My Journey into Fiber Artistry
One of the most interesting aspects of finding yourself in a career of artistry is learning of the background and stories of other artists around you. It’s common and easy to assume the image of an artist as something that has always been present. And to some extent, that is true. Perhaps not as a career, but as something that is inherent to the individual. Time and again, I come across incredible artisans who bring with them backgrounds in a variety of fields, education, personal experiences or mediums. Everyone seems to start from somewhere unique, having traveled a long and windy road to get to the point of dedication and success. And success can unfold in different forms. From financial to spiritual, each person has a different measure of personal success. You might be asking yourself where do I fit in and where does Needle and Knot make it’s mark on my journey? Well…let’s find out..
Back in the Winter of 2014, I found myself admiring woven wall hangings on social media. I have always been interested in creative arts, styling and fashion design and, in fact, had attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan years before I transferred my education to a business degree. Most recently, I had been a former Corporate Finance executive for a digital marketing agency in Boston but the last few years I had remained focused on raising my young daughter full time.
After flipping through images of weavings and feeling an innate attraction to the texture, complexity and movement of such an art form, I purchased my first weaving kit and was immediately immersed in the medium. I began posting images of my finished products online and received a generous amount of feedback as well as questions regarding salability. That's when it became apparent to me that I was creating art that was appealing to others, so much so that they were willing to allocate their hard earned income towards my work. Wow! What an “aha” moment. So, I listened and I acted. A few months later I had officially opened for business - and business was GOOD.
During my first year of operations, my work had been featured across several
different digital partners, geographies and platforms. From editorial shoots to
print publications and international stockist relationships, my artwork had
garnered a tremendous amount of attention and praise for just a small, amateur
operation. My work was featured in magazines in Ireland and Canada, sold in
shops in Australia and Japan and featured across a variety of popular global
blogs and artistically focused, community based organizations. It was challenging to keep up with the amount of commission requests, collaboration opportunities and behind the scenes operational needs but the momentum kept my creative energies powered up and ready to deliver.
I began experimenting with fibers and also discovered a love for the ancient art form of macramé. Knotting was therapeutic and methodical, requiring a good amount of planning, patience and rhythm to transform a pile of cotton rope into a beautifully intricate form of wall art. And while I connected
deeply with the process, I missed the depth and interest that weaving could provide. Color composition, the use of a variety of fibers and textiles and a seemingly endless array of techniques - weaving was what nurtured me. Eventually, combining weaving and macramé into a “macraweave” was yet another experimental art form that I was willing to explore. My creative business was a huge source of satisfaction for me, however, the amount of time and energy involved in managing my business was beginning to affect our lifestyle and overall balance as a family. I eventually took time off from actively managing and marketing my business, answering only to commissions and collaborations from individuals who found me through various social media platforms.
After nearly two years on soft hiatus, I found myself feeling comfortable with the time and place to continue pursuing my artistic passion. In July of 2018, I began the process of reintegrating into the world of artistry. And it was as if the universe had been ready and waiting for me to turn my attention back towards weaving. Within 2 months, I experienced more success than I had when I first launched Needle and Knot. I’m again accepting large scale commissions but now am also working several pop up events and exhibitions, have welcomed a fiber art intern from the esteemed Massachusetts College of Art Design and have found my creative home in shared studio space in Harvard Square. As if these new relationships and opportunities were not enough, I’m also entertaining teaching and workshop possibilities set to take place by the end of the year. Whew! And I’ve been back in business for only a few months. It’s amazing to think of where this creative journey will take both me and my fans during the next year and beyond. I hope you will continue to ride along with me!