Hellooooo stitchers and fiber artists! Sooooo this is my very first interview for MrXstitch and I am so excited to introduce Theresa Lawson. Theresa is a FABULOUS fiber artist from Seattle, whose Etsy store, TheMonsterLounge, is full of quirky and beautiful pieces. Theresa was kind enough to let me pick her brain and find out more about her hysterical sense of humor, process, and how Etsy has changed the way she creates.
Tell me about your background in fiber art. Initial inspirations, schooling, ect.
Well, lets see. I suppose my background and the roots of my initial inspirations come from watching my mother and maternal grandmother create something out of nothing. Or at least what appeared to a 5 year old to be nothing. My grandmother would constantly knit and I would be entranced at how she could make such perfect things from a single piece of yarn. My mother on the other hand would and still does fill the house with her cross stitch creations and there would always be a splurge of rainbow thread sitting on the living room coffee table. My schooling and love for stitchery and art has been handed down from both of them.
What are some of your current inspirations?
Well if you read any of my item descriptions, you’ll see that my current inspirations are all pretty mundane. I think the old adage is true that inspiration can come from anywhere. Recently I’ve been inspired running tap water, a cheeky remark from my husband, our landlords terrible taste in paint color and my mother in laws obsession with palm trees.
Can you give some specific examples of how you use your design process to communicate to your clients?
I think once you acknowledge that other people don’t live in episodes of desperate house wives, it’s easy to engage people with your work. Everyone burps and farts and gets cross with their loved ones and has bad taste in one thing or another. So my design process tries to illustrate these commonalities. That’s why I keep my product descriptions very honest. I could say “OH I was inspired by the ethereal beauty of a dandelion and how it mimics the expansive nature of the universe” but the reality is that I probably stood on one to avoid dog poop. That connection to real life is what I find communicates to my clients and to me when I see a piece of art that I love.
What is it about creating things for others that differs from making things for yourself?
Nothing really. I guess I try to make things a little more exact for others but art is so subjective it would be difficult to create something for another person without loving it myself. You do have to devote a lot of time to it but if it’s something you enjoy doing then it’s a walk in the park!
How has Etsy changed the way you communicate other artists and clients?
In a couple of important ways. Etsy has made it possible to present my love of art and embroidery honestly to a large amount of people at one time. It has made it easier to connect with people who are inspired by similar things as me and to have sneak peaks into their lives through my needlework. Secondly, it has opened up a whole world of art to me that I just wouldn’t have had access to before. Through Etsy, you can make a personal connection to your artist which makes the piece you buy so much more important and meaningful to you.
Cassie Ott is an artist/designer out of North Carolina who just graduated from NCSU Design with a concentration in fibers. Teaching art classes on nights and weekends, Cassie spends her days drawing, stitching, painting, and researching upcoming textile artists. She sells some of her pieces on Etsy, and is working towards making that avenue her full-time job. What a life, right? In addition to contributing to Mr. X Stitch blog she is thinking of looking for more of a “grownup” position that doesn’t involve drinking wine and painting customers work for them…but hopefully it won’t come down to that…
Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery is the founder of the Mr X Stitch site, the world's longest running embroidery blog, the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is also the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017.