This weeks featured member is Little Sasquatch!
Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop.
My name is Joanna, I'm 23 and I work full-time in the Houses of Parliament (UK). I only started my shop, Little Sasquatch, about 1 year ago. Before then I didn't have the confidence that anyone would buy my work because I thought it wasn't good enough. After a long spell of job-hunting and too much time on my hands, I had a good look around Etsy and realised that there are plenty of embroiderers selling their works, and I'm just as good as most of them! What's more I can offer my own style, outlook and personality, which is what makes my shop unique. I've also got some of my embroideries in a local art shop and have exhibited them at a small cultural event - it's amazing to see your work on display and get feedback from people who don't know you and aren't stitchers themselves.
What or Who inspires you?
In terms of "who" I would say other stitchers, to name a few: Beefranck, Mr X Stitch, Bascom Hogue, William Schaff, and Penny Nickels. They all have an artistic vision and a sense of humour, bridging the gap between art and craft but without taking it all too seriously! As for "what" I tend to draw inspiration from culture - many of my embroideries feature song lyrics, or portray a film star or director. I also love literature and one of my most popular items is an illustration by Kurt Vonnegut - I wish I had the talent to draw something so iconic myself.
When you're not doing things for your shop can we find you around the internet?
I tend to post everything I stitch on Flickr (username savvymojo) as well, and to my tumblr (brilliantcorner.tumblr.com) where I also reblog/post embroideries that I admire from others. I have been a bit lazy about posting to Craftster lately but I keep meaning to correct that - I just have so much to post that it's become a daunting prospect!
What's your favorite stitch or what do you like most about needlework?
When I first started stitching I thought it was important to learn every stitch, and I still like the idea of learning and incorporating more stitches into my work. However, as I've developed my own style and design I find that back stitch dominates my embroideries. It's the only stitch that gives the precision I need for my designs. I try to incorporate a few others when I can, for instance my true favourite is probably split stitch, and I like to use it to create texture when it fits into my design, like the jumper in my portrait of Jean-Luc Godard. That's probably what I like most about needlework as well - finding a new way to enhance a design so that it's not just a simple line drawing. Recently I've experimented more and more with using tiny detailed stitches and stark cross hatching to create dimension in my work. I can depict things with embroidery that I could only dream of creating with pencil and paper, and I surprise myself with the quality of what I produce.
Where do you like to stitch (do you have a cozy spot, a favorite chair, a totally tricked out studio?)
Sadly I am almost always sitting in a faux-leather office chair at a desk in my bedroom, watching TV shows or films on my computer as I stitch. I also enjoy stitching on the train or on a London Underground tube journey and keeping an eye out for fellow passengers who might show an interest, but so far no one has commented, and in fact once or twice they seemed to look annoyed by me!
How did you learn to stitch?
I began to learn hand embroidery about 4 years ago after discovering it through Craftster. At first I just completed a few Jenny Hart designs using her Stitch-It Kit, but quickly decided that I wanted to create my own designs instead. I mastered some of the more difficult stitches using the video tutorials by Mary Corbet atneedlenthread.com, and they were incredibly helpful for building on my basics. With the support from the community at Craftster I built up my confidence and mastered the essential techniques.
Do you have any questions you are looking for answers to that you would like to send out to the needlework community?
I would like to know: Do you think of your needlework as art or craft, and how do you bridge the gap?
(And just for fun) If you were a pizza topping, what pizza topping would you be?
I think I would be red onion - I can be colourful, sharp and sweet.