A few questions with Salt Stitches (Emily Botelho)

A few questions with Salt Stitches (Emily Botelho)

Your work draws inspiration from textures in the natural world. Where is your go-to destination that will guarantee to get your creative juices flowing?

I’ve learnt to look for textures almost everywhere I go now, but Anglesey is where it all started and where I find myself heading back when I need a little creative boost. Particularly Llanddwyn Island and Newborough beach.

How would you describe your work in 5 words?

Embroidered landscapes with abstract textures? That was harder than I thought it would be!

Photography is an important element in your artistic practice, could you tell us a little bit about your process?

Everything starts off as a photograph, which can be anything from a full landscape or macro details in stone for example, and then the images are transferred onto fine cotton. I then pick out shapes and try to interpret them with thread and beading - but there isn’t really a blueprint before I set out. You could have a predominately green image that produces a pink/purple piece, a lot of it is guided by how I feel at the time and a piece rarely ends up looking how I thought it would at the beginning.

What do you look for when framing a shot to be used as an embroidery piece?

It varies, but mostly I’m looking for a decent balance of composition with a few details that stand out. For example one of my favourite pieces was created from a shot in the Swiss Alps that had giant neon red crosses spray painted on the side of the mountains. The juxtaposition with the natural forms and moss on the stone was really eye catching, and made for a super interesting finished piece.

You started Salt Stitches back in March 2018. Knowing what you know now, what words of advice would you give yourself in those early days?

Take proper breaks! And don’t say yes to every project.

If you could travel anywhere in the world for inspiration, where would it be and why?

Iceland has been on my list pretty much since the start, but I know already I’d have to go multiple times to catch each of the seasons!

And then I reckon I could find some incredible textures in places like the Rainbow Mountain in Peru 

What advice would you give to any young and aspiring creatives wanting to start their own business?

Try and set a good work/life balance from the start, it sounds boring but when you work for yourself it’s so easy to burnout! But ultimately it absolutely changed my life and I would 100% encourage anyone to start.

See more of Emily's work here