shannon rankin selflesh etsy west elm

We feature some of our favorite Etsy artists in our most recent spring catalog, including Shannon Rankin’s embroidered prints! Read on to see more of Shannon’s work, and to read our interview…

etsy west elm collage art embroidered print diy

What is the Selflesh origin story?

I founded the Selflesh design studio in 1997. The fictitious word evolved by merging the words “self” and “flesh.” At the time I was inspired by Carl Jung’s theories about the process of individuation and the development of the Self. The word evokes the duality of our existence. We are composed of both body and spirit (or self) and through our personal development we become distinct individuals.

Following graduation from art school, I worked as a graphic designer during the day, while my nights were dedicated to creating Internet art. After far too many hours on the computer, I craved a more tactile process. I returned to working with my hands. Now I create drawings, collages, and large-scale installations using vintage maps. When I have time, I also create new designs and illustrations for my Etsy shop and clients.

shannon rankin etsy west elm gocco print pulling diy

Your embroidered prints are great! What is it about mixing different material mediums that appeals to you as an artist?

Thanks! About a year ago I decided to offer embroidered prints which stemmed from the desire to offer customers something that incorporated the work of the hand; something a little more precious.

I love to work in a variety of media and enjoy discovering connections between seemingly disparate subjects. This sort of cross-pollination approach allows for the hybridization of ideas.

shannon rankin etsy west elm stars birds embroidered print

What roll does art play in your life right now? Is it a full time job, a passionate hobby, or something else?

I am a full time artist. I exhibit my fine art nationally and internationally. You can see more of my work here.

I offer affordable prints through my Etsy shop. It has evolved over the years to become a place for experimentation and an opportunity to explore new directions and interests. Current motifs include birds, anatomy, geometry, and astronomy.

textbook art collage diy etsy west elm emroidery

Where do you like to turn to for inspiration?

I live amid the mountains and lakes of northwestern Maine, so much of my inspiration comes from the surrounding nature here. During the summer months I re-fuel by spending time outside; carving paths through the woods, digging in the garden, and photographing intricate details in nature.

I also find inspiration and material for my varied projects from vintage science textbooks and world atlases.

etsy art in west elm catalog made in usa shelves

Shannon’s embroidered prints are featured on page 93 of our March catalog, and on You can see more of her work on her website.

Read about all of our catalog-featured Etsy artists here!

Images: Shannon Rankin and west elm

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ainee beland

December 18, 2013

Lovely and the sublime.

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