Joke Lunsing, textile artist

Selfie no. 5, Joke Lunsing, photo courtesy by Joke Lunsing

“I love to be in the bubble of calmness”

It could have been my words, they are Joke Lunsing’s… Apparently we both experience the same mindful feeling while embroidering, feeling calm and “zen”. We also both started quite late in life with giving space to our creative qualities. But it’s never too late, isn’t it?

Sampler selfie rainbow, Joke Lunsing, photo courtesy Joke Lunsing

In 2013 Joke decided to focus on her own creative needs, while dealing with a stomach tumor. At that moment she had been working as a designer in the clothing industry for 15 years, commercial goals were dominant in her profession. In that period of time executive work in the clothing industry was transmitted to low-cost countries, it was vanishing in our Western world. Gradually Joke developed a feeling of melancholy about this. She realized the consequences for the profession of her father, a tailer. In contradiction to that movement Joke decided to pick up the needle.

Joke appeared to have a big talent for it. The photos in this article prove it. Personally I especially love selfie rainbow, shown by the photo above. What’ s not to like about it? I love the big stitches, the bright colors, the perfect combination of colors, the abstract design, the contemporary feeling, the beautiful look in the eye… proof enough?

Exploring her creative path

In her creative path Joke initially started working mainly figuratively on felt. An example of that is Rosita’s art with a soul , which you see here.

Rosita’s art with a soul, detail, Joke Lunsing, photo courtesy Joke Lunsing
Joke working at Rosita’s art with a soul, photo courtsey by Joke Lunsing

In 2015 Joke participated in a textile art project that generated attention for the awareness of bees vanishing as a species, including the disastrous consequences of that. Two years later she wanted to pay some more attention to the needle. She picked up the skills again taught by her father in her younger years. And she started the online course Textile and Patterns from Sue Stone in the UK. During this course she made a serie of self portraits, on as well cotton as felt.

At the beginning of the course Joke bumped into insecurities and doubts. Especially in the first months it looked like everyone else was going faster, doing things better and having more talent… In an interview with Joe from blog, Joke told that “she started like an ice queen” (see Luckily it didn’t stay that way… later she used more warm tones in work.

The break through

More and more Joke started to develop confidence and an individual style. More and more her work became abstract, as we can see clearly in the Circle of Life and Circle of Love series.

Circle of Life 3, Joke Lunsing, photo courtesy by Joke Lunsing

After having completed the course Joke invited her neighbors at an “Open House” to show the work she made. That “event” changed things and was exactly what she needed. She got lots of confirmation and enthusiasm from people close to her. The gathering also led to an assignment for a big carpet.

More or less this was the start of Joke working in big sizes, something like 1,5 m2 a piece. At the photos below you see a recent work in this size (nota bene: these photos are less sharp, but give a good impression of size and volume). Besides size it appeals to me that in her latest works there’s an increasing volume. A transition from 2D to 3D work seems to be going on.

Recent work, Joke Lunsing, courtesy by Joke Lunsing
working at a big size work, Joke Lunsing, photo courtesy by Joke Lunsing
detail, courtesy by Joke Lunsing

Late bloomers going fast

To me it’s quite astonishing and very inspiring to see that in, let’s say 5 years time, someone can re-develop one’s creative talent. So quickly and so outspoken. It definitely shows late bloomers can make up for lost time very quickly! And means more haste less speed indeed.

More information about Joke?

I’m very curious what Joke will create more in the next years. I’m looking forward to enjoy her new work already! Do you want to see more of her current work? Then you could take a look at her website, where’s lots to see. Go to

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Have fun and enjoy your creativity!

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