Over the past 4 weeks, I’ve shared over 30 of my favorite Instagram feeds from some of my must-follow creatives. Through embroidery artists, illustrators, and sketchbook keepers, it’s so easy to be inspired by simply turning on your phone.
In one of the final stops of our tour, I’ve selected 10 of the best paper artists on Instagram. They each have their own way of working and turning the 2D material into spectacular 3D sculptures.
I don’t have a car, so riding the local bike share is one of the ways I get around. But, I can guarantee that my rides are not nearly as whimsical as the bicycle embroidery by Walker Boyes of TrueFort. Called the Velo Series, it features hand-stitched bikes that are decorated with colorful blooms. They represent a fantasy, like something out of a movie—carefree weekend excursions to the farmer’s market that overflow with a bounty of fresh flowers.
I know it’s so cliche, but time really has been flying with the 1 Year of Stitches project. Month two is now a wrap! (Wondering what I’m talking about? Read more here.) As I look in the Facebook group and on the Instagram hashtag, I’m blown away by all of the amazing embroidery that’s in the works. Some folks have taken a figurative approach to their hoop and embroidered small scenes, while others create abstract compositions with thread.
Inspired by flora, fauna, and Victorian shadow puppets, Kate Appleby creates delightful hoop art that combines a variety of stitching techniques. From the basic backstitch to French knots, she illustrates birds with fowl mouths (pun intended) and hands with sprawling leaf tattoos. The embroidery airs towards the side of minimalism, but Kate has an excellent sense of composition and balance that’s informed by her back ground in graphic design.
Hello Tangle is a collaboration between two sisters named Bibi and Veronica from Melbourne, Australia. Together, they create colorful, texture-filled weavings. But lately, they’ve ventured into Hello Trinkets —beaded creations that you can hang in various places.
Yoshiko Kozawa of Studio Giverny creates lovable animal planters that’ll be your (flower) buds’ best bud. Whales, giraffes, and alpaca all carry the weight of these plants on their back. But don’t worry—they’re happy to do it—and in turn, brighten your home.
Yoshiko first crafts her pieces from porcelain and then coats them in a shino glaze combination. Some, like the alpaca, include a fun pompom tail and tassel earrings. See her entire selection on Etsy. (h/t: So Super Awesome)
Embroiders, have you ever tried incorporating other objects into your hoop art? Ezgi Pamir does this to a great effect; she uses fabric, buttons, and branches that add an unexpected sculptural element to her work. Her pieces are portraits—of stylish folks—and there’s always a special accent to them. The women wear scarves that seemingly whip in the wind, giant hats that flop in the breeze, and stiff collars to provide some comfort from the rain.
With this emphasis on fashion, is it any surprise that Ezgi is a costume designer? Because she is!
If you step inside of my apartment, you’ll immediately see that it’s a house ruled by cats. There are scratching posts for them to lounge on and toys in nearly every room. I’ve also splurged on a fancy food dish that’s set against some empty wall space…until now. To take my cat-lady status up a notch, I created a hanging banner that immortalizes Pauline, my calico that’s the emboidment of the Sour Patch Kids candy.
Like my cut paper self portrait, I made a video that offers a behind-the-scenes look at how 2D Pauline came to life. Nearly everything was done using felt—a first for me, but something I’m definitely going to repeat. It was fun!
Here’s the tools I used:
I started cut the shape of the banner first and then sewed the casing for the dow rod. Then, I dove into my felt portrait using a sketch as a guide. Although it’s not shown on the video, I cut out shapes from my initial drawing and used them as a pattern, tracing around them with the ink pen onto the felt.
If you have any questions about this project, let me know! I’m happy to answer them. And, if you want one of these for yourself (or as a gift), I’m currently taking commissions. In fact, I’m working on one right now!
Stitchy Friday is a project that’s sure to warm your heart. It’s an endeavor between an embroiderer mother and her illustrator daughter, Marijke Buurlage; Marijke creates the colorful, stylized images and then her mother translates the flattened shapes into stitched form. Their Instagram, @stitchyfriday, is updated at the end of each week with their progress and finished pieces.
As wonderful as Marijke’s illustrations are, her mother’s handiwork is also admirable. I love the lush texture and the mixing of threads—they add dimension and bring 2D to life. After seeing this sweet collaboration, it makes me want to plan a creative project with my own mom! Don’t you?