Arts & Scraps Artist Spotlight: Cheryl Marie Freeman

Costume maker and set designer, Cheryl Marie Freeman was in the process of looking through a giant tub of paints when she met up with us to chat at Arts and Scraps. She explained that the leftover paints would be used to create the appearance of stained glass for a Beauty and the Beast performance at Lutheran High North. However, she wasn’t just looking at a few colors, she was planning on buying the whole bin.

Beauty and the Beast tickets are $10, all ages on Nov. 1-2, and 8-9 at Lutheran North on 24 Mile in Macomb. Curtain is at 7pm.

As a costumer for movies, plays, music videos, and more, Cheryl Marie is always on the lookout for low-cost and sustainable materials, and she’s often finding them at Arts and Scraps to create costumes for movies and plays, as well as sets. And she’s often buying a lot of recycled materials from our community store to create her costumes.

Cheryl Marie began work as a costumer about 15 years ago when her daughter began performing in plays at school. Wanting to be a part of the process, she began using her sewing skills to create costumes for theater productions. Now, Cheryl Marie works as the Unit Production Manager at Lutheran High School. She’s planning to retire in the near future, but doesn’t anticipate that she’ll slow down much in the costuming world.

Cheryl Marie has been sewing since before she was 10 years old. She’s sure that the first thing she sewed would have been a Halloween costume. Eventually, her first commissioned costume would be a black satin bat costume for a college roommate at 21. As a child, the time it came to Home Ec class in school, Cheryl Marie would out-sew her classmates and churn through project after project, constantly asking the teacher for new things to sew. At 11 she would go on to work for a business that created doll clothes. She’d sew the doll clothes themselves, help to organize the craft area, create doll accessories, and more.

Now, with an extensive experience in microbudgeting, Cheryl Marie is continually revamping and repurposing materials that were used before and donated to Arts & Scraps. This allows her to take on a plethora of projects and remain sustainable and budget-friendly all at once. When shopping at Arts and Scraps, Cheryl Marie says she’s inspired by anything she comes across. She says she finds unique materials all the time, but specifically remembers a unique coil grapevine material with thorns used when costuming for Into the Woods.

Cheryl Marie’s creativity isn’t limited to plays and movies—she’s known to also complete projects for Vacation Bible School, create gifts for friends and family, help with Halloween costumes, and more. Of course, she’s worked on a number of horror movies that have required costuming for cowboys and western garb, 50’s vintage clothing, horror movies, zombie films, and much more. Notable actors she’s worked with have included David Carradine (in Dark Fields, the last movie filmed before his death) and Mimesis, an homage to The Night of the Living Dead, which required her to match costumes to the original movie. The most recent movie she worked on Love Immortal, a multi-generational vampire movie.

Perhaps her most unique project has included costuming for the Insane Clown Posse, with whom she has worked on costuming for music videos, album cover art, events, and concerts since 2010.

Insane Clown Posse - Costuming by Cheryl Marie Freeman

Cheryl Marie looks forward to many new upcoming projects and using Arts & Scraps as a resource for the unique materials that contribute to her art. She wasn’t always a horror film or ICP fan, but now she is. She’s up for anything.

By: Leslie Sullivan

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