WELCOME!! I’m Victoria Crowder Payne, CEO & Creativity Strategist for Freedom of Stitch, LLC: Where Art & Craft Meet Stitch™
What’s a” Creativity Strategist”? It means … I’m really GREAT at helping people UNLOCK CREATIVE POTENTIAL and DISCOVER TALENTS by MAKING SOMETHING!
My tools include LOTS of ways to help See Creativity with New Eyes! Things like:
-TEACHING/LECTURING on topics such as Creative Journaling, Embroidery Around the World… Intro to Jewelry Design… Building an Art Business. I’ve been teaching Writing Without a Net: Text as Art at the Kansas City Art Institute since 1999…
-PARTNERSHIPS with ORGANIZATIONS like MoFA (Missouri Fiber Artists) where I served as the Regional Representative for Kansas City Visit the Speaking of Fibers Story, AND like the Cancer Can’t Take Memories Journal Project™ with Cancer Action KC – a workshop series for survivors, fighters, and those who love them Visit Project
But by FAR my favorite tool is…
-spreading enthusiasm for art with stuff like Custom Work and long-term projects like the exhibit Sinister Stitch: 13 ancient poisons in mixed media embroidery (2009-2014)
Contact me at email@example.com
Thank you for stopping by… and…
If you’ve got some time….
Here’s the LONG story:
Technically speaking, I prefer working floss and fiber embroidery over watercolor painting on unbleached muslin, though I work in paper and metal too. My aesthetic and style evolved from techniques I used in creating my zine in the 90s, so even though I always stitch over whatever base I begin with, I am firmly rooted in freestyle collage. I choose mostly nature subjects from my gardens, but with some Freedom of Stitch twist–like when plants fight back! Ultimately, I think all media should mix and be 3D about it –
The Freedom of Stitch concept was developed out of my tradition of advocating freedom of speech, and freedom of expression. I learned from my mother (a quilter, painter, and designer) that artistic expression is the highest value and must be embraced and protected. I also learned that forging one’s own path is crucial–my gramma and aunt both ran successful art businesses, one in ceramics and one machine embroidery.
At my career’s start, I built “respectable” businesses and unhappy with them, sold them off. I got into fashion (because it was as “arty” as I was willing to go) and I worked the runway, rocked the editorial & print world, and even took over & ran my agency for a few years — but left unfulfilled. Finally, frustrated and fed up, I started a zine *Cynical Soul* that launched me into a wonderful world of writers, poets, artists, and activists.
I collaged, cut, and pasted with breakneck speed–and it was liberation! I got a sketchbook. I wrote, performed, and produced poetry events.
(Including ‘the Bus Event’ with activist Anne Winter & performance artist Lisa Cordes, designed to “break down barriers between KC artists & the communities where we live” — Each artist gave readings or performances along the KC Metro bus route!)
I started teaching zines and Text as Art at the Kansas City Art Institute and was energized by the creativity and passion I saw. In 1998, I opened my first solo show at The Writer’s Place in KCMO.
“ZINE: The Story of a Four Letter Word” was about fighting zine censorship and giving independent artists their freedom.
I worked like crazy for the Kansas City Free Speech Coalition to give artists an annual forum for networking and zining and helped found the Midwest Underground Media Symposium.
After so many years of traveling the arts, I had finally found my way. There was finally a place for all the WORDS!
But alas, there just wasn’t enough TEXTURE! I was writing, painting, studying, pasting, but where was the CRUNCH? One day in the studio, husband casually asked, “why don’t you try stitching? That’s textury, right?”
POW. Just like that, the art doors blew open. I reproduced all of the samples in our library’s stitch books in two days. I cranked out ideas for new stitches, new designs. It was like all this STITCH was just rushing out of my hands. I was POsessed, OBsessed, driven. I’d discovered the language I was meant to speak. But with my mom having passed on in 2002, it was an aunt who illuminated it all, “You’re not just learning this stuff now, silly! Your Mom taught you to embroider when you were a little girl. You’re REMEMBERING it.” And with that, Freedom of Stitch rushed in.
