Mana Morimoto makes magic. I met Mana while living in Portland, when all I knew about her was that she had a fierce passion for music. She moved back to Japan a year ago, and took a piece of Portland’s DIY craft culture with her. Lately my curiosity has been piqued by the influx of Instagram photos documenting her magic making. I sent her a message asking to learn more about her series of embroidered work. She immediately replied with this embroidery beamed image of me. Shortly after came this:
“Well, I started doing this because I found this old tin box full of beads and embroidery threads I collected when I was a little girl and I wanted to do something creative with them. My friend Keren posted this beautiful painting she did on Facebook, and we’ve always wanted to collaborate so I decided I’d try and do some embroidery on her painting. I liked how it turned out and wanted to do more, so I started creeping on my friends Facebook pictures and printing them out. I wanted to make something weird and magical happen on my friends pictures, such as firing embroidery beams, or creating embroidery aura around them. You could probably do something like that easily with photoshop but I wanted to do it in an analog and my own way. I just started doing this like 2 weeks ago, and I’m having a lot of fun experimenting with threads and papers.”
By following Mana’s work I’m able to witness her curiosity for craft as it evolves - she’ll be taking up weaving on a loom soon! I love surrounding myself with creative people, and I take it as an opportunity to learn. Social media allows us to cultivate our creative communities in a manageable way. Mana was inspired by her friend’s paintings posted on Facebook, as was I by Mana’s work on Instagram. Not only is it inspiring to see other people working in a real time sort of way, but I find it challenges me to be more prolific with my own art making. Mana’s been posting new photos from her embroidered series at a rapid fire rate. And now I’m off to go paint!