Friday, May 25, 2012

STITCHED instructor:
Kelli Nina Perkins

I am excited to showcase another STITCHED instructor, 
mixed media artist and author Kelli Nina Perkins.
Her book, Stitch Alchemy is a world of creative ideas.....
and her work is colorful and inspiring.

How did you become an artist? When did you know?

Like anything people become passionate about, it was an evolution. The more creativity I practiced, the better I got at it and the more I loved it. If you like to make things with your hands, I think that makes you an artist. 

How do you go about creating your art pieces?

Everything begins with an excitement to try some particular style or technique or process. I'm constantly exposing myself to art and ideas and it fuels the fire until I have to make something. Once I know what kind of process I want to use, I search for a theme. Recurring themes are extremely useful. We all have them and should embrace them because they say something about us. From that point on, I'm all about trial and error. It's not pretty at all. I think that many people give up on a piece too early. Most of my art goes through that embarrassing adolescent stage, but I keep working with it until I'm happy. 

What inspires you to create the work that you do?

Inspiration is an interesting word. It feels more like a compulsion to create. There are oodles of ideas floating around in my head and they're all competing for a voice. Most of them emerge from "what if" scenarios. I am unceasingly experimental. Curiosity is a great advantage for an artist. There are so many different combinations which can come together to form art--that's what makes each person's art unique. I want to try them all!

Aside from "sewing", what other kinds of needle art do you enjoy working on?

Stitch Imagery is my process for machine thread sketching directly onto watercolor paper. It adds a whole level of visual interest that two-dimensional paper just doesn't have. I'll sew on anything that's not nailed down. Go stitch! I also enjoy embellishing of any kind, which might include delicious embroidery, sequins, beading, glitter and generally affixing anything which can be affixed to fabric! 

favorite quote?

"I've gone through life believing in the strength and competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, I discover that my capacities are real. It's like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat." Joan Mills 

Name 3 songs in you ipod or playlist...

I don't listen to much music. My playlist always includes several audiobook downloads; usually a non-fiction book and a mystery. Right now I'm immersed in Scandinavian thrillers and I'm also listening to "The Power of Habit" by Charles DuHigg. 

What are you working on right now?

I'm creating a class for Art Camp For Women, which involves a self-discovery worksheet that we'll use to create a self-portrait quilt and some other projects like a "letter to myself" spool book. We'll be playing with fun fabric toys like foil, pastels, and decolourant, and we'll be journaling directly on fabric with bleach pens. I'm enamored with Shrinky Dinks right now, and we'll create some stunning message charms with a flourish of embossing enamel. Food, wine, and art--I can't wait!

Any upcoming projects?

I'm making art for my house, which is nice! We are redecorating and I've been creating pieces for each area as we finish it. I'm able to play with personal themes which don't appear in my public art (atomic bombs anyone?). Making personal art is the most satisfying and it's fantastic to have a reason to create (and a family who lets you have free reign).


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