When we heard about Megan Willis and her embroidery company TsuruBride, we had to find out more about her inspiration and craft. Meghan’s embroidery captures the female form, typically undressing in all its glory, and makes us feel girly and naughty at the same time. Mixing an old-world handcraft with a modern and provocative subject matter yields results in a lovely and often cheeky manner. We were lucky enough to chat with Meghan about her subject matter, inspiration (some comes from her photographer husband), and advice for female entrepreneurs.
How did you learn to embroider?
My mom taught me how to sew when I was 6, and it became something I fell in love with. I first started embroidering seriously only this year, and looked online for some refresher courses on hand-stitching.
Have you always done nudie type subjects? Umm, like, when your mom wasn't around. What inspired it in the
Over the years I've played with various art mediums and due to my fashion background have always leaned towards the female form. The
nudie aspect came into effect in working with my husband. He's photographer specializing in nudes and does a number of series where
the models start clothed and end up naked. From there I felt inspired to capture various states of undress!
Mixing a more "traditional" technique with a more risque subject is something not often seen. Why do you think it's a natural fit for
For me, it makes the work more sensual and soft. It lends a tactile quality which adds to the intimacy of the act of undressing.It was a natural fit since I've always playing around with textiles in various ways, most usually making clothes, so it seems fitting that I now use that same cloth to illustrate taking those clothes off.
What's your process like? (photos taken, sketch it out, curl up and embroider away...etc?)
I usually start with collecting inspiration, from tumblr, around me, my husband's photography (www.tsurufoto.com), wherever. Then, if my husband doesn't have an existing shot of what I'm trying to do I'll either have him shoot something for me, or shoot something myself. I then use that photo as a template, tracing it out onto the fabric. I then load up some Netflix or Pandora, and stitch away. Once the embroidery is done, I then machine sew down the leather and then paint it in acrylics, using a fine pen for detail work once the paint is dry.
How does your work inspire your own experiences? Do you find your art to be empowering to you in your own saucy adventures?
In searching for inspiration for my own work I definitely come across some saucy items. Sometimes my husband and I will have brainstorming
sessions that empowers both of us, if we're feeling creatively satisfied that's going to carry over into the bedroom. Our photo shoots for some of the pieces, ones where he's shooting me, have ended up become a part of our foreplay on a number of occasions!
You're creating and selling your own work. What advice would you give an entrepreneur?
I started selling my work since it was starting to build up in my house, and others seemed interested in it. Previously I ran my own business making and selling purses, but I eventually stopped because I was feeling burnt out. I was so busy making and promoting my line that I stopped feeling creative. I guess my advice is to make sure you're passionate about what you're doing. And if there's something you need to be successful but you're not so passionate about it, get outside help so you can focus your attention.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening. Best of both worlds.
You can see (and buy!) Meghan's work on Etsy.