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Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi everyone! My name is Anna Fleiss and I am the author of Women Who Rock and Feminist Icon Cross Stitch. Two books full of cross-stitch patterns that celebrate amazing women who have been trailblazers, paving the way for other women. I live in Los Angeles and work as a digital video producer for a media company and in my free time I am a DIY enthusiast. On the weekends you can find me cooking, hiking, or re-doing some piece of furniture I found on craigslist.
Tell us a bit about the book?
The book is an ode to some key women musicians who were not only stars in their own right, but women who also broke through barriers and paved the way for other women to follow their musical dreams as well. You can find 20 patterns depicting some of these key women and a short biography of who she is and what contributions she made to music and society. PLUS 10 rock and roll themed typographical patterns.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration for the book came from my co-author, Lauren. Lauren and I worked together on Feminist Icon Cross Stitch and through that project, I learned a lot about music from Lauren. She has such a deep passion for and an expansive knowledge of music history. It became clear how many female musicians were more than just musicians and were really cultural icons and trailblazers. After FICS came out, it just felt like such a natural fit to create a second book featuring some of these increbile musicians.
Which is your favourite project?
Ooof, that's a tough one. I love them all so much, that's like asking me to choose my favorite cat! But I think the most memorable for me is Carole King. She was one that I didn't know much about when I started, and it was incredible to learn about her and to learn that even though I didn't realize it, I knew so many of her songs. She had such an indelible effect on pop music, and it was really amazing to be able to connect her with all of the songs of hers I already loved.
What is your craft space like?
My craft space is mobile. I don't really have a dedicated craft space, because most of my crafting happens on my couch while bingeing some tv show on Netflix. (My favorite shows to binge while crafting are Friends, The West Wing, and Gilmore Girls - whose theme song was written by Carole King, fun fact!) So I have a few drawers in a dresser that I try to keep all my crafting materials in, although when I'm in the middle of a big project, I sometimes fail at that and my craft supplies just end up in piles around the apartment.
Have you always been creative?
I actually never really thought of myself as creative. I have always been crafty, but to be honest, it never really struck me as creativity. I always thought of creative as someone with a paintbrush and a canvas creating some abstract piece, or drawing a bowl of fruit. But as I got older, I started realizing that this is also creativity, even if it's not what I traditionally thought of as creativity.
When did you first start crafting?
I think I started crafting really young. My mom is really crafty, and she was a teacher. So every summer while she was on her summer break she would tackle some giant project, one summer we decided to learn how to remove the tile floors in our living room and refinish the hardwood floors below, another summer we repainted the entire house, there was always some weird project we were working on. The first one I remember though was when I was 7 - and we decided to make a giant cake that depicted a summer day at a pool. We cut out part of the cake and filled it with blue jello, made a diving board, pool chairs, and used teddy grahams as the people, who we painted bathing suits on with icing. It took us 3 days to make, and no one ate it because we didn't want to ruin the art.
Who are your crafty heroes?
I am constantly inspired by things I find on Instagram - honestly that's such an amazing platform to see people who are working on these new crafting techniques that no one has ever tried before. Some of my faves are Subversive Cross Stitch, Times New Romance, and Badass Crossstitch.
Where do you find inspiration?
I look for inspiration from other mediums like photography, hand-lettering and calligraphy, home design, and textiles. I also get inspired by making gifts for friends and family and thinking about their styles to step out of my comfort zone, and I try to come up with innovative ways in my personal work to make traditional techniques like embroidery or cross-stitch more multimedia by mixing in new materials or ways of executing.
What's next for you?
Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm playing with some ideas for a potential next project, but after doing three books in a one year period, I'm actually really excited to not be on deadline for a bit and do some projects at my own pace.