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Meet Laura Cryan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Cryan.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I work full-time as a writer in entertainment marketing. I love that I get to be creative every day, dealing in themes and ideas and wordplay. I’m also an avid knitter, a compulsive crafter, and, if you ever need a needle and thread, the person to ask. I created @thathowtogirl because I needed an outlet to stretch the creative muscles that I don’t get to use at work.

I learned the basics from my incredibly talented and artistic mom, but it wasn’t really until college that I developed a love for the fiber arts – namely knitting, cross stitch, and more recently embroidery. I knit stuffed animals, dolls, sweaters, blankets. I cross stitch photographs, patterns, custom designs. I take commissions, make gifts, toys, home decor.

At first, I spent a lot of time creating things in the image of existing characters and properties. There was no cohesion among the things I created, and that was fine. Eventually, though, I wanted to create something that was both unified and entirely my own.

I wanted to create something kind, something wholesome, something colorful, something… me.

Enter @thathowtogirl

Please tell us about your art.
I began @thathowtogirl as a way to combine crafting, cartooning, and writing. She’s my embroidered cartoon alter ego, and editor-in-chief of a collection of how-to guides that are sometimes helpful, though perhaps not in the way you’d expect.

These musings generally center on a moment, event, or thing I witnessed, and culminate in some kind of life lesson, realization, or moral. The cartoons and embroideries keep it fun; people like pictures and pretty things.

I sketch out a design and then trace it onto fabric using a light table and erasable pens. Nearly all of my embroideries are done in 4-inch hoops, so they’re easy to travel with.

Sometimes the embroidery comes first. Sometimes the writing comes first. Sometimes I’m trying to capture an emotion. Sometimes I’m telling a story. Sometimes I’m just making something cute.

If I can say the thing that someone reading needs to hear, great. If they’re just following me because they want an adorable stitched cartoon popping up in their feed, also great.

I didn’t have any kind of concrete goal or plan in mind when I created @thathowtogirl; I just wanted to bring her to life.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I don’t think the role of artists has changed. If there’s a snowstorm, there will always be people out shoveling and laying down salt to remedy the problem, just as there will always be people inside making everyone hot chocolate to make living with it a bit more bearable. I think they’re equally important. Hot chocolate may not stop the snow, but in a blizzard, we need it more than ever.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can follow @thathowtogirl’s adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and at www.thathowtogirl.wordpress.com. Currently, I’m not trying to monetize @thathowtogirl, but every like, share, and comment means that, in some small way, I made a positive impact on your day — and that makes my day.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Laura Cryan (@thathowtogirl)

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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