We had the good fortune of connecting with Steffie Notion and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steffie, why did you pursue a creative career?
I wouldn’t say I pursued an artistic or creative career, I feel that creativity comes naturally to me. Whether it be coming up with an inventive solution to a problem, or finding a new way to use a familiar material. I have always been one to look for the creative potential. I think creativity is important for me personally because it allows me to remember the importance of play. Playing with ideas, and materials, and also the importance of playing for the sake of fun. Not all projects need to have a purpose, sometimes the most satisfying form of creativity is just experimenting with ideas for the simple joy of experimentation. I think another element that drew me to more creative perspectives is the joy that creativity can inspire. That look of pride that a person gets when they make something they are proud of. Or the joy that comes with trying a new technique and having it turn out better than you first imagined. Creativity allows for and inspires unexpected results, which can be quite thrilling.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve always had an interest in textiles, from a tactile perspective as well a utilitarian one. My Mother taught me to sew when I was very young and always encouraged and facilitated my creative mind. My Father also aided in my competency around knowing the right tool for a job, and never being afraid to ask for help from someone who knows more than me. I’ve spend most of my life sewing on machines and either making my own clothing or altering the clothing I bought. I didn’t transition into embroidery until 2017, when I was looking for projects that required less of a time and space commitment than sewing clothing. My early embroidery’s where of bugs – a constant source of inspiration, but as my personal ideas about body autonomy and bodies as art started to shift and evolve, my embroideries were a way to vicariously, and safely, explore ideas and concepts that, at once time, felt unapproachable. I am a big believer that all bodies are perfectly and wonderfully made and I hate the way our society conflates bodies with sexuality, especially in the case of women’s bodies. I was raised Christian and part of that up bringing instilled a sense of shame around my body. The conflicting idea that my body was both a temple, but also a thing that is to be kept secret, never sat right with me. I hated how women’s bodies were and are blamed for the horrendous acts done to them. With my art I’m trying to challenge the idea that a nude body is a sexual object. As well as encourage everyone to see themselves as a work of art. Lately I have been really focused on helping others feel like their best self through making fashion harnesses out of recycled bike tube. I love reworking this often discarded material into pieces that make the wearer feel powerful and and fashion forward.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I were going to show a friend my favorite parts of the city, it would involve a lot of nature walks and shopping at local small businesses. I love living in Longmont because of how close it is to so many beautiful hikes and outdoor areas, while also having a growing downtown area with lots of cute small businesses to check out.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To be quite honest the embroidery community on Instagram has done wonders in bolstering my spirit and making me feel more and more like an “artist” as opposed to just a crafts person. This community constantly inspires and pushes me to try new things and go beyond what I think I am capable of. They are a great resource for when I have business questions or questions relating to dealing with customers. They are also a great source of encouragement and validation when I’m feel “less than” as an artist. I am also incredibly thankful for the friends who have given me new opportunities, Boulder Burlesque for welcoming me into their world and giving me a venue to show my arts. As well as the people I have met along the way who have shared new Art Exhibitions that have welcomed my art. I’m also incredibly thankful for the people who see value in my work and who share my work with their friends.
Willym Brown, Trent Moriarty, Alex Johnson, Sydney Antonia, Leighton Vail