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Patricia Larocque


Illustration


August, 2017








Patricia, otherwise known as F.F. Embroidery, (Famous Friends Embroidery), is a pretty cool emboider artist who makes anxious characters in to sewn creations.

Her work is meticulously detailed and colourful. She often draws and sews the same girl - she looks as through she is going through what seems to be a quart-life-crisis (something we can all relate to), and bares her teeth in the process.

What I found cool about F.F.Embroidery is that firstly, drawing what you know and experience makes for interesting work, and two, dedicating hours and hours of your life to make something beautiful, really pays off.

Her work can sometimes take 25 hours of stitching to finalise... and below you can see why. If you don’t already follow her on Instagram (and Tumblr and Pinterest...) then check it out!










Sophie
So what do you call yourself, Illustrator, Textile Artist or something more specific like Embroiderer?

Patricia
Well it still irks me to call myself an artist, but when people ask me what I do I usually say, "I embroider", which is bad to say because then it opens up a conversation I probably don't want to have. I'm Anti-social like that, especially since moving to France. So anyways I'm more recently just calling myself an artist who works mainly in textile, but I'm also doing illustration and a bunch of other things. My main focus is embroidery tho.
Sophie
How did you get into sewing your illustrations - has it come through your education over the years or more of a hobby-turned-profession situation?
Patricia
Well I guess since I started embroidering 6 years ago, I've always embroidered my illustrations. It's only been in the last couple of years that I really started focusing on my face drawings. It was just a natural progression and kinda just happened.




“I'm my own muse...is that bad?”






Sophie
All the characters - men / women you draw are so specific in terms of style. Is it one person you draw over again or are they multiple people drawn through a similar style? Why?
Patricia
Yeah they are all women and I always joke that they are just self portraits, I'm my own muse...is that bad? At least that's how it started, now I just like to play around with different colour combos. But the person I draw is always in a bit of a panic/life crisis because that's how I've been feeling and I know most people my age can relate.










Sophie
You write on your Tumblr page that you're inspired by nostalgia and 'stranger-than-fiction' reality TV... lots of your characters have similar facial expressions. What are they thinking about?
Patricia
They're thinking, "fuuuucccckkkkkk". Well I have bad anxiety, it comes and goes and I just find these cringe faces relatable. They are just stressed out, anxious, cringed-out chicks. Also I've always loved drawing mouths and teeth and it's the best part to embroider. I'm not into pretty perfect cutesy things.




“I'm not into pretty perfect cutesy things.”














Sophie
Sometimes you do really packed together running stitches / satin stitches and other times 'french knots' - do you have a favourite and how long did they both take to perfect?
Patricia
I prefer French knots but that takes a commitment because it takes so damn long to finish. I just like the feel of the French knots too. I think with the French knots it took a few months of trial and error and I'm still not perfect with them, but with anything you practice at a lot it gets better over time. At the beginning I used to have to make a lot of cuts and re-do a lot of work. Now I know how to get myself out of these situations a bit better. I don't think you can perfect anything, you definitely get better but that comes with a lot of time and practice.
Sophie
How long does a portrait usually take you to make, start to completion?

Patricia
Ugh no idea, anywhere from 6-25 hours or more. I'm not big on timing my work, it's embarrassing having to figure out how long you work on something vs how much you charge. It's brutal.
Sophie
Who are your biggest influencers in life and do you come from a creative family?
Patricia
I don't come from a creative family. I would say I don't know or have people in my life that have been huge influencers, least of all on my work. I've always kinda done what I wanted and I get most of my inspiration from my surroundings and day to day life. But that being said, celeb-wise I'd say Rupaul, haha I always quote him a lot or the whole show in general. It's always a good pick-me-up!














Sophie
You've moved countries a few times in the past four years. Is this in search for the best creative space to work / live in, or more for adventure?
Patricia
I was super young and just wanted a change and always wanted to go to Germany, so I guess at first it was for pure Adventure, shake up my life a bit. Afterwards it was pure compromise because I met a French guy there and now I'm here. Moving to Lyon was more for convenience. It was easiest to get a visa here. But I'm always thinking of my next adventure!
Sophie
You Insta bio reads, "alien, based in Lyon, France". How are the French treating you so far and are you planning on moving again soon?
Patricia
Well I write that because I didn't want to put a Canadian flag or write "I'm a Canadian living in a France... no not from Montreal" in my bio. I get a lot of people thinking I'm french also because my goddamn name is so French sounding. I just thought maybe writing that might clear something up in a more subtle way (news flash: it hasn't) But to answer your question on moving, I'd say, yes please. But now that I'm older it's a lot harder to be spontaneous and I have another person to consider, but hopefully I'll be moving in the next year or 2. I'm a bit of a loner here, a lot by choice and also you can't just go up to french people and talk to them without the language. It's a weird mix of wanting to meet people to learn the language/needing to know the language to meet people. I think you get to a stage and are just kinda like, Ugh why bother. I've always felt that Lyon was a transition city for me, an in between city, which is maybe the reason I never felt like it was my city... So to quote one of my faves Dorinda Medley, "I'll tell you how I'm doing. Not well, bitch."
Sophie
Embroidery has had a big resurgence in the last few years, I think this is probably down to social media sites like Instagram. So many of these artists seem to be women. Do you think this is true and if so, why?
Patricia
Yes, and that's were I'll leave it haha, [Insert Hanecdote aurther fist meme here] and you'll get it....I think it's pretty true.









Sophie
I love your brand name, 'Famous Friends Embroidery'. If you were in a magical band with some famous friends, who would they be and what would you sing about?

Patricia
Obviously we would sing about love and being sad. It would be an emo band and It would just have Robert smith or Paul banks, so we can just have rehearsals and they could sing to me and I could die (in a good way).












Sophie
What is your favourite thing you have to sell on your store right now?

Patricia
Any of my patches, I love them and hate listing them cause I just wanna be selfish and hoard everything for myself.

Sophie
What's next for F.F. Embroidery?

Patricia
No idea! Lots of travelling, collabs maybe... meeting my Instagram artists friends?? I hope in the future to work on bigger projects in terms of size. I'd like to make tapestries and even get exhibited somewhere.

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Find Patricia's work on Instagram!

Find her store here!


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