How Magda Sayeg Approaches Her Crochet Art

magda crochet How Magda Sayeg Approaches Her Crochet Art

I previously featured the work of artist Magda Sayeg here on the blog. She has done terrific yarnbombing in the past and has now moved on to commissioned installation pieces for major brands like Smart Car and Sudafed. I recently learned a few more things about her that I didn’t know and so I thought I’d share.

Sayeg Outsources her Crochet and Knit Work

Perhaps the most striking thing I learned from the Wall Street Journal article about Sayeg is that she doesn’t do her own knit and crochet work. I did know that she often uses found crocheted objects in her pieces. I didn’t realize, however, that she outsources the other knit and crochet work to local Austin needleworkers. Nothing wrong with that. It’s still art. I just found it interesting.

Sayeg Is Making a Good Living

The article notes that she charges between $25,000 and $70,000 for her commissioned pieces. That means that she’s succeeding as a working artist, which I think is terrific. Much of this money comes from her large commissions like the yarnbombed Smart Car. I also learned from the article that Sayeg was once a single mother on welfare so I think it’s great that she’s pursued her art to the point of being able to comfortably care for her family.

Sayeg’s Artistic Process

The most interesting part of the article was the section that details Sayeg’s artistic process. Here’s how she approaches her work:

  • Sayeg studies the piece to be yarnbombed. She visits the actual piece to get a look at it, check out the dimensions and make design decisions as to how much of the item should be covered in yarnbombs.
  • Vintage vs. new. She makes a decision about whether the piece should be covered in repurposed found crochet and knit objects or if new needlework should be used.
  • Color combinations are chosen. At this stage, Sayeg considers color, deriving most of her inspiration from the crochet and knit colors of the 1960’s and 70s.
  • Sayeg makes her work space cozy and inspirational. Crocheted afghans and exercise balls are supplemented with a works in progress inspiration board in her home studio.
  • She uses a MacBook and Photoshop to sketch out ideas. She collaborates with two design assistants, often working for intense long periods during this phase of a project.
  • She collaborates with her team of needlworkers to the work done.
  • She collaborates with a team of volunteers to actually install the finished piece.
Any thoughts on this yarnbombing artist’s working process?
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Kathryn

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!
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