In her first and only Q&A session in Perth, the weaving sensation that is Maryanne Moodie will reveal her successes, failures and everything in between that has led to her cult craft following across the world.
It’s not often that maternity leave works out to be the catalyst for a hugely successful creative career that spans the continents. Yet for Maryanne Moodie, it was this break from the daily grind that allowed her to explore the ancient art of weaving, then make it her own with eccentric designs and unexpected colour combinations that have captured the whimsical hearts of hundreds of thousands of followers.
As she prepares to touch down to share her craft for the first time in Perth in collaboration with Stackwood, we chat with Maryanne about her journey and ask for her advice for those wanting to tap into their own creative side.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you found yourself moving from Melbourne to NYC.
I was a teacher for 10 years before taking maternity leave. A lot of my teaching was in the art room. I also had a vintage clothing business that I ran alongside my teaching. I imported clothes from buyers all over the world and hired models for photo shoots and everything. It was huge. But I gave it all away when I went on maternity leave. Weaving became an interest, then an obsession and then a career! When my son was a year old, we moved to NYC with Aarons job. He worked at ETSY in Brooklyn for 4 years. Whilst we were there, we had our second son. We moved back to Australia when the boys were getting closer to school age as we really wanted them to identify as Aussies.
Have you always been creative and are there any other art mediums you indulge in?
I’ve always loved fashion and textiles. There was some creativity in both teaching art and being an art director and stylist for my clothing business. But none as creative as my current life!
Weaving is such a traditional form of art that has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. What do you attribute this to?
We all need a panacea to the screens in our lives. We work on them, socialise on them, read on them. Weaving requires both hands and all of your focus. No checking social media when you are weaving. And so you can get into the zone and it feels like a moving meditation.
What does a typical day look like for you now?
I have so many different moving parts to my business – designing and creating artworks as commissions, teaching both in person and online courses, writing books and patterns, travelling for classes and conferences, creating and putting together kits and sending them on their way. I work 3 days in my studio in addition to parenting and the juggle is real.
Who and/or what are your biggest inspirations for art and life?
The people around me! My family and friends. I have 3 BOSS LADY besties and we get together often to discuss business and life. The weaving and textile community both in person and online – people are so open and supportive. It is a ray of light.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since establishing your business?
Figure out what you can outsource. You can’t do it all so figure out what are the worst jobs for you and get experts to do them. You can even try to exchange services on a contra base to keep costs down low.
Who are the people coming to your workshops?
So many people! Parents, siblings, textile students, office workers, nanas, teenagers, people looking for a career change, new mums needing a break.
Can you tell us a little about your book, ‘On the Loom’?
My book is an inspiration. It is based on the idea that anyone can weave and you can do it cheaply and sustainably using things found around the home. I try to give lots of little projects that can be done by complete beginners as well as inspire seasoned weavers to think outside the box.
What’s your advice for anyone who would like to explore his or her creative side but is unsure where to start?
Just carve out a bit of time every weekend. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. Time is all it takes. Watch some online tutorials and get to work! (I have 3 online tutorials on my website http://www.maryannemoodie.com).
For the excitingly rare chance to catch Maryanne in Perth for a Q&A session, secure your spot now for An Afternoon with Maryanne Moodie.
When: 13 October, 2-3.30pm
The intimate afternoon will reveal how this accomplished maker and mother-of-two has ditched perfectionism and embraced fluidity and flexibility.
Visit Maryanne’s instagram page here to put the colour in all of your days!