Modern FreeForm Crochet Artist Interview
Not a long time ago I created Etsy Treasuries where I features many artists creating different items in FreeForm Crochet. If you are interesting you may check my full Etsy treasury here.
I love to show talented handmade shop owner and conduct an interview with my favorite artists.
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So without further ado let me introduce to you Modern FreeForm Crochet Artist Anne :
Anne How old are you?
51 and SUPER proud to turn ‘older’ each year. It’s such a privilege, not a right – I’m obsessed with my birthday numbers, which are 513 (May 13th), and when I see the sequence of numbers as I’m out and about – I just know that everything is right in my world. It’s a sign that I’m in the right place at the right time and feel totally at one with the universe.
Where do you live?
Trent Island, which is located in Campbellford, Ontario. Living in a Tannery that is 100 years old, with stone walls, and on the edge of a river. It’s a 2,000 sq ft open space that is beautifully raw and rustic, great space to create.
How did you get started with FreeForm crochet?
I didn’t wake up one day and decide to do what I do. It just sort of evolved.
My mother is from England and watched Gypsies outside her window in their beautiful clothing and gorgeous caravans while she was getting ready for bed as a child.
When I was born, she was always working on something, and one of my first memories is sitting beside her as she banged away on a piano (she was also a classical pianist) and I’d wind up balls of wool and untangle her massive wool basket for her.
To this day, I still love doing it. I find it very relaxing. I have all my wool & yarn in see through drawers all colour blocked. It makes me happy just looking at them, and usually I’m inspired to make something just by seeing a certain colour combination while I’m working on another project. I’m a great multi-tasker of projects.
What is your favourite piece of work, and why?
I’d say. “The Red Dress” It was for a Gala event , Heart & Stroke Fund.
I had been asked to design it rather than choosing for myself, but it was quite the challenge.
My least favourite colour in the whole world is the colour red. And, the Gala was the day before the anniversary of my father’s death.
So, for two reasons this was an extremely hard project for me. And I accepted the challenge.
I have to say that working on this project for me was like winning a marathon.. and doing a photo shoot at the end.. was one of the brightest most beautiful highlights of my life. Facing that fear – staring it right in the face and taking it on – and the outcome?? Creating something beautiful for a great cause. My father passed away after enduring his one and only heart attack.
Tell me what you are currently working on:
I’m a great multi tasker.. at the same time, I’m working on a tunic top/dresses, massively long and very chunky scarves.. fingerless gloves, and owl hats for fun. Getting ready for the rush of Christmas shoppers. I’m always one step ahead.
And, trying to finish projects to get ready for a few photo shoots. That I will style, shoot and edit.
What are your hopes or plans for the future of your business?
I think what any designer aspires to be is getting ready for fashion week.
Designing a collection, choosing the models and bearing your soul to the world.
However, with that, there needs to be a crazy amount of cash and the reason I do what I do is to eliminate the need for it, cash that is.
I am the queen of recycling, and love to remake something dull, into a beautiful work of art.
I feel that if we just do ‘one piece’ – the world will end up a very different place, more conscionable. A world of ‘less’ stuff, because we will make better choices, to buy those quality items that will stay with us, and then get passed down to the next generation.
Do you have any other skills or hobbies that link into your craft?
I also keep this mindset with furniture.Usually choosing the ugliest pieces that can’t be saved. Those usually are my prize possessions but, I sell them, and let them go anyway!
Could you give aspiring artists reading this any words of wisdom or advice?
Just do something and I mean anything.
Hobbies do become careers if we keep working at them, even if other’s don’t necessarily ‘see’ what you do. I find that children know what they want to be when they are very young, they are already ‘playing’ that role.
I also find that the happiest people on earth are the people with hobbies.
The people who get ‘into’ themselves, and make themselves happy is contagious.
And, by doing so, you encourage others to find something that they love to do. So, again, just do ‘something’ just do anything.
