1. How did you get your start in the handmade community?
I got my BFA from Colorado State University in 2012 and have been working in the arts ever since. I was mainly working with drawing and installation mediums and showing in galleries. Last summer I found myself without a studio for the first time and had just welcomed home my first baby so I decided it was time to explore a new medium. Embroidery became a clear avenue because it is essentially drawing with thread. I wanted to learn and perfect a simple craft so I took up embroidery and quickly became addicted.
2. What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
There are a lot of embroidery artists working right now. My work is unique in that it's specific to Colorado. I focus on the landscapes, plants and animals that occupy our land in an effort to better understand this land. My work is also a lot more minimal that some embroidery artists. I love to use negative space to amplify the focus on my subject.
3. What or Who Inspires you?
There are two people whose works I come back to over and over again in my pursuit of understanding of our land; Wendell Berry and Andrew Wyeth. Berry's writing is grounded in understanding the functions and beauty of cultivating our land and working with it instead of against it. Wyeth's paintings are mainly landscapes, but what makes his work important to me is that it's all focused mainly on one place. We live in a culture where it's more normal to move around from place to place, school to school rather than becoming anchored with the land and family we've come from. In my life, I seek to find beauty in the staying in one place and Andrew Wyeth's paintings show how studying one place for a length of time produces an insight and beauty impossible to fake.
4. What is your creative process like?
I usually begin with my sketchbook. I'll create a few sketches and ideas for my hoops and then transfer them to fabric.
5. What is the coolest artistic tip you have ever received?
It might be more "practical" than "cool" but someone once told me to find a way to make your work sustainable in your day to day life and stick to it.
6. What can we expect to see from you at Jackalope?
I will have a few holiday themed pieces such as ornaments, and a bulk of my work will be studies of the plants and animals of Colorado.
7. Where can we learn more about you?
The best way to stay up to date is to follow me on Instagram: @olandercoembroidery
or check out my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/olanderco