artist interview: sweet and dirtys

APPALACHIAN ARTIST CRUSH is a series of interviews with artists from around the East Tennessee region, whose work I admire and who I want to share with the world.

Logan is a fiber artist with a background in painting, and three small children in tow. She creates edgy and freewheeling embroidery hoops, which she sells in her Etsy shop.

Tell us about your creative beginnings. What was your earliest experience of artmaking, and what drew you in? Was creativity encouraged in your early years?

As far back as I can remember I have always been a maker. The one singular moment that stands out more than anything for me is from when I was roughly four or five. My parents let me draw on a large white bed sheet on the kitchen floor. I can remember how exciting all the mark making was and now I feel that it’s just super awesome that they let me create on such a big scale at a small age.

As far as my parent’s encouraging my creativity, I would say most definitely yes. They are luckily the kind of folks who would have encouraged me along with any interest or pursuit.


Tell us about your creative process--what makes it unique? How do you create your best work? What do you love most about your process?

I would classify my entire creative process as slightly amorphous, because there isn’t really a formula I stick to. I have days where I know exactly what I am going to create and other days, actually most days, where I follow a more “let’s see what happens” approach. In both cases it all begins with finding fabric I respond to, the right color, texture, pattern. The fabric fully dictates the direction, I love combining colors and shapes and seeing what happens, what they become.

I honestly feel when I approach making with a clear head and no end result in mind, man those days produce the best pieces. I really love the open-endedness of my process. Removing rules and restrictions has allowed for me to continually push my making, and I look forward to where it’s going to go.


What has been a habit or focus you've had that's integral to your art practice?

I’m always looking for the potential in what things can be. I think that has been a continual theme throughout all the things I make. Be it an old bed sheet, a curtain, a song lyric, a witty mix of words, I enjoy taking things that are there and finding ways to present them refreshed, and new.


Tell me about a hurdle you've had to overcome in your artmaking or art career.

The biggest hurdle has most definitely been myself. When I began putting my work out there, it was this rollercoaster of confidence and questioning. There were times I had to step away for a month or so just to clear my head and readjust my creative sails. I think self doubt will always be there.

However, for me I’ve found the best solution is to keep making, just enjoying the whole creative process and not worrying about the outcome. In the beginning there was so much concern for the finished product, and now I’ve removed that to just focus on the way it feels to make a mark, sew a stitch, play with pattern, there’s a total joy to it.

What is your educational background, and how does it influence your creative work, if at all?

I attended East Tennessee State University and received a BFA with a concentration in painting. It was my first experience being surrounded by other creative folks, and that in and of itself is transformative.

My years in the art program there really helped propel me in the direction of where I’ve landed today. I entered school pursuing drawing, switched to fibers, and ultimately landed in painting. Along the way I found that I loved a combination of all three, and began painting large scale fiber pieces. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of school, everyone making, talking ideas, it all helped me establish a confidence in making.

What are you most excited about in your creative landscape in the moment?

At the moment I’m thoroughly enjoying all of it, the sewing, painting, and stitching. I’ve really stuck to mostly making bags and hoops, which I love and will continue to do. In the very foreseeable horizon I’ve got plans to bridge what I’m doing now with the large scale fiber paintings of years ago, and I’m really excited to see what comes of that. I’m going to just keep this creativity chugging along.


Share your favorite local hangout & or another hidden gem.

I do the majority of my outings with my three kids in tow, so with that being said The Johnson City Public Library is one of my favorites There are few things that beat a good book, and the kids get so excited making their own selections and using their own cards to check out. When my husband and I get a date night we always go to The Willow Tree, which is always a beautiful time. The atmosphere there is even welcoming with kids in tow, which is a major dose of awesome.


Where can we find you on the interwebs?

Instagram: @sweetanddirtys

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See all the Appalachian artist interviews here.