Guys, Im really excited to share this post. An interview is a first for the blog and has been in the making for ages so….drumrrrrrrrroll, please!
I met Yarn Vandalette on Instagram, last year. She’s a fellow vandal who makes colourful and playful street art in Germany with a crochet hook. In our interview, she explains how she got entangled in street art, her inspirations and motivation, what she’s learned from the practise and the communities response.
She’s super generous with her work, sharing worldwide in her ‘Vandal girl around the world series’; if youre in Twillingate you might have even been lucky enough to spot one last summer at Crows Nest Cafe. She also gets into her installation dreams and goals! So, without further ado, I am pleased to introduce Yarn Vandalette!
What is the street craft scene like in Germany?
Right were I live there isn’t too much street craft around… there are some guerilla crocheters/knitters in some bigger cities, but I live in a rather rural area (wine growing 😊 area,). There is a huge Graffiti scene nearby and that keeps me inspired.
In several cities, sticker artists are large. I find them pretty cool, plus they are not biased against other forms of street art at all. I love doing trades with them. There are lots of females involved in sticker art too, while Graff is predominantely male.
As for crochet: I do know a crafter from the city of Mannheim, I was lucky to help her, and her crew, on a huge project. We bombed a whole bridge with large Crochet and knit slaps and blankets one night in 2014. That was a pretty awesom experience.
How did you get into yarn vadalizm?
I admired Graffiti since the mid 80s when Hiphop and Graffiti art swapped over to Europe. Nevertheless, I was to scared to do this myself. I guess, I was pretty much a too-well-behaved girl back then. I did black book drawings, though.
A couple of years ago, I re-learned to crochet by myself (haven´t done it in YEARS!) and started to crochet jewelry. I went to DIY markets with a friend where we sold our stuff. Somewhere along this road, I came across some pictures at the internet, where I saw yarn bombings. I couldn´t get this out of my head anymore. I just had to do this myself.
Why do you do it?
Because it is pure fun to me. It relives stress and it is a perfect outlet for all those crazy ideas that are swirling around in my head. I also love combined actions, I sent some piece here and there and I love supporting a good cause.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Hard to say, I guess from many sources: Books, Pictures, Instagram, Pinterest, Art I see out there …. Sometimes it is just the combinations of colorful yarn or a location I see and immediately think: This would be the perfect spot for bombing.
I sometimes have tons of ideas in my head, way more than i can actually put into reality ( I have a little black book for that, I write it down or paint and make notes of some measurements)… I just hate patterns. I’m a total freeformer, but usually everything works out.
Who are your favorite street artists or yarn-vandals?
Oh, there are a more than a few … I adore the Graffiti art of Vinie , a French, female Graff artist( I crocheted a giant ladies head in tribute to her), L7M is great, Okuda, Odeith and sooo many more, I probably miss tons of them. I also adore Old School writers like Phase 2, Blade or Seen .I own several classic books on Graffiti.
As for artist, I love the Art of James Rizzi, Jean Michel Basquiat ( I also did some crochet paintings in a outsider style inspired by him) , Yayoi Kusama, but also Paula Scher and Mark Bradford. As for Paste Ups I looove the monsters of Bortusk Leer. So absolutely awesome.
Speaking of my own tribe, the Yarn Bombers, I pay much respect to the big names like London Kaye or Olek, but I am really drawn to the ones who do it on a smaller scale. Hi Jenny Browns work is a steady source of inspiration, Sam Butler, The Welsh Wooly Wo, and many more … I love your work very much!
I am so happy to have Instagram for this ( Facebook just doesn´t work the same way) I have to mention the two other German Yarn Bombers which I know in person, as well.: ‘Strickt dagegen- But statt Grau’ and ‘ Nürnberger Häkel Mafia’ . Their work is incredible. They are both way more political than I am and they have all my respect for this. … Just realized I´d almost forgot the Santa Barbara Yarn Bomber! I contributed once and I admire him for the taking Yarn Bombing right into nature.
What lessons has yarn vandalism brought to you?
If you want to do, just do it! Be loud, be creative, no boundaries. Also, the lessons of art is not limited to colors and canvas (or spray cans and walls, that is!) Moreover, the love for craft, yarn and DIY connects a whole lot of different people. From all ages, backgrounds and all over the world. Pretty awesome, I think!
What has been the communities response to your work?
Since yarn bombing isnt exactly legal (if you do not ask for permission, but that would take away half of the fun) I do not make public, that I am behind the yarn bombs. I heard about people who like it and some don`t. I saw a couple of people taking pictures, or standing by my bombed pole in awe.
Only my close friends know about my hobby and they love it. They all wanted to see the book, I was featured in (I was asked to help in a book /catalogue about all types of street art which was produces for the Urban Art Festival 2015 in Düsseldorf. I got to represent the yarn bombers!!! Couldn’t get much better! 😉 )
Do you have a secret, installation dream or goal?
My dream come true would be a real collab with a Graffiti writer. I have always dreamt about that, and meanwhile I have seen a few cool collabos, so maybe one day this will come true. Other than that, I would love to bomb the local school with the help of kids, grandmas and such. I might do this next year. Moreover I want to stay in touch with other street artists, other yarn bombers, sticker artist and everyone interested in this form of outside art. Learn and grow! That pretty much sums everything up!
I am so inspired by Yarn Vandalette for her creativity and passion, and grateful that she took the time for this interview. Perhaps her story will inspire the birth of a new vandal! I also want to acknowledge her for her generosity in sharing her skill and talent with the world. If you want to see more of her work and tag along her creative journey you can find her on Instagram. And if you have any comments or questions or suggestions for future interviewee’s definitely let me know. You knows I love hearing from you!