shannon about me stitching image.jpg

I am an artist, craftivist, community builder, and general instigator. I blend my politics, activism, and art into projects that are designed to inspire others to take action, think, discuss, engage with democracy and their community, and find some digital/analog balance. I create art to inspire other people to create art. 

I'm most inspired by:

Sheila Hicks

Bob Ross

Salvador Dali

Ai Weiwei

a curious assortment right?

Well, Sheila Hicks is a fiber goddess who no doubt dealt with some real shit as a woman in the art world working in fiber for the past 60 something years.

Bob Ross for his ability and desire to usurp the elitism of the art world in order to make art accessible, to inspire all people to believe in themselves as artists, and for being so damn lovable and engaging. 

Salvador Dali for his incredible talent but mostly for his marketing genius. That man knew how to create a personal brand and use it to get the attention his work deserved. Plus, that mustache. 

Ai Weiwei for his unapologetic artistic activism.

My aesthetic is simply that I have no particular aesthetic. I like to try something new every time I create something and I hate to repeat myself. 

I consider myself a community organizer and instigator disguised as a fiber artist. I want everything I do to inspire action, movement, community, and civic engagement.  I love teaching others how to create and my goal is to teach 1 million people to embroider before I die.  I am the happiest when I am making things and I want to learn how to do ALL THE THINGS. 

My community is my strength and my art exists to serve them. I love suggestions and ideas and projects that can take on a life of their own and that everyone can contribute to and grow and connect from. So let's come up with some stuff together, eh?!

I hate unfinished pieces. They make me sad. I buy them up at yard, estate and rummage sales and finish them. That makes me happy. It is especially important to me to do that when I find one at the estate sale of someone who has passed. I feel like their soul can't possibly rest with an unfinished piece of art out there. I'm projecting. I know and I don't care. 

A life goal is to turn out some super seriously in-depth embroidery books so that someday someone goes to an estate sale and finds my book and loses their shit with excitement about the "gem they just found" the way that I do anytime I score an old embroidery book at an estate sale. ; ) 

You can chat me up on Twitter + Instagram anytime. 

I want to talk to you. 

Thanks for visiting!







Press, Shows + Stuff

How Feminist Campaigner, Shannon Downey, Changed Her Mind on Abortion (Open Democracy/The Depolarization Project Podcast)

11 Creative Gifts for DIY Crafting (Apartment Therapy)

Messages In The Making: Inspiring A Movement, One Badass Cross Stitch at a Time (Best Self Magazine)

When Being Bad Does Good (The Smart Set)

Drexel University Honors College Commencement Address

A Conversation with Shannon Downey (A Playful Day Podcast)

Craftivism + Life (Everything is Workable Podcast)

Podcast Episode #121: Shannon Downey of Badass Cross Stitch (While She Naps Podcast)

Multi-million Dollar Companies Keep Stealing This Woman's Art (CJAD 800 AM Radio)

A Disruptive Conversation with Shannon Downey (Disruptive Conversations Podcast)

Inside the World of "Craftivism", The DIY Protest Art Fueling Knitting Circles Everywhere (Time.com)

IrishCentral.com Creativity & Arts Award Winner: Voice of Today - Shannon Downey

Shannon Downey on Art, Activism, Craftivism, and Other Feats (Windy City Times)

Craftivist Shannon Downey Stitches Up A Revolution with Her Art (STATUS magazine)

How Women Are Using Knitting and Needlework As A Form Of Protest (Bust)

Social Art (Exibart - Italy)

"Craftivist" Shannon Downey Reflects on a Year of Angry Cross Stitching" (Chicago Magazine)

Badass Cross Stitch - An Interview (Atlas Magazine)

Why "Good Boys" Need To Stop Getting Away With All The Bad Things They Do (Bust)

Crafting the New Activism (Columbia College)

Professor Stitches Together Activism, Empowerment (Columbia Chronicle)

Why "Me Too" has the Power to Break Open the Culture of Silence (Refinery 29)

Go Forth Podcast / Activism

How That "Boys will be Boys" Embroidery Became The Internet's Response To Harvey Weinstein (Vogue)

Minka Kelly Apologizes for being "Complicit" in Keeping Weinstein Rumors Quiet (Refinery29)

Sarah Hyland Just Shared The Most Incredible Needlepoint message, and We Need It On Our Wall Like Yesterday (HelloGiggles)

How Feminist Cross Stitching Became A Tool Of The Resistance (Bustle)

Trump Has Awakened An American "Craftivism" Movement That's Been Dormant Since The 1980's AIDS Quilt (Quartz) 

Close Knit Podcast: Subversive Embroidery, Craftivism and Processing Through Stitching

Shannon Downey FTW, Subversive Cross Stitch Blog

The Lisa D Show - Craftivism, Protest Signs + Rage Stitching

George Takei, Facebook Post (filing this under "stuff" that made my heart soar!)

America Finally Has A New "Hope" Poster (Fast Company)

Awesome Women's March Protest Posters to Inspire Your Own (Elle)

61 of the Greatest Signs From Women's Marches Around the Country (Buzzfeed)

The Best  Protest Signs from the Inauguration of Donald Trump (Slate)

Required Reading: Women's March Posters (Hyperallergic)

15 Ways to Craft Yourself Into Oblivion After the Dumpster Fire That Was 2016

Frustrated? Here's Why You Should Be Making "Protest Embroidery" (The Poke)

Community Craftivism to #EndGunViolence 

Columbia College: Faculty Spotlight

Design Feast: Pride, Work and the Necessity of Side Projects

Woman Made Gallery: Feminism (n) Plural // Curated Group Show

Notorious RGB: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Moore College of Art + Design // Activism Through Stitching 

Danish Broadcasting Corporation Evening News Segment: Political Cross Stitching

Craftivism.com // #EndGunViolence

PechaKucha 20x20 // Digital Analog Balance


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