Name: Emma Oliver
@EmmaOliverArt on Instagram
In honor of Pride month, we here at Darn Good Yarn were interested in interviewing some of the LGBTQIA+ members of the fiber community! When looking where to start, we immediately thought of Emma Oliver, Artist and Yarn Craft Specialist!
Emma was one of our 2020 Pride Scholarship winners, stunning our team with her gorgeous and thoughtful pieces of art that focused on communication in interpersonal relationships and analyze the power of the words we use, then quickly forget.
To kick off Pride month, we think Emma is the perfect person to interview first! You can give Emma a follow on Instagram at @EmmaOliverArt so you don't miss any of her stunning fiber creations!
Q: Which of your creations is the most meaningful to you?
A: I have many meaningful creations but I think the most meaningful work I’ve made is the series of Boundary Sweaters I worked on.
I have trouble setting boundaries sometimes, as I’m sure we all do, and I felt the sweater series was a good way to combine comfort and difficulties to make setting boundaries easier!
Q: When did you first start creating?
A: I’ve been a creator forever! I knew I liked making art as a kindergartener. I started knitting in Girl Scouts at age 9 but didn’t start to crochet until I was 20. Now, I knit or crochet everyday or something other creative thing.
Q: Which aspects of your life have inspired your art the most?
A: My relationships and individual identity impact my work. I call what I do “visual catharsis” sometimes because making things helps me to process difficult emotions including love and loss.
Q: What was the most difficult piece of art that you’ve ever created?
A: The most difficult piece I created was my ceramic and crochet vest.
This piece included the sound of ceramic discs clinking together being stitched into crochet. It was very heavy to make and wear! It was also emotionally heavy because the piece needed my body to dress in an outfit that I wouldn’t normally wear!
Q: What has been your experience as an LGBTQIA+ artist and how has that influenced your creative process or pieces?
A: My experience as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community influences how I include my relationships in my work! The phrases and concepts I use are intentionally relatable for all people so everyone can feel included, and I can lessen the commonality of bisexual erasure.
Q: What advice would you give to young artists or artists who are just starting to create?
A: Just make as much as you can! It doesn’t have to be “good” work and I think it’s actually better if it’s not “good.” But the more you make the happier you will be with yourself and your work.
Q: Do you have anything planned for the future- whether that be in your life or for your art?
A: I have one more year in the MFA program at Illinois State University at Normal and then after that I’m hoping to be a sculpture and expanded media professor at a college. I’m hoping I can continue to travel and show work and reach lots of students and people with my work!