It's hard to find a moment of stillness, but California-based artist Julia Shore uses moss-inspired embroidery to bring nature indoors and mediate.
In today's chaotic and unstable world, finding a moment's peace can be challenging, let alone if you're a mother. Yet California-based artist Julia Shore commits to her embroidery practice, recognising that carving out the space for beading provides her with: "time for myself, to reflect on the beauty of the world and to connect with nature."
Her circular embroidered 3D art pieces emulate forest floors, combining mossy textures with beaded detailing to give the sensation of vegetation and plants that create an instantly calming feeling.
"My mission as an artist is to bring peace and calm into your everyday life," she says. "Through my art, I hope to inspire a deeper connection with nature and yourself."
Putting her artworks together is meditative and therapeutic; it provides a moment's still from the busyness of the day and is a welcome break from maternal duties.
Having worked this way since 2018, when Shore first discovered this medium, she was comforted by how much joy the practice brought her.
"After becoming a mother, I felt a deeper need to express my connection to nature calmly," says Shore. "With hand embroidery, I could easily start and stop my project whenever my baby needed me; it's very flexible. Embroidery requires minimal supplies, and the repetitive stitching motion connects your brain with your hands. Unlike a big canvas, embroidery isn't intimidating. You can comfortably sit in your chair and just enjoy the process."
Inspired by the natural world's shapes, textures and colours, Shore aims to weave all of these into her designs and has recently expanded into wearable art and larger-scale works.
Working with embroidery also gives focus, enabling Shore to stay present and act mindfully. "Through my creative process, I'm learning a lot about myself," says Shore. "I am a spontaneous creator; I never plan a piece or make sketches. Instead, I take pictures of things I find interesting – whether it's something I've found while walking on the beach, hiking, taking my son to school or reading a book."
She tries to remain open to inspiration in everyday life and frequently uses her embroidery tools to spark new ideas. It's a confidence-boosting exercise.
"My approach with embroidery is to follow my artistic instincts and allow each piece to take its own direction. It's not always clear where the creative process will lead me, but the work is complete once I feel at peace with it."
It's an intuitive process, and one that is continuing to unfold the more Shore dedicates herself to it: "Creating art is a deeply personal and often emotional experience, and by cultivating a sense of calm and inner stillness, I am better able to tap into my inner self and connect with my emotions."