Leanne PrainMy writing, research, and lectures span design, craft, art, culture, cities, community, and storytelling. I enjoy looking for the connections between the handmade and the fabricated, 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. I’ve also been a contributing writer for a variety of design and culture magazines including Designer, Desktop, Works that Work, Seamwork, and the anthology Craftivism.

I hope that my books will inspire creativity, create change, and make you want to DO something.

As an author and designer, I’ve delivered over a hundred lectures and workshops at galleries, conferences, bookstores, classrooms and libraries. In 2014, I took part in an epic nine-city book tour for Strange Material alongside authors Betsy Greer and Kim Werker, where we hosted panel discussions at Powell’s Books during Portland Design Week, The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.

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) Intensive at New York’s School of Visual Arts.

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

For over 20 years I have lived and worked in Vancouver, British Columbia, the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.


Honors & Awards

  • Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles was named one of 14 must-have books for 2014 by the Surface Designers Association.
  • BC Arts Council Recipient, 2013 – project support of creative writing and research for Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles
  • Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery was listed by Library Journal in Best Books 2011: Fibre Craft
  • Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti was named Best Vancouver Craft Book, Georgia Straight Best of the City Issue 2009

Selected Press

As an author, I have been featured in a variety of publications:

The New York Times
The New Yorker
The Guardian UK
Time Magazine
Selvedge Magazine
Fibre Arts Now
The Vancouver Sun
The National Post
Publisher’s Weekly
USA Today
Spacing Toronto
Elle Canada
Vogue Knitting
W Magazine
Theme Magazine
The Hartford Examiner
Shameless Magazine
Maisonneuve Magazine
The Georgia Straight
The Oregonian
CBC RadioThe Star
School Library Journal
Irish Public Radio
CBC News
The Today Show
MacLean’s Magazine