It’s designer interview time! This week we’re featuring Sophie King, a British textile artist and the feminist mastermind behind King Sophie’s World.
The colourful aesthetic and powerful message of King Sophie’s World really hits the spot at Hannah Zakari. Her meticulously hand embroidered pieces in bright sequins and thread are a labour of love from start to finish and we were thrilled that we could bring a selection of her work to the HZ Shoppe over the summer.
Emma spoke to Sophie about her work and practice…
How long have you been practising as an artist? How did you get started?
I started ‘King Sophie’s World’ in late 2011, I just started embroidering and haven’t stopped since.
If you were to explain your practice to someone who hasn’t seen your work before, how would you sum it up?
I hand embroider from start to finish statements and images on textiles. I explore the issues women face in modern life that undermine their self-esteem, self-confidence and well being.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I wake up and I pack orders, go to the post office, then I check emails, which usually entails organising custom commissions and so on.
It’s usually about 4ish by this point, then I spend the rest of the day doing creative tasks, like embroidering orders, commissions and new pieces. I love listening to music whilst I work, I listen to all types of music but right now I have Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Damn’ on repeat.
Time seems to be an important part of your practice, from the medium you choose to work in, its historical significance and the experience of being a young woman. How do you relate to the women before you that have used embroidery as an art form?
In all honesty I relate more to women who have used textiles in a broader sense, as an art form. Like the designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who used embroidery with her fashion designs. Reading her autobiography was so affirming because it was like someone understood my aspirations in life for the first time.
What is your favourite item in your current collection and why?
I have really enjoyed embroidering on roses recently, just thoughts I’ve had in my head over the last few years. They’re more expressive and personal than anything I’ve made before. So it felt like more of a release.
Thanks to Sophie and Emma for the interview, first published in our 2017 Hannah Zakari zine (which is available to read in full here).
As well as the stunning original pieces displayed here and in our Edinburgh shoppe, Sophie King makes a range of inspirational iron on patches, button badges and stickers which have become immensely popular here at HZ!
The King Sophie’s World range is spreading a positive message of self-love, feminism and determination and we love it. Check out the rest of this fantastic collection in the Hannah Zakari webshoppe!