For this week’s creator spotlight, we would like you to meet Brooklyn-based tapestry artist Alicia Scardetta!
What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
As a child, I always had a natural inclination towards visual arts. Growing up, I participated in art classes and always enjoyed visiting museums. I attended art school for college and, for the past ten years, I have developed the art practice that I have today.
What caused you to explore the art of tapestry more than anything else?
In college, I studied fine art drawing and while preparing my BFA thesis exhibition, found myself wanting to take the drawn line off the page and into a physical, tactile structure. Fiber and thread felt like the most intuitive way to interpret a line. At the time, the art school I attended did not offer fiber or textile-based classes to non-fashion majors so I sought out opportunities to learn fibers outside of my coursework. This is how I first learned to weave and first got into tapestry. I was drawn to tapestry weaving because it has a freeform nature set within stringent parameters.
Can you take us through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
My work explores the structural variables of tapestry weaving along with experimenting with color relationships. I usually start each piece with an overall structure in mind and color palette. From there I may make sketches of what I want the finished piece to look like or create some color studies. My work is woven on a frame loom. To begin each piece, I wrpp the frame and start weaving. I make a lot of color decisions while I’m actually weaving the piece, seeing how one color interacts with another and making changes as I go.
Not everything that I create results in a monetary gain. In fact, I have a full-time job outside of my art practice. I do not subscribe to the idea that, in order to be a successful artist or designer, you have to monetize your practice and live off of it.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
I think the biggest misconception with my work is that it’s a DIY project or a hobby to take on. I’ve spent nearly a decade developing my body of work and my art practice. Each piece I create takes upwards of 25 hours to complete and requires dedication and commitment.
What do you do when you encounter someone stealing something you’ve invested your intellect, time and money into?
While I am lucky to have never experienced copyright infringement or to have been knocked off by a large company, I have had my work copied by individual makers, which can be disheartening in its own way.
See Alicia’s work here: https://www.aliciascardetta.com/ and on Instagram @aliciascardetta
Photo Credit: Will Ellis
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