Jennifer has done a series of incredible portraits that we've showed you before, my favorite are her scenes from Twin Peaks, one of the creepiest, awesomest shows ever. Well, believe it or not, she is doing a giveaway of a custom portrait on her blog! It would be amazing to see one of her embroideries in person, let alone own it!
I asked her a few questions about her and her work, and she was kind enough to answer:
How long have you been embroidering? What inspired you to start?
I started doing cross-stitch about 10 years ago in order to make some ironic pieces for both myself and friends. As I continued to make them, I was no longer satisfied with altering patterns and began to make my own. As anyone who has created cross-stitch patterns can tell you, they are not easy to do. I am always eager to finish the planning stage and get on to the making stage!
Even though I have always been intrigued by the complexity and beauty of embroidery pieces, initially, embroidery seemed too intimidating to me and I put off learning it for a long time. Finally, about 6 years ago I bought a 'teach your self embroidery' book at a craft store. After I figured out a few stitches and realized that I could just draw a sketch on a piece of fabric and get going on it, it was on. It became my medium of choice because I could quickly get started on the visions in my head and the fell in love with richness of the finished pieces.
How long does it take you to finish an average piece?
My portraits tend to take 3 weeks to a month. On the other hand I have some stumpwork pieces that I have been working on for 9 months.
Is there anything special you do to get inspired (listen to music, watch TV, etc?)
Much of my inspiration come from books. I have a plethora of vintage embroidery books with beautiful photos of medieval tapestries and the like. Those pictures always inspire me. However, working on pieces is the thing that inspires me most.
I find that while I am stitching a piece, the ideas I have tend to change and expand and I come up with better work. It's great because it makes working even more enjoyable, but, unfortunately, it also means I have a lot of excited, manic, inspired, moments that result in partially completed and then forsaken work so that I can move on to the inspired idea that I think is better.
Also, I take the pieces that I am working on everywhere, (work, coffee shops, bars, the bus) thus being in a creative mindset and doing something that is unusual in public encourages people to ask questions about my work, which then leads to a lot of interesting conversations and ideas. Additionally, reading about interesting people and interesting situations often inspires me to do their portrait.
Thanks Jennifer! Do you want a custom embroidered portrait? Well, be sure to head over to her blog and leave a comment before July 15th!