Women Who Create / Leigh Jennings
Today we welcome Leigh Jennings to the blog as our third in the interview series. Her witty and cutting embroideries have become somewhat iconic on Instagram and this morning she has a few wise words to share about the meaning of craft, and how it is so often wrongly portrayed and the power of naps.
Tell us a little about your background…
I run Intwosandthrees, which through Etsy, is home to embroidered goods and illustrations. Intwosandthrees is now infamously known for a few swear filled embroideries, along with pet portraits and other topical and mature embroidered pieces. I studied Fine Art at college and uni in Liverpool and was involved in the set-up of a new art and design led shop. Since moving home to Suffolk I’ve been involved in an art and design led pop-up shop and gift and home ware shop, alongside street markets and fairs that a wonderful bunch of creative friends organise and run.
Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focussed and happy?
Organisation is key. I schedule in commissions and projects to make sure I spend valuable time on each. I also schedule in breaks and days off – sometimes working for yourself means self-induced stress and you don’t come up for air, keeping a healthy balance is important.
What two things can’t you live without?
I’d like to say a sketchbook and burgers, but it’s more likely my phone and naps.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Anything and everything. I think creative people kind of see the world differently, we could look at a spot on the ceiling and get an idea for something. Unless that’s just me? My creative friends are a brilliant source of inspiration if I’m ever stuck though.
What is the meaning of ‘creativity’ to you?
I think the word ‘craft’ has had a terrible reputation in the past. I struggled with its meaning when I was at uni – trying to justify why embroidery could be art work and not just a “typical feminine craft”. It seems an outdated umbrella term for hobbies. It’s in desperate need of an update.
If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?
Anyone! I love working with passionate people with creative ideas. This year I’d like to work with more illustrators – translating flat works of art into embroideries really fascinates me at the moment.
Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?
A pen. Before I make any embroideries, it always starts with a drawing or a sentence.
What is the best thing about running your *business/blog/working for yourself?
I’m making something that I love every day, and I happen to be lucky enough that other people like it too. It’s exhausting and stressful at times, but every day surprises me.
What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?
There’s been some famous people repost my embroideries on Instagram – that’s pretty amazing. Obviously the first big commission is the proudest, but having other talented artists comment that they like my work or even buy my work, blows my mind and is the most bonkers feeling every time.
Find yourself a gem over at Leigh’s Etsy shop!