Now available on Etsy for your gift-giving needs: hand-stitched cloth versions of Kanye West’s tweets. The commemorations of West’s epic 140-character missives (“Sometimes I get the usage of puns and double en- tundras mixed up. I know sometimes one thing can be both. Rap God issues!!! LOL!!!!”; “Is it super lonely and miserable to buy yourself a Cartier love bracelet… well I guess I do love my self lol!!!”) come framed and run $40 a pop.
They’re the work of a 37-year-old California artist and mom named Amy Sheridan, a rap fan and the mother of a 12-year-old, stitches the tweets by hand at home. The embroidery has attracted quite a bit of media attention, and the surge in orders means that those who want a tweet are now looking at a two-month wait. (Sorry, holiday shoppers. Maybe you can print out the tweet you ordered as a placeholder?) SOTC spoke with Sheridan on the phone last night for her take on the project.
You’ve been getting a lot of attention for these tweets.
No kidding. It’s been crazy this weekend.
How much of a demand is there now?
Right now I’m just taking names for a waiting list and I’ve got 80 names. It’s s going to take me through February or March to do all those.
How quickly do you make them?
I can usually do one and a half or two in a day. It’s one of the only times in my life that being unemployed is a benefit.
Are you a big Kanye fan?
Oh yeah. I mean, who isn’t. He is so over the top and he’s so unapologetic about it. Like, where can I get a Persian rug with cherub imagery? Where can I get a marble conference table? And his shoes for Louis Vuitton that were like 3000 dollars for a pair of sneakers. It’s Elvis-level of over-the-top.
Where’d you get the idea for this?
Honestly, I like to do things I haven’t seen before. Kanye’s Twitter jumps the line between sublime and ridiculous. I thought the only way I could make it more ridiculous is to embroider it. So I did it and I posted it on my tumblr and it took on a life of its own.
What are the most-requested tweets?
The water bottle tweet—that’s the one most people request. And also the one about cherub rugs. Although a lot of websites that have posted it end up with these huge debates about how you can’t have a Persian rug with cherub imagery and how offensive it is that he asked for one. Also people like the one where he’s emotional over fonts. I do get emotional over fonts—who doesn’t hate Comic Sans?
Which one is your favorite?
His whole timeline from 2010 is, like, spectacular. I really wish he would go back to that. I guess right now I’m loving the emotional fonts one. It’s so ridiculous but so many people are like, “Yes, I agree with that.”
How do you feel about the fact that he doesn’t really tweet anymore?
It bums me out a lot. I know he’s got other stuff going on, but his Twitter was so—so many celebrities tweet stupid shit, and he would just tweet things that were so over-the-top inane that it was a breath of fresh air in the oversharing Twitter world. I’m assuming his handlers unfortunately put a damper on that. I loved that he put himself out there, it was hilarious. I like that he was doing it on his own. I think Rihanna does it on her own too.
It’s 140 characters. How many times a day are you waiting for an elevator or sitting in a car and can pop out some thought of your own? It’s a great connection between people, though of course it can bite some people in the ass.
Who are your favorite rappers?
Jay-Z, Eminem, Yelawolf has put out some good stuff. I’m still back and forth with Lil’ Wayne. My kid is always shoving music in front of me, so that introduces me to a lot of new stuff which is cool.
Where’d you learn how to embroider like that?
It was actually a friend of mine who also has a shop on Etsy. I always thought of embroidery as the nerdy thing your grandma does with kittens and flowers, but my friend does amazing portraits of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and I thought that’s kind of cool — it’s different from painting. It’s more tactile, there’s more of a texture. I had to bite her style a little but she showed me how to do some stitches.
Will you embroider other celebrities’ tweets besides Kanye’s?
You know actually I got a request from someone in Denmark who wanted a tweet—her favorite musician’s wife is pregnant and he tweeted about it—she wanted the tweet embroidered so she could give it to him when the baby is born. I thought that was cute.
But you know, I don’t know why you’d want anyone else’s other than Kanye’s.
Do you think he’s aware of this?
I mean it’s gotten so big, I’m assuming that someone will forward it to him. I’m nowhere near in his stratosphere, so the thought that he could even hear about that makes me want to pee my pants. That would make me the coolest mom in the world.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 12, 2011