Today I have something really special for you guys.
An interview with the YarnBomber himself, aka Stephen from Santa Barbara, CA. Some pictures of his work appear below, but be sure to check out his website for more info.
How long have you been crocheting?
I first picked up knitting needles in the Spring of 2012 as part of my resolution to learn 12 new things (12for2012.com). One of the contributors to the yarnbomb that resulted was Crochet Grenade. The following year she was looking for help with her Rubik’s Cube yarnbomb, but needed them to be crocheted. To repay her kindness I learned how to crochet by watching her video on the internet. That was about 10 months ago and Ive been “hooked” ever since.
What is your favorite stitch (or, your most used stitch)?
Truth is, Im not a very accomplished crocheter. My projects require massive amounts of material, but there is something beautiful about a handmade piece versus machine made. So for me it’s all about speed and efficiency. That means I use simple single and double crochets almost exclusively. Nothing fancy, just lots and lots and lots of stitches.
What is your most used hook size?
Until very recently, the only hook I used was the 5mm one my wife gave me out of her bag. It’s still my favorite.
What feelings do you hope to evoke or inspire with your installations?
It’s pretty simple really. I want to make people say, “what the?” and smile as they turn the corner on a trail and suddenly stumble upon this massive, whimsical, colorful yarn installation in the middle of nowhere. The virtual response I hope to evoke is one of inclusivity and a kind of bonding among people of all different backgrounds. That’s what art is supposed to do, isn’t it? Bring people together?
How awesome does it feel to have so many collaborators involved in your installation, from so many corners of the world?
The connection to people is what I love most about these projects. My favorite part of receiving a package is the little note inside, telling me their story and why they got involved. I save them all. They serve to remind me that I have a responsibility to a lot of people, to take the trust they’ve bestowed upon me and turn their contributions into something we can all be proud of.
When someone does not agree with your work, how do you deal with the discouragement?
I respect their opinion. You cant make everyone happy, but I do my best to make a few people happy for at least 9 days.
Does anyone ever make fun of you for being a male fiber artist?
Has yet to happen. At least not to my face.
Who is your biggest fiber artist inspiration?
There are so many great fiber artists but none have inspired me more than Christo. I was a kid in South Florida when he covered the islands down there. It had a huge impact on me and he continues to do so today.
What advice do you have for beginning or aspiring yarn bombers?
Just get out there and do it. Oh, and go big!
The YarnBomber’s next installation is set for Lizard’s Mouth in Santa Barbara. If you would like to contribute as a collaborator on the project, (I have!) you can send your pieces to him with the info on his Instagram. (Which you should follow, too.)
How’s that for some awesome advice and insight! Thanks a ton Stephen, for taking the time out for this interview. I know I appreciate it and I’m sure my readers do too!