Shelby Johnson - Fiber Artist
Instagram - @bonfireheart.co
Website - www.bonfireheart.co (currently under construction)
How did you discover your love for fiber art and creating?
My love for fiber art started about 5 years ago when I found a Free People blog post on how to make simple macrame hanging! I was looking to decorate my room and have always loved creating things myself. From there, I fell in love with the endless possibilities that come with knotting and the therapeutic aspects of creating patterns. Over the years I have fallen in love with weaving and am currently learning new techniques like embroidery that I'm so excited about!
How long did it take you to feel confident in your skills?
Ha! Hm. I don't think confidence in each art comes and stays forever, there is definitely an ebb and flow. As my style grows and changes I allow my art style to wander freely and I accept whatever those changes may be! So I guess I could say as I've gotten older I'm confident in growth, in creating each new piece to represent exactly who I am in that moment.
Describe the process of creating a piece. Do you sketch out and plan designs or let them develop as you go?
Sometimes an idea for a piece comes to me and I can imagine it in my mind, then I'll try and create it. But mostly I just know the textures and colors I want to use and allow my fingers to weave freely. I don't typically plan out what the end piece will look like!
Do you ever have creative blocks? What do you do to work through them?
ABSOLUTELY! Lately I feel I've been having more creative blocks than productivity:/ I took a several month break recently but am finding my way back to creating art for the joy of it, rather than making something off of it. I never force myself make art when I feel stuck. I seek more time outside in nature or in meditation during yoga to recenter myself. If that doesn't work, then I just keep doing it until something inspires me.
What is the biggest inspiration behind your artwork?
TEXTURES! Mostly the textures I find outdoors because nature is where I feel most inspired. But sometimes it's something as simple as a wrinkle in the bed sheets that makes we want to recreate that texture. Lichen on the rocks, vines overgrowing on cement, the red rocks down south, the bark of a tree, rust on an old fence, I love it all! My phone is FILLED with photos I snap of textures I find on almost a daily basis.
What is your favorite/most prized piece?
Oh wow! I'm not sure. But if I absolutely had to choose I'd say this piece I made as a custom order. Im obsessed with texture and I feel like I finally represented my true style when I created this piece last year.
What is the most important piece of advice you have for creatives trying to build their brand?
Don't copy other artists work:) Be yourself. Be real.
What goal would you like your business to achieve this year?
Honestly my only goal right now is to create for the joy of it! If something comes my way, I'll go with the flow. But, I'm taking a break from hustling and working on growing my love for the creative process rather than the money that comes from it.