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Noriko Sou
Ms. Noriko Sou is a Japanese embroidery artist who bases her handwork on the theme of “storytelling embroidery”. She is famous for her playful and colorful designs which are published in various books and magazines. She occasionally holds a workshop and has an online store.
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As she always says, the distinctive trait on her artworks is a cute motif that makes the viewer imagine a story. We asked her how her handwork expressions have changed by adding Copic to her embroideries.

What is the charm of embroidery?
I think embroidery can light up your everyday life with just a needle and a thread. You feel at ease just having around something you made yourself, and you can display or wear it.

What is the most important thing you consider when making a piece?
I put a strong emphasis on the “Is there a story here?” point in the designing process. I would happy if the people who look at my embroideries can see the story behind my artworks.

How did you encounter Copic?
In my twenties I admired illustrated book artists and I used Copic markers when I was drawing illustrations. There was a time I really tried to draw an illustrated book but looking back now it’s not something I could show so it’s something I have put away.

What is your Copic favorite color?
It’s difficult to pick one because there are a great variety of colors, but I love green colors such as G29. I always use the Copic Collection app, (*A smartphone app that helps you manage your Copic collection) it’s very handy when you have to keep track on such a big variety of colors.

Ms. Sou loves experimenting. By changing the layering order of the colors and Copic ink the artwork finish changes drastically.

What is the thing you enjoy the most when coloring with Copic?
For me it’s so fun to see the transparent colors to blur like water when you use it with colorless blender. It’s difficult to create the exact same thing because the blur technique always changes but at the same time it will be a one of a kind artwork

ーWhat is your recommended way to enjoy both Copic and embroidery?
Copic markers have great chemistry with fabrics, I recommend to color with Copic simple stitch embroideries.

Ms. Sou also uses Copic sketch to detail the girls skin color in the above drawing. She embroiders the outlines to purposely let the color stick out of the lines and it will look like a cute artwork.

Can you give some advice to people who never tried embroidery?
If you are good at drawing, before thinking embroidery looks difficult, try to draw on the fabric with Copic and then embroider the outline. With just that you can make your own special embroidery. When you are able to embroider the outlines of your work, try coloring it with Copic markers.

Cautions before use
Please be aware that Copic (Copic ink) are illustration markers, not fabric markers. The colors can fade or stick on other clothes.

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