats, frogs, and lots of loving friends to take home! Focusing on adorable and affordable plushies, we dedicate 10% of each sale to mutual aid or community care.

What brought you to BICAS?

My first exposure to BICAS was when my husband brought me for the first time, excited to tell me how he volunteered as a teen and share his experiences with me.

How has BICAS affected you?

BICAS reminds me why I started selling my works; to find community. The openness and warmth I feel when I come to BICAS reminds me that our neighbors are our friends too, just ones we haven’t met. BICAS inspired me to offer sliding scale for my plushies because I understand how a few dollars can make or break a budget.

Why did you work with BICAS at Art Mart?

I worked with BICAS for this most recent Art Mart because I know you’re my people! I love the inclusivity and community care y’all provide and wanted to show my continued support for your messages.

Check out their Instagram and Etsy for more of their work! (Preferred purchase method is direct sales through Instagram with free Tucson pickup!)

Find him at:

April 7 — Made in Tucson (with the 6ft tables)
Monthly — Flow for the Soul (at MSA annex, put on in part by In-Rave, Flam Chen, and supporting All Souls)
August 30th to September 1st — Tucson ComicCon