This week I am super excited to introduce you to Erin “Wren” Duncan. She is a maker, artist and writer and she creates adorable hand stitched products for all occasions. She is also very generous and is giving away one of her hankies! More deets at the end of the post.
Erin is the owner and handmaker behind wrenbirdarts. She is a former bookseller, barista, grantwriter, event planner, and real estate agent with a Master’s in Social Work. She is known for her hand embroidered, and sometimes cheeky, hankies. Her work has been featured on Buzzfeed, HuffPost, Glamour Magazine, and in several local and international print magazines. Erin lives in Seattle, where you’ll find her walking around exploring farmers markets, the local craft beer scene, and scoping out local businesses.
Check our her etsy shop to see a full catalogue of her work and pick up a few to have on hand for the upcoming wedding season (who doesn’t cry at weddings!)! You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Erin has also started a blog to track her journey through divorce called Splitsaga. Follow along as she documents the very real process of healing and overcoming
Now that you’ve met Erin let’s get to the interview!
What is your favorite drink to unwind with?
Usually an IPA, generally something brewed locally.
What books are you reading now and why?
Right now I am reading “The Little Friend” by Donna Tartt. Last month I finished “The Goldfinch”, which was so beautifully written and the character development is astounding, and “The Secret History” has been a long time favorite of mine, both also by Donna Tartt. This is my 3rd run at reading “The Little Friend” and I am determined to get through it this time.
If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?
Hmmm, I’ve tried a few occupations—grant writer, development director, social worker, real estate agent, but the only thing that’s felt right has been embroidery and writing. Maybe I would own a little coffee shop, where I would roast my own beans, and write on the side.
What is something about yourself that people don’t know about you?
I love to move from city to city. It’s what I do instead of travel. There is something so exhilarating about a new place, figuring out the local culture, finding new haunts, and exploring city neighborhoods. However, I am committing to Seattle for at least another year, which will be my longest stint since the mid-2000’s.
Who/what is a major influence on your work that people might not realize?
That’s a tough one to answer. I’m incredibly inspired by Lisa Congdon every time I hear her talk about her path to becoming an artist. She’s talented as well as completely relatable.
What has been your most memorable rejection?
I don’t want to sound like I don’t get rejected, because I do. It’s just not particularly memorable when, it’s about my embroidery. I just don’t take it personally. Now, more recently, I’ve decided to put myself out there as a writer and that is scary as hell. I’ve been submitting and working on lots of pitches to submit. I am still waiting to hear back from recent pitches, so rejection will be happening. I’ve even been putting pen to paper to scratch out some short stories, which are nowhere near view worthy yet. I keep my writing very close to me, so I think that any rejection having to do with something that I’ve written will feel like a personal insult.
Has rejection changed how you thought about your work or changed your direction in any way?
The idea of rejection kept my writing contained to my notebooks for many years. This year I just decided to say “to hell with it”, and put myself out there. It’s completely terrifying, but also necessary to decide if writing is something I can do in the light of day, instead of keeping it inside as my secret dream.
Can rejection be a positive thing?
Of course. Sometimes it’s a reality check, and sometimes it can be a way to improve on what you are already doing and are too close to your own work to see it yourself.
What advice would you offer to other artist’s, or folks in general, about rejection?
Rejection is a necessary part of putting yourself out there and betting on yourself. It means that you are reaching for a bigger goal. Pay attention to why your are being rejected, and move on, but don’t lose gumption.
Did I mention a giveaway?? Erin has shared one of her great hankies to make someone smile 🙂 Enter below and good luck! Sorry-but for now, giveaway items can only be shipped within the US.
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Have a talented creative that you would love to hear talk about there experience with rejection? Let me know and I’ll try to make it happen!
Thank you for visiting the site and I hope you’ll come back for the next interview!