Sara Pastrana, Artist, Los Angeles, CA
Sara explores embroidery on unconventional materials. She particularly enjoy the interplay of wood and thread. The past few years have been a journey of learning and honing her skills as a woodworker, embroiderer, and CNC enthusiast.
Where do you find inspiration? I don’t feel like I have one specific thing that inspires me. My design ideas are very spur of the moment concepts that usually come to me when I have moments to myself, like when I’m out running or driving. Many of those ideas are influenced from current life moods or sometimes they are simply ideas to try a new technique and figure out how I'm going to achieve the style I'm going for.
Where do you create your artwork? My work consists of multiple phases. The woodworking part happens in my single car garage —turned shop. The stitching part can really happen anywhere. Sometimes I work during my lunch hour at work. For me it’s not so much about where I am, its about taking advantage of the time I have to actually get work done.
What is your typical day like?
I work as a designer full-time and I’m also a mother to a nine-year-old. My days are the typical 9-5 work day, and then I go home and do mom stuff. When I started Flourishing Fibers I decided I would not take on commissions or custom work because I don’t want to be held to schedules or deadlines. My son and full-time job are my first priorities. I don’t ever want to feel stressed over scheduling time to create.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists or creative business people? Stop making excuses and just start something! Use what you have and don’t focus on following one particular set of rules. There’s always one hundred and one ways to accomplish a goal. Just because one thing works for one person or business doesn’t mean it will work for another. But you need to set out and start.
How do you build community as an artist? How has the creative community helped you grow and share your art? I have focused most of my energy on building one strong tribe using Instagram exclusively. When I first started I tried building communities on multiple social media platforms and I quickly lost interest after investing time and not seeing much growth. Instagram has been a great tool not only to share my work but also to discover other makers and make new friends.
All images provided by Sara Pastrana.