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Maker Monday: Akeen Kidder

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

I am professionally an engineer but in my free time, I create art by growing yarn onto canvases to make a design or a picture of your choosing. I wanted to do something unique and challenging so I randomly thought that yarn art would be the best way

What do you make? I make yarn on canvas pieces and I’ve been doing it for 5 years

What do I struggle with as an artist? Setting prices and knowing my worth

Am I scared to give 100% to my art and follow my passion? Yes, I enjoy my day job but if I could do art all the time I would. I’m just scared it’s not realistic.

Where do you find inspiration? In life. As long as I breathe, something can inspire me

If your art could be showcased in any gallery in the world, which would it be? I would love to be in any Montreal gallery

What is your favorite painting? Starry Night by Van Gogh because it is unique but universally beautiful.

Which of your habits help and which hinder your creativity? I am organized and exact so it helps in my spatial reasoning. I have attention problems so I lose focus sometimes

What do you love most about being an artist? I love being an artist, especially in yarn because I can make people smile and impress them with my work

Describe your creative process I get a picture that is topical, sent to me, or inspired me. Sketch onto the canvas they hot glue yarn to make the design

A newspaper article is written about you. What is the headline? Man in bright beanie dances his way into the White House

You’re at a dinner party and someone asks what you do. How do you describe what you do? I am a building engineer my profession and yarn artist in my spare time

What are your go-to snacks while creating? Popcorn or grapes

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? I don’t know. I really used to be a planner but now I just want to be in a place where I’m happy and my family is okay

What advice would your current self give your beginner self? Experiment! Try! Don’t give up!

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing? I would probably be an actor or rapper

If you were a canvas, what would be your color palette? Yellow and blues

What keeps you up at night? Not being good enough for the people I love

What is the hardest part of running your own business? Realizing that you don’t always get out what you put in and it takes patience

Who is your dream collaborator? Childish Gambino or kaws

What is your favorite genre of art? Pop art and realistic work

When did you realize you wanted to become an artist? I always wanted to create. Once I became good at science (about 14) I figured engineering was the best way to go that then learned that it’s not always fun so I did yarn art for a fun creative outlet

What are your hobbies? I like to read, bike, and play basketball

Which of the pieces you've created is your favorite? Biggie. I never imagined that I could make something in yarn look so realistic

How have you developed your career? Mostly through IG posting and interacting with people

How have other artists influenced your work? Less in my work and more in my patience and determination I learned that each artist gets their time

How would you describe your aesthetic? Pop art. Unique art. Textile arts

What does success mean to you? Being happy while being able to provide for people you love

Were you born an artist or made an artist? Born. I was painting since I could tip my hands in paint

What is your favorite tool/thing to work with? Hot glue gun and yarn. I like to create things that hold and last and have texture to them

Name a material that you refuse to work with. Felt. It just doesn’t feel right. Never works for me

If you had all the resources in the world (time, money, etc) would you still make the kind of art you make? Yes! I think my art is very unique and I love that

Who/what are your biggest influences? Childish Gambino is my biggest influence because he’s a Jack of all trades. He inspired me by showing that I could be an engineer but I can also be an artist and rapper if I want

What is art to you personally? Art is my way of feeling free, at peace, and distracting me from hard times

Tell us about the progress you've made since you first started I improved and expanded on my technique, patience, and ability to make something look realistic while using yarn

Why do you create? I create to make people smile

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