SwatchHub on Elin Petronella:
Coming from a family of Contractors and Architects I immediately fell in love with Elin’s work. I have been following her work for sometime now. Once I even tried to make my own embroidered architectural sketch as a fathers day gift to my father… Ill just say PROPS to ELIN!- ITS HARD WORK!! I relate so much to her background and I am so happy to share her story below.
Whats your story? How did you start your art?
I've always been doing arts for as long as I can remember, thus it's difficult to have just a single answer. Arts has just always been there and I can't even imagine a day without creating with my hands. I've done everything from drawing, painting, jewellry and scrapbooking to now embroidery. Even though I had tried different embroidery techniques through the years, I didn't get hooked until the winter 2015/16 when I went for a month to South India. I worked with local women on how they can use sewing and embroidery to build business and gain some independence. While at site I began to explore the possibilities of free hand embroidery and have just never put the needle down since then.
What is your favorite part of your craft?
I absolutely love how you're able to not only see the design, but also feel it through the varying textures. I consider my hand embroideries as touchable drawings. Hence, when I transfer my illustrations to the fabric and begin to add threads onto them, it's like they gain a 3 dimensional life.
When you hit a wall where do you look for inspiration to get you going again?
This is a funny one, because it's one of the questions that we get asked the most in the podcast show "Charles and Elin" that I run with my husband (https://anchor.fm/charlesandelin) . Of course I can feel more or less inspired, but I dare to say that I've never hit a complete wall. I simply don't allow myself to stop. Whenever I feel that I have a slower day, I often retreat into more mechanical work just to keep the ball rolling. Because I know that as soon as I begin to create, the ideas and inspiration comes flowing again. I don't believe in waiting for inspiration, I think it's an active choice you take and if you want to be a professional at your craft, you have to show up everyday just like everyone else does. However, I should maybe mention that I often have multiple projects on the go. Thus if I feel uninspired for one, I can easily shift to another. For example, I often use knitting as a refuge when the embroidery threads just tangle together. Or writing when I feel that I have too much to say to be concentrated on making a new design and so on.
What has been your biggest obstacle as an artist?
To continuously show up for yourself and don't let the self-doubt of not thinking you're good enough take over. The sun will never shine every day. You just don't have to give up when it feels very difficult. Make it work.
What is your dream project?
This is difficult, because I technically think I'm working on it right now. My dream project is to be able to work independently with the materials I love and the people I love, while simultaneously be able to have a positive impact on the world through my art. However, if you want a more concrete and specific project, I do dream to have a big solo exhibition with my husband. That would be incredible. We have had some smaller ones, but to have a big affaire with some media around it would be amazing.