Recently I launched a self-paced, online yarnbombing course on Skillshare.com. It consists of videos discussing topics like choosing the perfect target, finding the right concept, and marketing your work online. Fortunately, it has become an interactive community, where students post their ideas, projects in progress, and any questions for all of us to engage in and discuss. This made me realize that because yarnbombing, and especially my personal reasons for yarnbombing, is about connecting with your community and creating an opportunity for dialogue, expression, and discussion, it really made me want to engage my students and have them become part of my own yarnbombing community. To accomplish this, I have asked my students to answer a few questoins about their personal experiences with art, yarnbombing, and street art, as well as the concepts, ideas, and hopes.
The first interview is with Dawn Newbrough. I have really enjoyed being able to learn a little more about her, especially since my course is only about yarnbombing, so I rarely get to learn about the other mediums the students work in, or what their favorite way to express themselves may be. I appreciated learning a little bit more about where she comes from and how that has played into hopes for her future projects. I also enjoyed learning about what “stage” of yarnbombing she is at, since the class can involve beginners and those who have completed many projects in the past. Please take some time to read Dawn’s answers and learn a little more about her.
If you are interested in taking the Skillshare course, please check it out here.
If you are interested in being featured in a post and displaying your artwork, send me an email or personal message.
Below are Dawn’s responses. Thanks so much to Dawn for taking the opportunity to be heard and learned about!
1. What got you interested in yarnbombing? I’ve been knitting and crocheting for about 10 years and I’m a big fan of public art so it just seemed like a good combination. My introduction to yarn bombing was about 3-4 years ago in Minneapolis when I saw a fence that had been hit.
2. Are you interested in other forms of street art? What interests you about it? I do admire graffiti when it’s done well and I love any type of mural that can transform a boring building into something that makes a statement.
3. What is your favorite kind of Artwork to make? I like photography and textile arts such as sewing, quilting, cross-stitch, knitting and crocheting. I almost always have my camera with me, but the other crafts I do in spurts. I’ve also dabbled in mosaic art and macramé.
4. What inspires you to make street art? Like I said above, I first learned of yarn bombing 3-4 years ago and I’ve been following and seeking it out ever since. It makes me happy when I see it, which is what inspires me to do it myself. I also like the seemingly guerrilla aspect of it.
In addition, I recently found the book Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti and it inspired me to actually act versus just observe.
5. Have you gotten reactions to your street art? What have they been? My first/only project so far has been a stop sign flower back in June. Surprisingly, it’s still standing. I stop by every now and then to do maintenance and at first I would go in the evening to be more stealth, but now I stop by anytime. It’s on a parkway that also has biking and walking trails and I’ve gotten mostly great, but also a few confused, reactions. One woman stopped, got off her bike and said “What is it?” and when I explained she responded with “But, why?!?!” Umm, why not! Another time as I was getting ready to drive away, a car pulled up beside me and thanked me for doing it. I also really dig seeing people stop to take pictures with and of it.
6. What message would you like to get across to others in your work? No specific message other than art can transform neighborhoods and communities, and it has the power to make people smile.
7. What are you working on now? I live in a loft in inner city Minneapolis and am going to bomb the boring bike rack in front of my building.
8. What’s your dream project? I haven’t thought this big yet, but I’m getting there. I love public art and sculptures so I’ve been scoping them out for a good project. I’m from a really small town in South Dakota and would also love to do something there just to make people think differently about knitting and crocheting since I still get the occasional “granny” comment.
UPDATE: Dawn completed the bike rack project she was working on. Take a look!