Needle & Thread : Eun-jeong Lee
The world that Eun-jeong Lee wants to paint through her embroidery is a beautiful one indeed. Pouring her feelings of peace and comfort into her work, she hopes to deliver the exact same warm emotions to people who view her art pieces. We honestly can’t think of a more beautiful motivation and inspiration than creating with the world in mind. Find out more about the creator behind Momoneedle, what sparks her design ideas and the yarn scene in Korea through the chat we had with her!
Tell us what led to you choosing embroidery as a craft.
I have a BFA and MFA in painting and have been working on canvas throughout my studies and career as an artist. The main theme I go by when working is to create “another world”. I use conventional materials such as acrylic and oil colors in my earlier days as an artist. Naturally, I grew an attraction towards threads and embroidery, and have been establishing my own style by merging embroidery and painting ever since.
What made you want to take your passion to the next level?
I believe the world I create through my work has an emotional element that people can relate to. I find peace and comfort from this world I create and came to realise I want these feelings to be delivered to whoever views my work. In the beginning, I worked by myself. Gradually, I’m engaging with more people through my work and it’s such a motivation for me as a professional artist.
Tell us more about your shop Momoneedle.
Momoneedle is the brand name my products go by. There are original works and high quality digital prints, as well as other crafts with my paintings on them. My products are produced in small quantities as they are all limited editions and one-of-a-kind.
What kind of materials do you like to work with?
I’ve been using acrylic paints for quite some time now and I’m still so in love with then. However, in the recent years, the charm of threads is winning me over. There are many varieties of threads I have been exploring and playing around with. I like the warm and unique texture of threads the most.
What is your favorite piece of finished product and what inspired you to create it?
When I first tried my hands at embroidery, I did a set of 12 pieces. Among then, I like the twelfth one most as it was the one where I finally found a new style, as well as a style that fits perfectly with me after so many trials. It’s exciting to try new things, but it takes courage. I was looking for somewhere to rest and take a break from reality, and I wanted to find it while in absolutely concentration working with the canvas. And that was how my favorite piece came about.
What is the yarn scene like in Korea?
Embroidery is very popular in Korea. There are many people practicing embroidery as a form of craft and it has also become a hip hobby. I’m one of those rare few to introduce embroidery into fine art and am getting lots of positive responses for my perspective.
Is there any interesting or particularly memorable moment in your career as a professional maker?
I did a group exhibition with some friends from graduate school. That was the first show I did after a couple years away from being an artist, which makes me all the more exciting to work on it. My friends and I had different practices after graduating. It was an interesting and tricky process to mingle different genres so lots of effort were sourced into planning. I enjoyed the process so much and regained lots of passion and energy from it.
Advice for those wanting to make the switch into crafting full time?
Living as a full-time artist is not easy. I couldn’t come up with any creative work for a while a few years ago, believing the reasons for me to quit being an artist outweigh the ones that prompted me to continue. But life became so empty without it. I realise being creative is the true meaning of life for me, and a priority. I want to encourage people who are hesitant on becoming a professional crafter to take some time off to consider a life without the thing you love doing most. If that life just won’t work out, the only advice I can give is to try your best doing the things you love most and make sure it does work out.
Early riser or night owl?… I have a habit of getting up early in the morning and starting my day off from there. The working hours are also scheduled for nearly six hours a day.
A song to get you into the creative groove… I enjoy listening to Bosanova music, it makes me feel comfortable and makes me feel like I’m entering an exotic world.
What did you aspire to be when you were 5?… Ever since I was young, my dream was to be a painter.
3 essentials we can find in your bag… Wallet, cell phone and lipstick.
If you weren’t an embroider, you would most probably be doing… I’m interested in history and really enjoy learning about it. Maybe if I wasn’t an embroiderer, I would have studied in that field.