Monday, July 7, 2008

Jaime Alvarez

Jaime Alvarez, Philadelphia, PA

I came across Jaime's work a while ago (he was one of the first artists I approached when I first started Heart Handmade - sorry it took me so long to put the post up!!!) - embroidery on linoleum tiles immediately got my attention.

I think his bio on Etsy says it all "Big with a big heart making things with my hands." Oh and he's also a great photographer!

1. You seem to have a number of irons in the fire. Can you describe what you do?

Mainly I take Icons of everyday life, or kitsch, then Embroider them on to Linoleum tile.

2. How long have you been doing this for?

A few years now. It began with A project based on institution vs. Home, and this is my idea of what happens when those two worlds collide.

3. How would you describe your style?

Clean, minimal, humorous.

4. How did you come up with the concept of combining linoleum and stitching/embroidery?

Linoleum seems to me like one of those icons of hospitals, schools, and offices. Stitching, seems very domestic. Hence the outcome.

5. Can you briefly describe the process behind making your tiles to us newbies?

Take a drawing, and simplify it down to just some lines. Then, with some crochet thread, a needle, and some patience, I connect the dots.

6. If you had to choose one piece, what would be your all-time favorite and why?

HaHa. I love design and type, and I love the subtle difference between Futura and Helvetica.

7. What tool(s) can't you live without?

My camera, my pens, and paper. I fidget a lot, and when in public, I tend to doodle non stop. Id go nuts without a pen and a notebook.

8. Who is your idol/current artist-crush?

Julie Mehretu. Her prints/paintings are painstakingly intricate and complex.

9. Do you do this full-time, if not what pays the bills?

I'm a photographer. You can see more of my work at

10. Making money from art can be challenging. What motivates you to keep doing what you're doing through thick and thin?

It's the only thing I know how to do. It's a struggle, but I believe if you keep at it, and try to better yourself from the last project it will pay off.

11. What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Large Photographs made from cropped 35mm images. More photographs of buildings, my doodles which are framed, and larger tile compositions. I keep working as much as I can.

12. What are the first 3 blogs that you read everyday?,, and These three are among the many I frequent daily.


Melissa de la Fuente said...

THese are wonderful, I love the "HA HA" one as well and am off to check out Jaime's other work! Anyone "big with a big heart" is ok ny me! :)

Marichelle said...

that one is my fave too!