KOEL Stories

Meet The KOEL Kids: Jessica Hotson

Meet The KOEL Kidsirene hoofs
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Sometimes, being inspired by someone else's artwork might be the start of your craft pursuit and the development of your own style. Setting eyes on the weaving works of Mayanne Moodie was what kickstarted Toronto based weaver, Jessica Hotson's passion for the craft... and being a creative director herself, Jessica used her artsy talents to create fluffy weaves that are uniquely hers. She now sells commissioned pieces via her Etsy shop and spends her time experimenting new creative styles to break free from traditional formats. Read on for full interview and she might as well inspire you to start your weaving career too!

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1. Tell us more about your background and what led you to choosing weaving as a craft?
I really fell into weaving. I stumbled across one of Maryanne Moodie's piece on Instagram and thought it was stunning – I had never really seen art like hers before! I found her work very inspiring and thought it could be fun to try and make something similar for myself. I was in New York and messaged her to purchase one of her loom kits. I wanted to meet her and hear about her process, but the timing didn't work out. She put one in the mail to me and it arrived a few weeks later. As I work as a Creative Director, I find myself in front of the computer most days. When I started playing with wool and fibber, I fell in love with the tactile element of it. I realized that although I work in the creative field, I was missing the element of making something with my hands. That and the ability to play with pattern and colour made weaving an amazing medium for me. It filled up a bit of a creative void. 

2. What makes you a KOEL Kid?
It's hard to say. Weaving has become such a popular art form over the past few years. I'm constantly inspired by the work of others and I'm just honoured to received pleasant feedback from others about my work. 

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3. Share with us the creative process behind each of your project.
I'm not a big planner. I'm usually inspired by a certain wool, colour or mood and I just set off from there. I don't usually know where I'm going until I get there and that's something I really love about the process. I zone out a little and just go with what feels right. Sometimes the best pieces come from a mistake or an unintentional pattern. However, when I started working on commissions, the process changed a lot. It became more intentional and methodical. I started out making things for myself and close friends and I never considered myself talented enough to sell anything. Selling a piece of artwork you've made and happy with the outcome is really the best compliment you can get. When you start selling your work, you start caring more about what others like or are looking for. Commissions have pushed me to experiment with textures and patterns I wouldn't naturally gravitate to, and they've helped me learn a lot about what type of work I love to make and what I want to move away from. 

4. Pick one of your favourite designs and answer these quick questions!

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The inspiration behind this design is... California. I was dreaming of a road trip I was planning all winter and this piece got me through the cold. 

The dream store in which I would like to stock this design is… Bolina

Which celebrity house can you picture your design at? Fashion designer Jesse Kamm!

If this design made it big, I would… Move to California!

If this design could talk, it would say… Am I done?

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5. Great things take time, so how much has changed since you first started weaving and where do you see yourself in the next five years?
A lot has changed. I hadn't even heard of weaving nor did I know what a loom was five years ago! I never thought weaving would become such a big part of my life. I've decided to dedicate some extra energy to it this year. I'm stepping away from sales and commissions and re-examining what is it that  I love about the craft. I also want to play with structure and try to break free from traditional formats while seeing what type of experimentation I can get into. I want to return to freedom and play, and the original joy that brought me here. 

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Photo Credits: Jessica Hotson