About Me

blogcollageHi, I’m Becka.

I am both an artist and a teacher.  My primary work is designing fabric with engineered and manipulated photographic prints.  I use these prints to make one-of-a-kind wearable art garments, accessories and the occasional home dec or wall art piece.  One of the traditions of fiber art that inspired me is the idea of making practical and every day things be beautiful as well as functional. Why else do you make a lace edge on a handkerchief or hand weave a kitchen towel when a scrap of fabric would do the job?  Because that’s a tiny bit of art that makes you feel good.

As a teacher, rather than being a specialist in one area, my specialty is being able to teach a beginning class in just about everything related to fiber art – felting, dyes, weaving, knitting, sewing, embroidery, beadwork, quilting.  I love watching the light bulb come on for someone as they have that “ah-ha!” moment or the gasp of excitement as they unfold their first dye project.  I love to teach and you can find out all about my upcoming classes here.

I spent 11 years as the director of education, working as an arts administrator and surrounded every day with art at Textile Center, a national center for fiber arts.  In 2014, I decided to retire from that life in order to spend more time making art, teaching and working as an advocate for fiber art and artists.  I received a Jerome Foundation grant in 2014/15 for emerging fiber artists and participated in the American Craft Council’s new Hip Pop emerging artists program. In 2016, I received a MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant to do a collaboration with local museums and a neighborhood partnership grant to create public art utility box wraps in a neighborhood that is dear to my heart. I have shops at Etsy, Spoonflower and RedBubble where I sell my designs. You can also find me at Two Fish Fibers, which is my ongoing collaboration with my friend Doreen of Goldfish Love Fibers.

In 2015, my first book was published, The Spoonflower Handbook.  I worked with co-authors Stephen Fraser and Judi Ketteler to create the ultimate handbook to all things fabric design, Spoonflower-style.  I was the tech guru for the book, putting together all of the step-by-step instructions, screenshots and so on.  It was a huge project and one I am really proud of.  You can find me at Spoonflower under the username “beckarahn”. In 2016, I self-published a kids art book to accompany the public art project I did with a local neighborhood. You can find that book through Blurb or my Etsy shop.

In 2016, I was appointed to be on the Etsy Sellers Advisory Board for 2016.  This group met with Etsy staff throughout the year to help advise Etsy about issues that are important to all kinds of Etsy sellers.  In my interview with Etsy, I talked a lot about how I consider my Etsy shop to be one important facet of my artistic business.  I don’t want to be a full-time “manufacturer” of goods, but rather to run a small niche shop that helps to support my other art making and teaching projects.  I am really excited to be a part of this Board and work with some other amazing Etsy sellers.

I live in Minneapolis, although I haven’t always been a city girl.  I grew up in Rapid City, SD and will always think of the Black Hills as my home.  I have a computer geeky husband and two huge black lab mutts (Chester & Leo) and we like to go on long rambling photo walks in search of lattes, squirrels and milkbones. I am on the board of directors of the Hennepin History Museum in Minneapolis and of the Weavers Guild of MN and I am the MN State Rep to the Surface Design Association. I am really committed to making art in my community and have worked with The Museum of Russian Art, The Bakken Museum, Dakota County Libraries, PPA and many other local organizations this year.

My favorite colors are green and orange.  I am an avid reader, especially of sci-fi and historical fiction.  I love jazz music, live theater and Japanese food.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”– Neil Gaiman

I love comments.  I love questions.  Feel free to say hi!

EMAIL ME:  beckarahn {at} g m a i l . com

OR CONTACT ME HERE:

(and thanks to my friend Kim Nelson for the great photo of me on the sidebar)