Meet the Maker: Maureen Milligan
Today on Meet The Maker, the quirky meter is off the charts. Maureen Milligan of Destiny City Threads is taking us behind the scenes to discuss her inspirations and artistic goals when it comes to embroidery work and other crafting adventures. Although her artistic career is still young, her hoops provide the perfect balance of prettiness and zing from the quirky captions that even the oldest pros in sarcasm can chuckle at.
Everyone has a different path to finding their creative rhythm and becoming an artist and entrepreneur. What got you started?
I grew up watching my Dad spend a lot of his spare time illustrating science-fiction comic book art. I'd accompany him on trips to the craft store for his supplies and we spent a lot of time together drawing. In college I tried my hand at a number of art classes including photography, woodworking, and metalworking. I've always had an urge to work with my hands and watch the process of a design unfold. This past year though, the desire to find a space for my creative expressions intensified and by chance found a home with hand embroidery. I created a hoop as a gift and found it both exciting and meditative. Something with this medium just clicked for me and I realized I could see myself working out so many ideas with a needle and thread.
Your embroidery hoops always seem to have a fun sense of whimsy and quirkiness. Where do you draw your inspiration from, and how does your work reflect you personally?
I pull my inspiration from all over. It could be from a book cover, a song I’m currently hooked on or a conversation heard in passing. I do a lot of daydreaming and work out most of my ideas while I’m driving, out for a walk or trying to fall asleep. I’m also pretty plugged into pop culture and some of my ideas come about because of jokes or conversations with friends. My personality is up beat and high energy and I think that’s visible in the bright colors and subject matter of my designs.
Where would you like to see your artistic career in the next 5 years?
My adventures in hand embroidery are still very young, and I'm enjoying seeing how it's all unfolding. I hope to continually evolve and try new techniques and even tackle larger scale projects or series. Although I'm really enjoying working on hoops, I don't want to hold myself to that alone. The artistic and crafting community that I've stumbled into on Instagram is truly inspiring and I'd love the chance to work in collaboration with other artists. I have a few ideas in mind that I'd like to explore.
When you're not stitching, what are you typically up to? Any other interests?
I’m married and a mom to two young boys, so there is a lot of wrestling, superhero play and dance parties. We are really into music in our house, most nights we’re blasting tunes and dancing around while getting dinner figured out. I’m a really social person as well, so it’s important that I find time to have coffee dates or long walks with my girlfriends. Hanging at our local beach and throwing rocks in the bay is another of our favorite pastime.
Last but not least, who are some artists and makers out there that you think we should know about?
I have found so many amazing artist through Instagram, it's like an endless supply of inspiration, but to name a few: @yuloid @marigoldandmars @laurie_melia @themintgardener & @katiemcmullinart (who is actually one of my closest friends from high school and has been inspiring me for years).
If you would like to learn more about Maureen and Destiny City Threads, you can find her on Instagram at @destinycitythreads (with an Etsy site in the works!).