Danielle Clough’s embroideries are anything but traditional. Embroidered on surfaces that can vary from cloth to fences and even tennis rackets, her work looks more like digital paintings than handcrafted artwork. This makes sense, judging by Clough’s background in visual art and digital design.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Clough completed her studies in art direction and graphic design at The Red and Yellow School. It was only after working some time in the fields of photography, graphic design, and VJing, that she decided to take her embroidery hobby to the next level. Now a professional embroiderer, her clients include brands like Gucci, Adobe, and Nike.
“I love the idea of just being a crafter,” she told Rebel Girls Boundless. “It’s like being an artisan—being a baker or being a sign painter. There’s so much freedom in being able to make something without there having to be more significance, without the critique. I think we often say, ‘I want to be seen as an artist,’ but why are we so hard on the fact that something is a craft when we can be badass crafters?”
Her process varies depending on her work, but it usually begins with a reference, which she photographs herself. She then edits the photo, enhancing the contrast between bright and dark colors, after which she traces the linework onto whatever surface she’s embroidering on. “I just think of it as, you know, tracing and coloring in,” she says. “Which is like a child’s dream.”
Enjoy some of her creative work below.