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Craft With Conscience: Chloe Amy Avery

Craft With Conscience

'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!

Craft With Conscience: Chloe Amy Avery

Sarah Benning

Chloe Amy Avery // Embroidery Artist // London, UK


Chloe Amy Avery is a London based artist with a Masters Degree in surface textiles for fashion.  Chloe hand embroiders large scale, intricately detailed art-work as well as wearable pieces.  Her style is hyper-realistic impressionism, using food and nostalgia as the inspiration for her work. Food carries memory and culture.  It tells our stories. At first glance Chloe's work could be mistaken for paint.  But the atypical medium and texture of thread forces the viewer to question what they see.

Check out more of her amazing work on her Instagram or website.

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1. I began my #CraftWithConscience series as a way to simultaneously promote the work of other makers and to discuss the complicated issues surrounding creative inspiration and developing one’s own visual vocabulary. The internet is an ever growing fixture in many artists’ lives and businesses; could you talk about the role the internet plays in your artistic and professional life?

I create with thread. I create food inspired from nostalgia and memory. Food is such a critical part of who we are and having lived in different cities and abroad from where I was born and grew up I realised that food is a crucial part of people’s stories. As an artist I portray food using embroidery thread to give a sense of surprise to the viewer, something often mass produced and dismissible a sense of fun and nostalgia, re-crafted and reimagined. I was inspired by people’s food story. As I created I found the platform of social media so helpful to start conversation and be inspired for more of my work. I use Instagram to showcase my process and work and I have not only gained an amazing amount of support but an invaluable amount of insight into different cultures around food.

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2. Where do you find inspiration for your work?  In what ways has the internet and/or social media impacted your design process?

I find inspiration from the people I meet, the people I do life with and the city I live in. living in London gives you such a diversity of viewpoints and changes the way you view cultures and opens your eyes to how other people live. I find that sharing my process and my ideas on social media just adds to this wealth. I love that when you ask a question accompanying an image on Instagram the responses you get are so personal to each person.

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3. How have you, as an artist, found your creative voice?

 I have for years tried to find what I love and to find my voice. I love people. I love creating food inspired from people’s lives which enable to reminisce and smile. Having social media as a platform, has given me confidence to share what I love doing with a continuous interaction with my viewer.

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4. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are popular places for artists’ to share their own work. They also act as public visual archives, often leading to creative work by others that walks the line between ‘inspiration’ and ‘infringement.’ Have you encountered copies of your work online and how does it affect you?  What are your strategies for dealing with it?  

 I guess with anything you create you are available for people to infringe your work. It is something as an artist that I do sometimes fear. I do have a word with myself, so as not to feel overwhelmed with frustration I tend to take the stance that if they were inspired and I helped someone be creative then great. I have to move on quickly and remember why I do what I do and where my inspiration comes from. I can’t help feel people have robbed themselves of producing something from their heart if they are mimicking other artists.

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5. Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people?

I’m so early in my creative career that I feel unready to provide advice, but what I would say is keep coming back to where you started. I know why I was inspired and what I set out to do. Constantly reminding yourself of that is so helpful.

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6. Do you have any favourite blogs, artists, or Instagram accounts that you’d like to share?

 I have a few Instagram pages that I love. Two of which are friends. Lakwena is a London based artist whose use of text and colour is such an inspiration. The second is a a very dear friend who I grew up with, but now lives in the U.S.A, her page hello_little_darlings explores the use of colour, textiles and pattern in a bohemian style. I love her design and use of colour and texture. The last of my favourites is such an inspiration to what I do - Cayce Zavaglia uses thread to create spectacular portraits. Her use of colour to create hyper realistic portraits is a true inspiration. Although we have never met in person, she’s been so incredibly helpful to me and I think I can call her a friend.

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All images provided by the Artist.