Today on the YarnThing Podcast with Marly Bird: Susan Sullivan, Leisure Arts Editorial VP!
The show was extra long today and chock-full of great information: all about Susan Sullivan, Leisure Arts the company (they are awesome!), self publishing, designing, and everything in between. Listen in below to get it all (seriously, it would be way too long to try and put everything from the show in the notes)! All thing links for what Marly and Susan talk about are below as well!
So first a little bit about Susan. It all started when she answered an ad in the Little Rock newspaper for a craft instruction writer. Her interview at Leisure Arts was unusual to say the least. How many job interviews require one to tote bags full of sewing, crochet, quilting, painting, cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery, and smocking for examination? Once she was deemed knowledgeable enough, she was given a test. She was given a completed plastic canvas 3-D toy soldier which was from a kit that the company was selling at the time. She was also given a kit with all the materials EXCEPT the instructions. Her job was to write complete instructions including drawing the charts showing how to stitch the pieces and giving assembly instructions to create the soldier. She passed the test. Susan started out as a technical writer for all skill sets EXCEPT knit and crochet which were managed in a separate department. Her first management position was overseeing the staff for magazines and a hardbound cross stitch book series. She started managing knit and crochet publications in 1995 and that has been her true passion ever since. She was a crocheter all along but only started knitting after she started managing the yarn publications. Having daily exposure to beautiful knitted items made her determined to learn. And it was great to have on site experts to help her when she hit a snag!
Susan was passionate about her work and her path lead her to advance to Publications Director, then to Managing Editor and finally Editor in Chief in 2007. She was named Vice President of Editorial in 2011. She is incredibly proud of all of the publications and products that her team creates and fully credits this dedicated and talented group with making them come to fruition. After 25 years at Leisure Arts, Susan still can’t believe she gets to go to work every day and gets paid to play with yarn, fabric, rubber bands, and duct tape. Of course, there are those contracts, production schedules, and budgets that tend to jerk her back to reality. But she is truly thankful for all of the opportunities she has received during her time at the 43 year old publishing company.
Leisure Arts puts out books, booklets, leaflets, and products for virtually every craft you can think of. This includes knitting and crochet (their biggest seller), cross-stitch, jewelry making, needlepoint, quilting and sewing. Their basic viewpoint is that everyone should be able to make/use their products. As such, their books are written so that even beginners are able to follow the directions for more advanced techniques. They work with many designers to write their books (including Marly herself!). In addition to their print books and leaflets, Leisure Arts also puts up e-books for sale. They also have videos and on-line tutorials on their website. A few examples of their leaflets are below (Julie here, I learned to crochet from my Mom with the original version of I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting!, original and updated versions shown).
Important links from the show:
- Leisure Arts Website
- Craft Yarn Council Website, links to the health benefits site, videos and the Discover Knit and Crochet classes/teaching certification are here.
- The Knook, the new thing in the yarn world.
- Design submissions guide for Leisure Arts, anyone can submit.
- Leaflet Number 1, (couldn’t get the image to load up so here it is as a pdf), image of the cover of the very first Leisure Arts publication.
And definitely won’t forget the GIVEAWAY!! As always, leave a comment below with Susan’s keyword for your chance to win today’s prize: a Crochet pack from Leisure Arts!
Let’s give some love to our sponsors!
XRX Books, Knitter’s Magazine, STITCHES Expos
Indian Lake Artisans
Bijou Basin Ranch
Buffalo Wool Co.
Green Mountain Spinnery