Sunday, May 20, 2012

Artist Feature: Evie Barrow

Our next artist feature is with crafter and designer Evie Barrow, known for her beautiful hand embroidered brooches and soft dolls made under the label Handmade Romance. Evie's work has featured in Craft Victoria's Craft Hatch, Frankie Magazine, many etsy treasuries as well as numerous print and online publications.

In 2011 she had her first solo exhibition 'The Travelling Circus' in the enCounter window at Craft Victoria and recently held her first workshop with Harvest Textiles, 'Think it! Draw it! Stitch it!' as part of Design Depot 2012.

All images provided in this interview are provided by and copyright of Evie Barrow.

Tell us a little about yourself and your arts/design background.

Hello. My name is Evie. I am a crafter and designer, currently living in Melbourne, Australia. While I do love it here, I daydream of living in far away places.

My passion lies with the thoughtfulness and un-reproducible qualities of the hand made. Particularly when these traits are found in character design. I mostly spend my time at a computer - however when I prioritise effectively I've been know to create quite a bit by hand too.

Throughout school I continuously focused on art and design and ended up studying Graphic Design at uni. Since completing uni I have continued as a designer and in more recent years returned my focus to making by hand.

I've also studied Children's Book Illustration, Life Drawing, Watercolour Painting and learned how to make and operate a muppet-style puppet!

What led you to use embroidery in your work?

I think it was my love for illustration and constant doodling that lead to experimenting with embroidery. I also find the tactile nature of an embroidered surface highly appealing. Often the reverse can be just as intriguing too; like a long forgotten note in a returned library book.

Could you talk a little on the process of creating your work?

For me, almost always, an idea begins its journey as a sketch. Sometimes many sketches. No matter how raw or incomprehensible these sketches may be, they help get the idea flowing. Often I'll write words to accompany my ideas as well.
After the initial sketches my process can vary quite a bit depending on the project. For example a soft character might involve testing patterns, researching fabric choices, colours, sizes and shapes. Other times my process might be much more intuitive and I figure it out as I go along.

Can you tell us a little about your inspirations?

Inspiration is everywhere. I especially love the every day and the ordinary. Observing the simple things: overheard conversations, pattern, colour, nature, music, magazines and books.

I am especially inspired by costumes and character design in movies and TV series such as; The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr Fox, Edward Sissorhands, ET, Carnivale, Mad Men and Deadwood. 

Equally I find people who are passionate about what they do a great source of inspiration – nothing beats that kind of energy!

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