ARTIST INTERVIEW: Zinzi Edmundson of Knit Wit Magazine

Zinzi Edmundson is the editor and co-founder of Knit Wit, a print magazine that explores the world of fiber, textiles and the community that puts it all together. With her partner and co-founder Gigi Jack, Zinzi seeks to shine a light on the incredible work of this dynamic—and growing!—community of artists and makers, much like her likeminded friends at Echo Park Craft Fair.

 

 

Describe the path that led you to the work you do now. Did you take any big risks to get where you are?
Since middle school, I’ve wanted to make magazines—first as an art director and later as an editor. I interned for the New Yorker (there) and then C Magazine (here) and once I left college, I got a job at Condé Nast in reception. I finally landed a staff position at Bon Appétit, where I was for many years before they moved locations to New York. At the same time, my (now) husband and I were making music and suddenly had incredible touring opportunities. I left my BA job to tour. I’d been so busy in college with my career-mindedness that I hadn’t gone abroad to study at all—now I had trips to Japan, South America, Northern and Western Europe laid out in front of me… And so I took it! That’s probably the biggest risk I’ve taken. You wouldn’t think being in a band would have many lessons, but it did teach me about stamina, discipline, how to be a real self-starter and ultimately, how to make a creative project your job.

 

 

Do you think community is important to creativity? If so, how?
So important! I’m a hardlined introvert, but I’m constantly amazed at how the (right) company can light a fire within. One of my favorite feelings is connecting with people who can do that to you—just leave you buzzing by their very presence—and to run home and make something happen with that. Just hearing what people are doing, how their making their creativity work for them (even in non-creative fields, I should add) can be really inspiring.

Did you have any artists or creative people in your family? If so, how did they influence you?
My stepdad was a painter and my mom was a clothing designer, so creative work is definitely in the air in our house. I also grew up in a very creative town of Providence, RI, with student and graduate projects all over and basically every family friend working in some capacity as an artist or designer. What’s funny is that, because of RISD’s strong textile program, I’m now constantly talking to people who have filtered through Providence as well.

 

 

Why is it important to you to show and share your work to a larger community?
This question’s a little different for me because what I do isn’t necessarily an ARTwork, which makes the answer s a little simpler… Ultimately, Knit Wit is a publication that aims to celebrate artists, makers, crafters and all their work, which is why a larger audience is actually crucial. We want to expose this community to as many people as possible to support the small businesses behind all the work. We also hope that reading these stories, seeing the work, being exposed to people who are making these lives happen, will in turn, encourage and inspire the readers in their work as well, whatever that might be.

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Photos by Stephanie Yang, Maria Del Rio, Nicole Lamotte, Winnie Au, Anais and Dax, and David Kitz.



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