We’ve all had the odd lockdown project – creative endeavours to keep us happy during uncertain times. For graphic designer Evelin Kasikov, she decided to create a new book of stitched images – and it’s proved to be quite the contrast to her normal work.
The series of threaded images, photographed, and often stitched during early hours, involved a slow and patient process but proved to be a lifesaver during the darker months of the pandemic. “Making those quiet pieces helped me to cope with fears and anxieties,” Kasikov tells Creative Boom. “It’s a project about silence. There are no people in these photographs, just early morning scenes, quiet moments, a kind of a still life. Mostly taken in or around London or Tallinn, a few images are from pre-pandemic times.”
Kasikov tells us she’s also trying out a different way of stitching. Instead of her usual fixed CMYK halftone grid, here she creates stitched dots freehand and in multicolour, inspired by the Impressionist painting technique, Pointillism.
Those who are familiar with Kasikov’s work will know of her incredible XXXX Swatchbook, a book about print created without a trace of ink. The massive endeavour took six years to complete, as Kasikov’s “catalogue of colour” documents 400 hand-stitched colour swatches in CMYK embroidery. “In the four colour printing process, the patterns of small overlapping dots create full range of colour,” she explains. “Here the process is tactile and three-dimensional. My inks are threads in CMYK colours: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. All elements in the book are hand-embroidered: the swatches, the title pages, the grid papers, and binding.”
Evelin Kasikov studied Graphic Fine Art at the Estonian Academy of Art. After working as an advertising art director for many years, she moved to London in 2006 to study at Central Saint Martins and gained her MA in Communication Design in 2008. Today, she specialises in typography and editorial design, and has designed books for a wide range of clients including University of Cambridge, Laurence King, Bloomsbury, Granta and Quarto.
Her approach to craft is analytical and firmly rooted in her graphic design background. She uses both digital and craft methods in her work, combining the two in a unique way. Her embroidered works are designed on a computer, then pierced onto paper and hand-stitched with mathematical precision. Evelin’s best known technique, CMYK-embroidery, is a handmade printing process. Her stitched typographic illustrations have appeared on the pages of Financial Times, WIRED and The Guardian to name but a few.