Marcell Meili was a carpenter for three years. While working, he thought about something with his hands that he liked. He enjoys being a full-time fiber artist, but it’s still a job. Like carpentry, fiber art is a lot of work, and protective gear must be worn. Being a small business owner is no joke!
Fiber Art Inspired by A Sentimental Moment
Fellow artist Jen Duffin, AKA @novamercury on Instagram, who’s known for creating fun-loving and colorful pieces, inspired him to make. After seeing her feeds, he was determined to find his own style. Learning new techniques is something he continues to this day. He loved weaving so much that he sought other ways to make wall pieces. He built a loom to tuft new pieces. Marcell specializes in weaving and tufting.
Marcell mostly makes wall hangings, rugs, and accessories. One piece that he’s proud of is a giant tapestry, which he made for his wife to celebrate their wedding anniversary. It’s jewel-toned, embellished with pieces of fabric from wedding decor and her wedding dress. The tapestry hangs from a branch above where they sat during their wedding reception. It’s so special that he started making custom “Wedding Tapestries” for other couples. Making sentimental pieces brings him joy and gives him a sense of pride.
Challenges for Fiber Artists
Fiber artists have difficulty getting exposure and learning how to do so. Because most fiber artists are self-taught, it’s hard for them to find proper techniques.
Chain stores selling Macrame or tapestries for $30 don’t make it any better. It costs more in supplies and labor for handmade home decor. Selling art for so little devalues it, making people think fiber arts are cheap.
At times Marcell struggles to find his own style but tries not to compare himself to other artists. Despite the challenges, he’s determined to stay the course.
Love Everybody Hoodie
The hoodie is a popular selling item on his Shopify store. In the initial phase, he intended to try something different and work with a graphic designer. He knew he wanted something cozy to wear. Since the past few years have been hard for most people, it’s a simple message that everyone can be on board with. As a black man, he always wanted to create unity and pursue equality and love with everyone he meet. Now he gets to wear a sweatshirt as a reminder.
Oregon’s Creative Community
Living in Las Vegas, Nevada during his childhood, he then relocated to Eugene, Oregon as a teen. Not only did he first meet his wife there, but it was also the beginning of his fiber arts journey. First, Oregon is a sustainable place for artists. Secondly, artists typically make art to celebrate Oregon’s landscape. Third, local businesses prioritize local artists, making them feel valued. Marcell has received much support as a result.
One of his greatest achievements was marrying his wife, Courtney. She has encouraged him in his endeavors. Marcell recognizes the importance, plus the boost of his confidence and trust. They work from home and do wedding photography together. His wife’s love and support pushes him every day to keep at fiber arts no matter what obstacles he faces.
Bio: Marcell was born on a military base in Masawa, Japan and has lived in many places. He enjoys trips to Disney World, watching cartoons and movies, and playing video games with his wife. Currently he resides in Vancouver, Washington to be close to the Portland community. Some of his artistic inspiration comes from visiting new places.
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