Featured Artist – Joanne Mooney

Color, color and more color. Add a dash of fun and art, and you have Joanne Mooney. She inspires me daily, and I know she’ll do the same for you. Without further ado, meet Joanne!

Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?

I grew up in Dublin Ireland. My mother was widowed and young while pregnant with me. My brother was 3 and my sister was 1. As children we didn’t have much. I come from a generation of makers. All my uncles are carpenters, upholsterers, painters and builders. My grandparents also. My mother made all our clothes. I remember standing beside her while she sewed on her sewing machine watching her sewing. We wore knitted sweaters & handmade dresses. She even crocheted our socks! We lived a very simple life. This is where I feel I got my love for everything handmade. I guess you could say creativity is running through my veins.

Punch Needle balloons

Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.

I’d say when I was 11. In primary school. When the teacher left the classroom for lunch, I took the chalk & I drew illustrations on the black board and the class had to guess what I was drawing. I also remember I loved art in school. I won a colouring competition when I was 10. I won a Parker pen, it was very memorable for me. I learned how to knit when I was 7 or 8. I remember knitting scarfs for my teddies and dolls.

How do you decide what project to work on next?

I’m usually inspired by something. For example, during lockdown, I watched Tiger King on Netflix and it inspired me to do a punch needle portrait of Joe Exotic…so random. 😀 It’s also seasonal. At the moment I’m looking at designs for Christmas.

You have such a fun color aesthetic. How do you decide what colors to use when creating and/or designing?

When it comes to colour I just go with what I like. I love putting colours together that you would never think would match! My most recent & favorite colour combination is orange & dark blue! I love a color clash!

Have you always been brave with color?

I have always loved color and yes been brave with it! I don’t always get it right! When I moved into my first house I painted the kitchen lime green & purple.

Do you plan ahead when making design choices?

I’m not a planner at all! Sometimes I wish I was more organized but I’m not. I just get an idea in my head and I have to do right there, right now. Like I feel like if I don’t do it straight away the idea will disappear 😂

What’s your favorite thing about Punch Needle?

I use my punch needle like a magic wand! It’s like colouring in with yarn. I draw my image & I can colour it in with all different colour yarn.

Where did you first hear about Punch Needle?

A good friend of mine hosted a punch needle workshop, I attended. I have to say, it took me a while to pick up the technique. I kept practicing. I found the craft very therapeutic.

What made you want to try Punch Needle?

I have always loved textiles. I think with punch needle the possibilities are endless! I love punching on different mediums like seagrass baskets!

Where do you find inspiration for your Punch Needle designs?

Everything inspires me. People ,places & nature.I try to punch designs that haven’t been done. When I learned how to punch I looked to see what designs are “out there” and everything was the similar.

What is the message you’re sending into the universe with your work?

Color is everything.

Share an experience that started out as a complete disaster but looking back turned out to be a magical opportunity.

Ok, the day I came home from my first punch needle workshop I was sitting on the couch thinking “What can I punch?” I had used up all the monks cloth. It was like an itch I had to scratch! I had to practice my punch needle. I tried punching a cotton tote bag I had but it was a disaster. On my fireplace I had an IKEA seagrass basket. I thought to myself it has holes in it! Let me try punch it. I drew the words GROW onto it started to punch it. It turned out amazing!

Punch Needle Basket Planter by Joanne Mooney

What do you know for sure?

I know for sure that life is precious. Enjoy the small things.

Give us three of your favorite/most inspiring things right now. Could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.

Podcasts, Family & Taylor Swift 😘

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Best advice….Be yourself

It’s karaoke night and you’re up. What song do you sing?

Dancing Queen ABBA

Finish this sentence. I find myself most inspired to create when I am…

…Stressed or anxious. I’m a huge believer in creativity for mindfulness x

A genie grants you three wishes. What do you wish for?

  • World Peace
  • Cure for Cancer
  • End this pandemic

Name 3 of your guilty pleasures.

Red wine, More red wine, Red wine 😂😂

Punch Needle artist Joanne Mooney

What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey and the design industry in general?

Do your own thing ! There is so much to consume on Social media nowadays. Pinterest, Tiktok, Instagram. I always tell my girls not to follow trends. Be yourself & start the trend. Design your own designs, be inspired but look inside your soul & create your own unique designs.

Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?

Get a good website.

How do you stay motivated? What does your daily routine look like?

I’m so hyper! I’m peak in the mornings. I have my best ideas when I wake up. I drop my girls to school. Tidy my house and spend the mornings in my workroom. I’m motivated by creative projects. I’m always adding new products to my website www.Tinythings.ie plus I do work with brands creating content and I love that too.

What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it comes to financials?

I listen to podcasts while I work. I’m not a good reader because I find it hard to sit down and read a book. Some of my favorite podcasts are:

Punch Needle Rug by Joanne Mooney