This feature was conceived as a foray into the hearts/minds of Kenyon’s finest artists through the pages of their sketchbooks. This week, we talk with Hannah Johnston ’20.
If you’ve been anywhere near the freshman quad during the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had recently, you’ve probably spotted first year Hannah Johnston sitting in a hammock and embroidering her and her friends’ clothes with everything from aliens to avocados.
Hannah started embroidering over winter break when she was given a cross-stitch kit for Hanukkah; she became interested in learning about the medium because “it’s always been perceived as women’s work but now modern artists are flipping that notion on its head by creating contemporary and empowering works using embroidery.”
After embroidering a few designs on hoops to display in her room, Hannah started starting customizing her clothes when she realized that she could take inspiration from pricey pieces being sold and make her own designs with inexpensive embroidery thread. She also enjoys creating designs for her friends and might be turning her art into a business so keep an eye out for her rad embroidery!
When asked about the embroidery process, Hannah replied “[It’s] very time consuming. Certain designs are better if done tiny stitch by tiny stitch, which is going to take a while. I think the worst part is threading the needle because there’s just nothing fun about that. Every time I run out of string I have a moment of despair when I realize I’m going to have to re-thread.The work can be monotonous at times, but honestly it’s very therapeutic, until you start stabbing yourself in the thumb 50 times, haha.”
While Hannah doesn’t plan on majoring in Studio Art, she has taken Sculpture I and hopes to take more art classes at Kenyon as she believes that studio art can be easily linked to her intended majors, Drama and English.