I want to tell you about a project.

The “RuPaul Cross-Stitch Animation Workshop” – or, more affectionately, “RuStitch” –
is a community art project by my brilliant friend Aubrey that Nate and I joined earlier this year.

February 20, to be precise. On that chilly night we joined about thirty others to learn how to cross-stitch and work together to create an embroidered animation of RuPaul from footage of “Supermodel“, an iconic song and video that RuPaul released in 1992. Go watch the video.

Our subsequent three workshops included guest drag performances, screenings of experimental animations, and discussions of web art and GIF culture. We had a blast. At our first session, we received all of our materials and chose our colors. For the next three and onward, we were basically left to noodle our way through our frames at our own pace. Let’s just say Nate and I took a very … relaxed approach to stitching.

In fact, there was this period where the deadline got pushed back
and I didn’t really work on mine for … a few months.

Sorry, Aubrey.

But now?

It’s done!!

My contribution to the “Serving Face” RuPaul animation is DONE!

When Nate and I signed up earlier this year to be “contributing artists” to Aubrey’s “Artists Helping Artists” workshop at WonderRoot community art center, we didn’t really realize what we were getting into. We’ve always appreciated Aubrey’s work – after all, we are the proud owners of seven of his early pieces (key set, four horsemen) – but now we have a new respect and understanding borne of trying, ourselves, to do the kind of extremely intricate, patient work he sets his heart to. Good lord, folks. It is hard.

That first night

Nate behind his new project

I’m proud to have been involved in RuStitch because it taught me so much about myself. Namely, that I can draw upon a well of stick-to-it-iveness I didn’t even know I had. This project taught me discipline, perseverance, and persistence. There were so many times I wanted to quit because, when cross-stitching, evidence of progress comes achingly slow. You can seriously work for an hour on a section and not get anywhere close to filling it. This can get discouraging – and is probably why I don’t have more pictures than I do! But I’m so glad I took the handful above to show how the project comes together over time. It was hard but completely worth it. Thanks, Aubrey, for having me!

PS: Nate’s frame is pretty amazing, too – but I don’t have a good picture of it (yet). He took a risk with bold, bright colors like lime green and orange and it paid off.

Now, here’s some of Aubrey’s past work (2009ish to present, newest to oldest) to get you excited about his December 15 show here in Atlanta (details at the bottom):

Hand-stitched cover of Atlanta Magazine, November 2013

Lavonia Elberton

Inspired by Miyazaki’s “Castle in the Sky”, one of my favorites

Beloved Gus.

 

To learn more about Aubrey, please check out the following links:

Aubrey’s personal blog
RuPaul Cross Stitch Animation Workshop Official Site
The artist in “30 Under 30″ for Arts ATL
, a great article about the RuStitch project
In Creative Loafing
More images

Gorgeous video interview
Excellent podcast interview with Aubrey about the RuStitch project

 

Amazing, right? To top it off, Aubrey is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet – definitely one of my all-time favorite folks. (Thanks to my dear friend Jina for introducing us oh-so-many years ago!)

Ok, so your interest is piqued? Great. Please join me for the opening reception of Aubrey’s first solo show,

“Serving Face”: Exploring Atlanta’s Drag Queen Scene through Art.

RSVP on Facebook here

Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 7pm

Erikson Clock (a Goat Farm Satellite)
364 Nelson Street
Castleberry Hill Arts District

Serving Face will investigate and document Atlanta’s drag queens by combining traditional embroidery techniques and animation. All of the contributing artists’ RuStitch pieces will be on display and the world premiere of the animation will debut. The show will also, of course, feature all of the other new work Aubrey’s been preparing for the show. I’ve had the privilege to see a few pieces and let me tell you, they will not disappoint. The opening reception will also include performances – naturally! – from some of Atlanta’s talented queens featured in Aubrey’s work. Hope to see you there!