Jen Stamps is an analog photographer and mixed media artist based in Austin, Texas. Her frequent travels inspire her playful photographs, which feature embroidery, collage, doodles and watercolor. In a world where everything is virtual, Jen craves the tangibility of film.
See more of Jen's work on instagram at: @filmandthegirl
Jen's multimedia work is on instagram at: @jenniferstampsstudio
Jen's website is at: jenniferstamps.com
A/A: What inspired this series of photos? JS: For the past few years, I’ve been pairing embroidery with my film photos. This specific series was inspired by a recent trip to Paris and my French language journey. As I’m learning the language, I find things that sound beautiful or funny. As someone who wants to learn colloquial French, I often search for those idioms or common sayings. Embroidering these sayings to my French photos just made sense.
A/A: How did you perfect the technique of sewing on photos?
JS: Lots of practice. Lots and lots. I was not a traditional embroiderer. My first experience embroidering was on a photograph. I quickly learned that I needed a thimble to save my fingers, what types of threads are good and not-so-good with paper, and even what types of photos to embroider. I even embroider Polaroids. Typically, I’ll draw out my pattern or text on tracing paper. I’ll lay the tracing paper over the image and start to poke holes with a needle. Once I have my outline on the paper, I remove the tracing paper and start embroidering.
A/A: Your work is so varied and you have such a wide range. Do you find your images have a common theme and inspiration?
JS: Sometimes I have a theme or project in mind. And sometimes I get a random idea and just jump right in. Everything I embroider is either an image I’ve taken or it’s paired with an image I’ve taken (like my Retold Stories collection). Right now, I’m enjoying the Pour L’amour series since it combines my love for Paris, the French language, film photography, and embroidery.