We’re thrilled to introduce you to another talented maker this month with another Meet the Maker – Ukraine-based artist and crafter Lena! Lena is a true multi-crafter working with embroidery, paper-making and lino printing. What a delicious combination!
We loved hearing how these processes overlap and inspire one another, and where Lena draws her inspiration from.
Read on to learn more about Lena’s process, inspiration and some top tips…
How did you first get into papercraft, linocut and embroidery?
I can remember my very first embroidery that was made when I was around 9 or 10 years old. It was a cross-stitch with a small fawn with flowers and at that time I used some pattern from an old magazine. I had been drawing, crafting, looking for new techniques and arts all my childhood.
There is no kind of creative activity that I haven’t tried in my life. It feels like a flow that helps me to express new emotions, feelings or experiences. I would say that art helps me to maintain my physical and especially mental health.
Embroidery is a very meditative and calm process - I started to work on this technique to make my illustrations more tangible and then discovered that I can literally do it for hours almost without any rest.
Linocut was another tool to print my drawings and illustrations. I’m mesmerised by the possibilities and beauty of hand printing techniques and I found linocut one of the most accessible activities to do at home (as I have a small home studio).
And last but not least, is paper recycling and it became an answer to my question about how to reduce paper waste during the printing process. I was going to make paper just to test freshly made linocut plates but then discovered how cute and beautiful recycled paper can be. So it has become an important part of my creative process too and it even transformed into making paper from mushrooms...
Can you tell us how your first project went?
I could say that my first project was a result of months of learning, thinking and imagining it. At first, I didn’t have any supplies for embroidery and I was travelling in rural areas of several countries at that time and it wasn’t easy just to buy all the stuff I needed.
So it was an idea and a strong intention to implement it. That’s why I started looking for every piece of information about modern embroidery and then combined this knowledge with some needle and thread experience from my childhood
I still have this project with me and it’s kind of a reminder to me that with learning and patience in art and crafting you can achieve anything you really want to.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think that right now it comes from simple events of everyday life, from plants, from nature and vintage books and porcelain.
All these components somehow mix and create a constant flow of inspiration for me. I love looking for some simple but new experiences - for example, this summer I created a small garden from scratch and it was all new for me so there will be a lot of things to remember and to recreate into art during the winter days.
What do you love most about the process?
Probably the feeling of a flow when time stops, all the worries disappear and all that exists right now is your mind, hands and the process of creating something completely new... something that even hadn’t existed before you started.
What would be your best advice for those starting out?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or to do something ‘in a wrong way’ - it’s not only about creating and having a new experience, but also a great way to rethink and change some more ’traditional’ techniques.
I think that art is the safest territory to make mistakes and enjoy the consequences. There are no rules in art so express yourself and to enjoy the smallest achievements and results.
What’s next for you, any upcoming projects you’re working on?
In recent months I have been completely into eco-printing and natural dyeing and I would say that it’s like getting into a new dimension.
Now I see embroidery, linocut and paper recycling from a different angle and I adore this. It looks like I’ll never be bored when seeking creative adventures! And I cordially invite everybody to join in this creative wanderlust...
Thanks so much to Lena for sharing her inspiring and creative journey with us into all sorts of crafting!