Instagram: @hopebroidery Twitter: @shutuphopey Etsy: www.etsy.com/hopebroidery
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I was born in Fairhope, Alabama, but grew up all around Baldwin County. I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 2009 for graduate school and decided not to leave the town when I left the program.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I try to make things that would look great on my wall, or my friends' walls. I've been told my aesthetic is "hard to copy" because "it's so messy and all over the place," but, like, in a *nice* way.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I work exclusively with a needle and thread. Embroidery became my favorite medium when I realized that messing things up on accident almost always makes the final product look better with embroidery, not worse. I love the flexibility embroidery provides, and finding my style within this medium is an ongoing process that I enjoy.
4. What is your artistic process like?Usually, I doodle during my lunch break at work and come home to line out a more complete pattern that I can then transfer to the fabric and embroider over. Most of my favorite pieces haven't been patterned, though - they were just me goofing around with a new stitch or set of colors that grabbed my attention at the store.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?My friends and I are mostly liberal, so a lot of my work can get political. That's appropriate, I think, given the inextricable link between the history of embroidery and the history of feminism. Another theme that runs through my work is pride - pride in people (personal identity and the identity of my friends), places (hometown heroes and landmarks), and things (pop culture and fandoms). I'm also a fan of making things for the sake of having a pretty finished product that reminds me of something beautiful, like a beach, sunset, or plant.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?Art and social media go hand-in-hand for me. Embroidery has helped me to connect with so many other creative people, and I'm not sure if I would be as interested in it as a craft if I didn't have the means to share it with other people.
7. Where did you study?I have a master's in applied psychology from one university and left a PhD program at another. Very little art, obviously. I always felt left out of the art crowd. I taught myself embroidery because I was in desperate need of a hobby, and making furniture wasn't really working for me.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I'm really hoping that in five years I've managed to clean up my living space, because I'm so much more productive when my surroundings aren't a mess, but five years might be too ambitious (I tend to live in fantasy land). I would also have a glass of wine in my hand.
9. What about in ten?My ten-year-fantasy is this: I've written a semi-autobiographical book under a pseudonym, with which I've made at least enough money to pay off all my debts, so I can live comfortably in the middle class. I can even pay somebody to clean my house for me every once in a while so I can spend more time stitching. And, I have a glass of wine in my hand.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I'd like to keep challenging myself to try new styles, eventually helping others learn how to stitch through patterns, kits, workshops, and videos. My most immediate goal, though, is to buy a moped with art-related money. That would make me feel pretty legitimate.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Impossible question to answer. I'm not a picky eater, I just love to eat.
12. Favourite book?Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
13. Favourite genre of music?I'm everybody's loser friend who gets bored at live shows and has generally terrible taste in music.
14. What are your hobbies?Does television count as a hobby? Because, as of August 1, 2017, I've watched 54 seasons of television this year alone.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I'm not a full time artist, I'm a side hustler. But if I didn't have embroidery, I'd probably still be collecting power tools and attempting to build furniture. I was a little too clumsy and bad at math for that side hobby, though.