Craft With Conscience
A weekly series of featured artist interviews discussing inspirations, design process, and being creative in the internet-age.
The Crafter's Box
The Crafter’s Box delivers hands-on workshops in collaboration with experienced artists to makers all over the world. The Crafter's Box pairs monthly online workshops with a thoughtfully sourced box of tools & materials shipped to makers so they can learn more about and dive right into crafting techniques such as block printing, embroidery, weaving, leather working and ceramics.
Bodil Jane is an illustrator from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She graduated with honors from Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, specializing in illustration (2014). Bodil Jane loves to illustrate food, recipes, animals, fashion, interiors, plants, packaging and maps. All of her illustrations include hand made elements and digital techniques. Bodil Jane's clients include Wrap Magazine, Red Cap Cards, Unicef, Chronicle Books, and Marks & Spencer, among many others. She is represented by the London based illustration agency Folio Art.
Brannon Addison an artist that specializes in hand embroidery. While pursuing a career in education and nonprofit communications, she turned to drawing and painting as a creative outlet, which resulted in the launch of a stationery line in 2011. Following an ankle injury in 2014, she taught herself how to embroider and fell in love with needlework. Brannon releases monthly collections of her framed embroidery and has extended her work into pillows, pins, and clothing as well.
My inspiration for the Craft with conscience series:
'Craft With Conscience' began in early 2016 as a weekly Instagram series dedicated to sharing the work of other creatives and as a platform to openly discuss certain aspects of ethical art-making and consuming in the age of the internet and social media.
This series arose out of my own frustrations related to seeing my work constantly copied stitch-for-stitch, sold without permission, and credited to other people. Rather than wallowing in unproductive negative emotions, I wanted to find a way to bring this common issue to light in a positive way. My solution was to share the work of artists, crafters, designers, and makers who I greatly admire for their originality and dedication. Initially, I shared work similar in materials or subject matter to my own, having heard the argument, "There are only so many ways to stitch plants, I'm not copying you..." one too many times. The truth is, no matter what the medium or subject, every artist from hobby crafter to professional painter has their own perspective and voice. It takes effort to develop one's visual vocabulary and it can be disheartening when your's is taken and misused by other individuals and sometimes larger companies.
All that being said, now is an incredible time for working artists because of the vast resources of the internet including sources of inspiration, the ability to reach a large and global audience, and as a community building tool. As you may know, I love sharing my work on Instagram and following other makers. It's a wonderful way to connect with other artists, be inspired, and feel supported, but we all need to be aware of how we use these resources and what effect it may have on others.
Since the start of 2016, 'Craft With Conscience' has grown and evolved just like any other creative pursuit and has recently expanded to include short interviews with featured artists. I've asked participating artists a series of questions about their studio process, sources of inspiration, and how image-sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest influence and affect them. I hope you read on to see what they have to say!
© Sarah K. Benning 2016