This month we had the chance to chat with Andie Solar, a punch needle artist, author and the woman behind Myra & Jean! After discovering punch needle in 2017, Andie’s business quickly blossomed and you can now find punch needle supplies, kits and patterns through her Website. Read on to learn more about Andie’s creative background, and some of her favorite things about punching!
Tell us a little bit about your creative background. (Were you creative as a child? Did you study art or design in school?) What led you to the work you do today?
Creative to the core! My hands are always busy, regardless of my age. I loved helping my dad with home improvement projects and rumor has it I was only 2 when I first tried a drill :D Creative runs in my blood – one grandpa was a carpenter and the other a tailor. I learned knitting, crochet and embroidery from my grandma, her sister and my mom and my dad taught me how to use a sewing machine and all the tools around the house.
When it comes to punch needle the discovery was completely accidental. It all fell into my lap one day and it’s been 4 years now. Crazy how time flies.
How did you get started with Punch Needle? What about this technique appealed to you?
I saw a cushion cover @Bookhou made and it stopped me in my tracks. It was one of those moments when your jaw drops. I had to try it because it looked magical and just SO much fun!
We'd love to hear about your creative process. How do you come up with new ideas? What inspires you? Do you have any practices or processes around this?
This is one of those things that is hard to explain. I get inspired by everything around me and new designs usually just “pop up” in my head. I can’t really explain it.
How has your work evolved over time?
I have been trying to find my style, but no matter where it goes one thing stays the same – my love for color. Texture is what initially drew me to punch needle and that stayed with me which is why I started sculpting as well.
What is your favorite part about the work that you do?
What do you hope others see / gain / take away from your work?
That it’s fun and so relaxing!
Tell us about a favorite piece that you worked on, or one that had a lot of meaning to you.
It’s hard to pick because I feel that every piece I work on teaches me something new. One thing that is the same is that I get “in the zone” and sort of forget what’s around me. It’s an incredible feeling.
What punch needle materials and tools do you use? Do you have any favorite supplier recommendations for tools, material or yarn?
I have really been loving the Lavor adjustable needles. They punch really nicely because the metal is high quality and they’re adjustable which is a win for a texture lover. My go to fabric has been linen lately because of the easy of punch and also the natural color.
What advice do you have for other artists or creatives looking to try punch needle?
JUST DO IT and don’t give up. You’ll make mistakes in the beginning, but, luckily, punch needle is very forgiving!
Where do you see your work going in the future?
Absolutely no idea. I would love to have my work displayed in hotels!
How can the punch needle community support you and your work?
By going to my website at www.myraandjean.com
What is something that you are excited or curious about these days?
Other fiber arts. It’s fun to mix!
What are 3 other fun facts about yourself that you would like to share with the Punch Needle Community?
I’m a self taught artist originally from Slovakia and, of course, I love texture :)