About

Leanne Prain headshot

Leanne Prain. Photography by Nicol Lischa Photography (2013).

Introduced to the subversive DIY movement in the early 1990’s, the political and cultural aspects of modern handicrafts have turned into a downright obsession for me. My writing, research, and lectures span craft, culture, design, and storytelling – and I enjoy looking for the intersections between the handmade and fabricated, and the intentional and the accidental.

I’m  the author of three books, Strange Material: Storytelling Through TextilesYarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti (co-authored with Mandy Moore) and Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery, all published by Arsenal Pulp Press. My writings on design and craft have been featured in magazines and anthologies internationally.In 2014, I took part in an epic nine-city book tour with fellow authors Betsy Greer and Kim Werker, where we hosted panel discussions at Powell’s Books in Portland during PDX Design Week, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

A certified graphic designer who has held senior communication design positions and run my own business, I currently serve my design community as Copywriting Chair for the Lower Mainland Chapter of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC BC) and you will often find me on twitter reporting about west coast design-related events.

I like school. I hold a Master in Publishing from Simon Fraser University and a BFA with a double-major in Creative Writing & Art History from The University of British Columbia. I’m also an alumni of the D.Crit (design criticism, writing & research) Summer Intensive at New York’s School of Visual Arts and more recently, I’ve been following my interest in design research by studying User Experience Design (UX) at RED Academy in Vancouver.

A longtime resident of Vancouver, I currently work as the marketing and communications coordinator at the SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, a unique public culture and community engagement program of Simon Fraser University’s fine arts campus at the revitalized Woodward’s complex (under the big red ‘W’). There I work with many of Vancouver’s performing artists, curators, cultural producers, place-makers, innovators, and academics. (Legal caveat: all opinions on this site are my own, and not those of my employer).

I was born and raised in the picturesque Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, a place very conducive to writing and reading.