Interview: Tina Crawford

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Tina Crawford is a designer and creates unique embroidery designs. I was lucky enough to interview Tina about her work and embroidery.

Hello! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?

I’m great thank you.

How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?

I used to work in TV. However, I became very ill - housebound. To keep me sane I found an adult education course on embroidery and machine embroidery.

Have you always been into embroidery?

I went to Art college (Central St Martins), but I studied jewellery! I always liked the idea of textiles and used it in my jewellery.

If there were no resource restraints, what would be your dream project?

I would like to work large scale. I’d love to work on a collection about contemporary issues, social media or gender.

What equipment do you use for your work?

I use a domestic sewing machine, thread, paper or fabrics or anything I can stitch.

What tools or materials could you not live without?

I couldn’t live without my sewing machine. I’d be happy stitching rubbish, like crisp packets or other packaging!

Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?

SewWhatTina on Instagram is a great tool for engaging. I love the challenges, that I get set to stitch in 60 seconds.

Who inspires your work?

Everything inspires me. I try not to look at other artists, my son is my muse. 

Do you have any favourite pieces of work that you adore at the moment?

I’ve just finished my submission for the Royal Academy summer exhibition and I’m really pleased with it! I know I should probably say someone else’s work, but if someone else had done it that would be it!

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on some large scale pieces on fabric that are based on some of the issues I mentioned earlier. 

What’s your typical working day?

After my son is dropped at school I go to my west London Studio which has been so inspirational in itself! I avoid paper work and phone calls. I sew, stitch some more then I pick up my son from school, then realise I’ve not done all the paperwork I was meant to! 

What’s been the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground?

Money! It’s that simple! The outlay is hard and lack of money has put up barriers everywhere. 

Do you have any exciting plans for this year?

Well, I’m due a big operation so that’s consuming my brain space!

Do you have any advice for anyone doing craft fairs?

Enjoy them! Make lots of friends don’t be stand-offish! Charge good amounts.

What advice would you give to people looking to define their own style?

Be yourself! If you can’t find your own style you shouldn’t be doing it!

Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to do embroidery?

Do it! 

What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?

Be true to yourself, develop your style and don’t look at what others are doing.

If you would like to take a look at her work, please take a look at her website ‘http://www.tobyboo.co.uk’. She posts some wonderful embroidery and designs.