CM: How and when did you first get into embroidery? When did you start designing your own patterns?
KG: I’ve been embroidering since I was 6-7 years old. It started with cross stitching. My first teacher was a book; I don’t remember which book exactly. In my childhood there was no internet and it was impossible to find modern cross stitch patterns. They were all huge with a lot of different thread colors. That’s why I started to draw small and simple schemes for myself on checkered paper: christmas tree, flowers, houses, etc. Of course, it hadn’t occurred to me then to share these patterns with someone.
CM: Do you view embroidery as art?
KG: Yes, I believe any rethinking of reality is an art.
CM: How do you think embroidery fits into the world of art?
KG: I think that the embroidery is quite functional. It’s not only something you can admire. Embroidery can express your position just as well as other forms of art. It can decorate the clothing. According to my observations, 2016 was the year of embroidery, at least on Instagram. So many incredible artists express their thoughts through embroidery.
CM: What draws you to focus on designing and embroidering cities?
KG: I live in a very beautiful city: Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Since childhood, I have been surrounded by stunning architecture. I also traveled a lot in Europe, when I went to give concerts with the chorus. Initially, I wanted to do cross stitch, but then I realized that for me it is important to be able to change the view of the picture while embroidering. Now I want to make city patterns for cross-stitchers too.
CM: What steps do you go through when designing a new pattern?
KG: At first, I chose the city (now my followers at @faimyxstitch are choosing). I’m starting to learn main attractions. If I’ve visited the city, it’s a little easier to understand if it looks like city I wanted to make or not. So, I collect photos of buildings, bridges, towers, churches from the city. Then I make different sketches and change details. Finally, I choose the version I like the most.
CM: How do you choose your color palette?
KG: That’s the hardest part. Color is almost the most important thing in embroidery! And I don’t use a lot of different colors in my embroideries so that patterns can be easy to make. I change colors a lot while embroidering. Sometimes, half the embroidery is done, but I don’t like the combination of colors and I rip up and start anew.
CM: Do you practice another form of art (like drawing) that has contributed to the development of your embroidery?
KG: Yes, I’m practicing drawing. And I’m sure that as in any form of art, you need to practice. Otherwise you won’t grow.
As a child, I was engaged in ballroom dancing, and then went to a music school. I still love to sing and sometimes write songs. Although it is not related to the embroidery, I think that these lessons have helped me to develop the creativity.
CM: What are the exciting and challenging aspects of designing a new pattern?
KG: I love to start a new embroidery pattern, until I have to choose the colors. Then I start to worry about whether it turns out well. At such moments, my husband supports me (and sometimes not, if it really is not very nice). And I really like to make the final touches when it is clear as the embroidery will look like.
CM: What is your favorite thing about embroidery?
KG: I like being able to improvise in embroidery. Even following the same pattern, each person will have their own unique embroidery. And that is great.