We had the good fortune of connecting with Ellen Schinderman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ellen, how does your business help the community or world?
When the pandemic began, I was staying up much too late, fretting, watching tv, whatever, and I realized I was rebelling against the lack of control. So, I decided to find a healthy way to rebel, and still get my rest. Inspired by Portland artist Shana Lee Hampton, I began embroidering lyric about love and hope and joy (“everybody is a star,” “ooh child, things are gonna get easier,” “you know we’ve got to find a way to bring some loving here today,” etc.), and stapling them on electrical posts around my neighborhood. I’ve done upward of 40 so far; the response online has been overwhelmingly positive and grateful, I’ve even had few friends spot them “in the wild.” Usually they are gone within 24-48 hours, though one was up a week or more, before someone snagged it. I love that people take them. I love the idea of someone living through these stressful times going for a walk, and coming upon an embroidery that says, “if only you knew, how much i do, do love you,” and it making them feel a bit better. I love when people see me posting them and come over to see what i’m doing, Or the lurkers, who wait until they think i’m no longer paying attention and then go look. i miss art shows and interacting with the viewing public; this has been a way to still have some of that and put positivity and love into the community and universe.

Please tell us more about your work. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? 
My path has been serpentine but always a creative one. I grew up in the theater and after college started writing as well as performing; that’s what brought me to Los Angeles. It wasn’t long here before I gave up acting professionally (though i still did a lot of comedy and sketch work for years with people who already knew me), to focus on writing. I was a working writer and sold tv ideas for just over a decade, when I wondered what pornography would look like needlepointed. I did a google search and didn’t find anything (although the amazing Maria Pineres was already doing some great work), so went and relearned how to needlepoint (I was a crafty kid), and started making my own canvases, and I was off to the races. Parts of it were easy, especially in the beginning. I was still writing, and it was just something I was doing that was fun, so I wasn’t hung up on selling or getting into shows, so doing both wasn’t terribly hard. I did go through a patch where I was so hungry for it, so feeling the lack of opportunity, that it was hard for me to move forward. Then something shifted, I put the focus back on the work and stopped submitting so much. As soon as I did, I was offered more opportunities than I could accept. My brand and story? Love yourself. Love your body. Be kind to yourself and others. I think that’s what my art is really about if you break it down to the basics.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
assuming this is pre/post pandemic… food: guisado’s, salt’s cure, matsumoto, the original farmers market, korea town for fried chicken places: melrose is a fun place to walk, people watching, trashy stores, and tons of street art, santa monica pier/roy rodgers beach/annenberg beach house, la luz, the hive, bergamot station, walking tours.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
shana lee hampton in pdx. her embroidery graffiti inspired me to do something new with my art form. my other major shout out is to all the black musicians and artists who’s words i’ve been using, sly and the family stone, stevie, dion warwick, the stylistics, marvin gaye, earth wind and fire…. so many.

Website: www.schindermania.com
Instagram: @schindermania
Facebook: schindermania

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