It’s very rewarding seeing a finished product; it doesn’t matter what it is.. ‘you’ made that!
If you like to start a new hobbies check out my favorite FreeForm Crochet books:
Do you have any favorite artists or crafters that you admire?
My favourite artists that have inspired me are Vivienne Westwood, Betsey Johnson and Alexander McQueen (God rest his soul). I love these three designers because they do think outside the box. They don’t care if anyone ‘likes’ what they do. They are trendsetters, not followers.
And, crafters yes, I can’t give you names, I just scan around, to find something that inspires me. Then, I don’t copy things but will do my take on something that I’ve seen.
I love ALL Artists and Crafters.. because they are doing something… anything. This is what I admire, their drive. It’s like that Nike ad -> Just DO it!
Where do you draw your inspiration?
This question makes me chuckle. It’s almost embarrassing to answer because all artists would stay AWAY from the place I get a lot of my inspiration.
TV – yes, meaning the television.
As I work on my creations and finish them.
Television is my friend. I download shows that I find fascinating and I think it takes my mind off the mundane part of hand sewing or crocheting. I don’t watch my hands crochet anymore it is like breathing to me. So, I don’t sit and stare at a wall, or floor.. I stare at a program.
When I’m watching something, I’m usually inspired in some way.
What I see is a little different than what is there. I see things in layers which I jot down, for the future use, and scribble where I saw it so that I can reference something in my brain to help me create.
I then, see the perfect colours in fabrics or yarns, which inspire a new creation to be born.
I find it interesting when I see designers, draw out their new design first. I’ve had many situations where I’ve created what I’ve drawn, then found the arms to be not right, the sizes of things to just not work, etc. So, I create a sample first, which is the opposite of most designers.
Tell me something about yourself that other people don’t know:
I’m claustrophobic. And, I can’t create in chaos. Which is very different from who I used to be years ago. I was like this major saver of ‘stuff’ that I could use one day. I guess my daughter would clear this up for me, and call me a hoarder. Ha ha
So, I’ve downsized and kept only the crème de la crème of things that I can’t just go out and buy because they don’t exist anymore.
These days, I have my design area, which is all colour blocked and I need to make sure everything is in its place so that I can have a clean palate in my brain. Or a clean slate, I guess for me to create. I find that while I’m tidying up, I will pull fabrics and colours out, that will become my next creation. I don’t go to my room and know what I’m going to create. I just get this ‘gut instinct’ to get IN there and then just happens by chance, even I’m surprised when it’s finished.
Do you sell your creations online?
Yes, I sell a few different ways, lots of orders. I have my Etsy shop, which I sell overseas and to another country. But, really it’s Facebook. It’s the first place I upload a photo shoot I’ve just done and believe it or not, this is my main source of my creative income.
I’ve done well at shows, but I find it very draining and zaps my energy. What I’m good at, is the creating the rest just takes care of itself.
Have you published any books or information that we might like to read?
I’ve been lucky enough to be published in many articles and magazines, but no, no books. I do have my website that has a lot of my publicity. However, that is the old me. I’m ever evolving.
I think my work speaks for itself. It’s visual; it is what it is, there’s nothing else to be said about it than to touch it feel it, use it. Love it.
Where else our readers can find you?
I don’t usually have time or a team that can constantly upload images for me. I just try to keep it simple and post when I have a spare moment. I usually cram the sites when I can then leave it for long periods of time because my #1 goal is to design.. if I can’t take the time to design, there is nothing to post. And, you definitely can’t create when you have all this pressure to present something on some social media platform.. so, I tuck it all away, until I have the time.
My goals are to create, finish, then photograph. Then I can sell it. I won’t sell anything that hasn’t been in a photo shoot.
Your comments are welcome and in case you have taking a classes with Julia and like to share your creation please let us know. We will be more than happy to post your creation our our website.
If you like to write about your favorite artist or crafter or you like to Be Featured on our site, please complete our Be Featured form and will get back to you within few days of your submission.