Little did Emily know that her life would drastically change within a couple of months from picking up her first needle. In February 2018 she decided to learn embroidery as a self-care project and to create an authentic portfolio for art school. To document her journey she decided to start an Instagram account called @salt_stitches. Today she works as a full-time embroidery artist from her home just outside of Manchester, UK. It all went so fast that she sees no limit as to how far her creative pursuit can take her.
“I applied to art school to be an artist, but I had to quit art school because I became an artist”, she laughs.
Emily recalls the emotional decision to quit art school after only five weeks this fall. It had been her dream for more than a decade and she felt like quitter. However, something that the school had told her to support her decision really hit home: “You can always go back to education if you see the limit in your pursuits. But you cannot go back to current opportunities as you never know if they will come again.”
This teaches a great lesson of courage. To have the courage to go for the opportunity that is in front of you, even though it scares you. Oftentimes, the thing that scares us the most is what we really have to do.
Emily quickly gained exponential attention for her original embroideries. The more audience, the more people wanted to purchase her art, which made her realise that she had to transition into entrepreneurship. Everything has been growing at such rapid pace, she states. “I have no option but to stay humble”.
Throughout her work, her greatest mission is to stay true to herself. Because it was by listening to herself and looking inwards for inspiration that she first gained exposure.
“Create for the purpose of your own passion, not for the purpose of business”, says Emily.
If you loose your purpose and motivation for creating, there won’t be any point in continuing. Therefore, Emily highly urges new embroiderers to look within. Find something that truly speaks to you, so that you know you’re able to continue in the style regardless of external circumstances.
To find an original style is getting increasingly difficult as the embroidery online is growing. There are new embroidery accounts that pop-up every single day. This is why Emily made a big investigation before going too deep, to ensure that she wasn’t crossing any boundaries of someone else’s work. “It actually gave me more confidence in pursuing my art”, she says as she realised that there weren’t others doing the same style at first.
Another tip to stay as original as you can is to grow your work through intuition. Emily never begin a hoop with a solid plan or composition in mind. Instead she lets the creativity flow with each stitch. By working more intuitively, she also hopes to avoid potential copycats. “It’s a never ending battle if you keep focusing on the copycats. You will suffer the most, which is why I choose to stay ignorant”.
“The sky is the limit”, is her positive response to the question of where she sees her artistry going.
At the same time last year she didn’t even know anything about the embroidery medium. Who knows, this time next year she might be walking down another creative path. However, one thing is certain: She just wants to keep on creating with no limit!
To help guide her in the business side of things, she reports to frequently ask her audience. She will ask questions such as “What would you like to see me create next?”. So far the business has developed organically over time. Therefore she finds it important to ground her decisions regarding products such as prints with her audience before going for it. “It would be a waste of both mine and my followers time if I do something they don’t want”.
Don’t miss the full interview!
Do you find Emily’s story inspiring? Make sure to press play on the episode and enjoy an extended hour of hands-on experiences and reflections in the art space. It is incredibly refreshing to hear of new success stories. The trend on Instagram in the past months due to algorithm changes, have more been in the negative. Thus to know that there is still great opportunities out there for the one that dares to go for it. And the one that dares to stay true to their creative soul; The sky is the limit!
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