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Meet the Maker Month: Akeen of Art with an AK

I am an engineer by day and a yarn artist by night. Through my Instagram, I like to showcase my art where I hot glue gun yarn onto canvases to re-create pictures or make pop art. I also enjoy making up skits and filming funny videos with my motto #DoItForTheBit

When did you start making yarn art? I started about 5-6 years ago

Why do you use yarn? I have a personality type that begs to be unique. Everyone I knew could draw and paint but I’ve never seen anyone use yarn like I ended up doing. It was really random, I just saw the yarn in the dollar store and thought I could make something out of it.

What is the goal with your art? Honestly. I just want to make people happy if I could sell my art and live off of it that would be a bonus but just being able to showcase my art so that people are impressed and inspired is enough for me!

What does being a Maker mean to you? It means creating something new and having something that represents you last beyond yourself

What motivates you to create? Creating something unique and bringing smiles whenever someone sees it

How have you developed your skills? Practice. Making more and more pieces helps develop my skills. People ordering custom pieces, that challenge what I do help me learn new skills.

How have your life experiences shaped your art? I think that Patience is something I struggle with in general so finding a medium that really tests my patience is a good balance for me

How has the pandemic impacted your creativity? It’s giving me more time to work out my skills How do you apply your creativity to other aspects of your life? I am very creative on Instagram. Not only do I have visual arts but I also make up skits, and do raps. In my professional life, I always have to be creative in solving engineering problems

What themes do you pursue in your work? I just want to use bright colors with this yarn an art style to bring smiles

What is your favorite thing you've created and why? My biggie piece is my favorite creation because it is so realistic and incredibly hard to do with yarn

Tell us about your first sale I started posting on Instagram just because I had so many pieces and I might as well show them. When someone ask for one I was kind of surprised but very happy to see that other people might like to hang these in their houses

What is your dream project? I would like to continue being able to make realistic faces so if someone famous commissioned their portrait that would probably be the dream

Do you accept commissions? Yes

What type of art do you like to consume? I like anything that’s not abstract.

Describe your creative process I find a picture that I like depending on my vibe or commission. Depending on if I’m trying to do something realistic or a pop style I will either pick the real colors or fun bright colors. Then I plug in the glue gun and go.

How do your interests shift from one project to the next? Once I finish, I move on.

Describe your latest project I recently made a piece for a charity organization that focuses on the unity between people specifically focussing on black lives matter and indigenous rights.

How do you know when you've finished a project? When the whole canvas is covered in yarn, and I could look at it without cringing

What are your long-term goals? With respect to my art, I just hope to be able to make yarn art for the rest of my life… If I could find a better way to monetize it then that would be awesome but I just want to have the ability to create

What steps are you taking to ensure your growth as a maker? I continue to create and learn from my mistakes

What inspires you? Trying to make people smile.

What initially drew you to your craft? Trying to be unique.

What three adjectives would you use to describe your work? Unique, interesting, bright.

What story do you want to tell with your work? I have the patience to do something crazy.

Why are humans creative?

We have a biological urge to find the new frontier and to be better than we were yesterday, creativity is one of the best ways to do that. Also, I think it’s a survival of the fittest tool… You have to figure out a way to get through this crazy life.

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