This week’s artist, Maggie Dimmick, grew up in a house of bankers, where making art was considered making a mess. In fact, it was until her mid-20’s that Dimmick started to consider herself an artist. But from a very young age, the passion to create has always been a part of her personhood. As a textile artist, Dimmick uses only found fabrics and threads in her practice, drawing inspiration from color theory, and artists like Sheila Hick and Helen Frankenthaler. In addition to her own work, Dimmick spends her days at her design company, Ethel Studio. Based in the Twin Cities, Ethel creates one-of-a-kind meditation cushions from recycled and found fabrics.
Get cozy and join us in Maggie Dimmick’s colorful creations!
An Inspired Inventor - Dimmick’s first textile creation was a pair of pants. She composed her first creation out of the blue and green plastic bags that were wrapped around her family’s newspaper.
“I had saved a few, and used scotch tape to tape pieces together. It didn’t turn out so great, but that’s probably when I first started to play around with making clothes, or using something flat to make something 3D.”
One of Dimmick’s earliest artistic memories was spurred from her love of ballpoint pens. This rambunctious youngster got caught drawing with a ballpoint pen on her dad’s favorite leather chair. To this day, Dimmick remembers loving the feeling of ink on leather.
From Jersey, to Pittsburgh, and then to New York - Dimmick know lives in Minneapolis, MN, working on Ethel Studio during the day, and trying to relax at night. One of her newest challenges is book keeping. As a business owner, Dimmick recognizes the not-so-glamorous aspects of running a business, but notes how important and necessary it is in order to get to the fun part.
As a teenager, one of Dimmick’s biggest influences was Vogue magazine. Growing up in Pittsburgh, fashion and street wear design were not things Dimmick saw on a regular basis. Fashion magazines opened her eyes to a completely different world, and she started making costumes for dance performances, working with color and garment design. She would rip out dozens of images and construct her own “idea books.” To this day, Dimmick loves to makes collages that explore color, movement, and radical textile pairings.
Dimmick utilizes fabric, thread and yarn in the majority of her work. She scraps together everything from silk, linens, cottons, and a variety of blends, never purchasing anything new.
“There’s no reason to keep adding to the negative environmental impact of the textile industry when there’s so much high value material out there that needs to be utilized.”
One of Dimmick’s greatest accomplishments is figuring out how to rescue and recycle fabrics from around the Twin Cities.
“It’s a challenging and non-glamorous process, but I’m trying to create solutions for fabric scraps from local garment production so that all materials can be used somehow instead of going into a landfill or incinerator. I’m always looking for new sources and new partnerships. It’s kind of an overwhelming thing right now, but I’m on a path that I am passionate about.
Dimmick’s ideal art studio has white walls, white floors, big windows, silence, privacy, and a good heating system. Her current studio only has a couple of these aspects, but she sure can dream.
Dimmick loves to have access to other artists while she’s working. Her practice requires her to be along for long periods of time, but she also recognizes the importance of taking and interacting with other artists. Other artists and their work provide her with feedback and inspiration, which is essential.
In addition to her textile work, Dimmick has a private painting practice and an meditative embroidery practice. When she can, she loves to end the day with reading and relaxation.
As 2018 comes to a rapid end, let’s keep Dimmick’s mantra in mind - “GO FOR IT!”
This creative machine runs her own business, and continues to make time for her own work. Us Octoladies are definitely inspired by your passion and love of color.