I knew I wanted to create a place for mixed media exploration, but that stitch needed to be an integral part of it. I’d learned for myself that ALL media should mix, and be 3D about it, and I sensed other adventurous souls who were eyeing their supplies with new inspirations. As I watched the craft community catch fire and burn with excitement and enthusiasm, I started to discover more and more artists who were fearless experimenters, and who sought new challenges and better horizons of technique and style. I knew I could provide a road map for mixing media and stitch which would give both beginners and practiced artists the tools to push themselves in exciting ways.
is officially Where Art and Craft Meet Stitch™ – providing a creative umbrella of sorts serving the artist, crafter, hobbyist, or just the human who needs a BOOST!!
In addition to the designing & teaching summers at the KC Art Institute (from 1999 to present)
I worked for 14 months to prepare a solo show for 2009.
Into the Woods: the Mixed Media Embroidery of Victoria Crowder Payne opened at the Campanella Gallery in Kansas City, MO 17 July 2009.
The anchor piece “The Roots at Dusk” is the largest thing I’ve created to date and is a 3footX4foot floss and fiber on watercolor and acrylic. Using some of my favorite stitches in combination and alone, it clocks in at about 110,000 stitches total.
For the full story of the Roots, visit the *Creation diary*
To check out some more fearless stitch, visit *the gallery*
2012 saw the official launch of the Fearless Studio Sessions: Seeing Creativity With New Eyes! So far, I’m in post production on 24 episodes of art tutorials including topics such as Living a Creative Life, Surface Design, Text as Art, Embroidery, Wire Work, and Building an Art Business. I’ll also be adding workbooks and projects.
I’ll continue teaching & designing as well, but I’m turning a bit of focus towards a book project — The Fearless Studio Street Guide to Seeking Creativity is compiled and currently being written into a book proposal — so I’ve begun looking for a publisher. It includes designs, projects, and a bit of world stitch in that it highlights women who have used their stitch in revolutionary socio-political ways ( I was a columnist for the Hand Embroidery Network before their format change & wrote bimonthly featuring activist stitchers called “Needles on the Record: stitched documentary” — the HEN is ALSO where my feature “Caught… Being Fearless: stitchers from my flickr Mixed Media Embroidery Gallery” appeared).
- if YOU need inspiration, visit our flickr!!! Flickr Gallery
Locally: I develop & teach Jewelry and Art classes for the Kansas City northland JoAnn store (which can be found in the *Schoolhouse * )
I’ve designed projects such as Stitcher’s Garden Party for DMC Threads & am proud to have them as my FULL thread sponsor! (WOOT!).
I also serve as a Surface Design Ambassador for C&T Publishing to promote their Surface Design Centers featuring Liquitex acrylics & inks… AWESOME products I must say. They are really exceptional in both chemistry and performance.
As of Oct 1, 2010 – , after some studio re-arranging and some foraging for supplies, I’m in production of a FULL on video documentary of the conception, creation, and debut of Sinister Stitch: 13 ancient poisons in mixed media embroidery!!!!!!!!!
It will be a complete story that unfolds over 2010-14 covering the project, techniques, triumphs, and certainly tears of creating a LARGE embroidery! You can visit 3 short episodes on FreedomOfStitchTube
After the experience of the Roots at Dusk I was just itching to work another BIG piece, VisitSinisterStitchDiaries
So, in October 2011, the Womandrake (pictured above) debuted as a work in progress alongside her Mandrake at the MoFA (Missouri Fiber Artists) event “Speaking of Fibers” at the Maryville University Gallery in St Louis MO!! I served as Juror over the art submissions (woot!) & we put together a gorgeous show. I also taught a two day workshop at the St Louis Artists Guild “Creating a Fiber Artist’s Grimoire”. So — it was a perfect place to set the Womandrake free?!! Visit the full story & see my Best Of picks from the show. In the future, I’ll be making some announcements regarding NEWS between me and the MO Fiber Artist’s — it’s about to get VERY cool!
Also know that the Mandrake has his **Own Gallery** where artists use the pattern to create their own interp of him — very cool!
Need more stitchy goodness? Visit my Commissions
Also dont forget to follow @freedomofstitch on twitter. Come along & get motivated… let me spice up your day through the eye of a needle… ;0}
Thank you so much for visiting!!