Windy Chien makes art that activates space and crafts objects that elevate the daily rituals of life.
For fourteen years she owned and operated Aquarius Records in San Francisco’s Mission District. She then worked for Apple building iTunes and the App Store. In 2015 she opened her design and art studio in San Francisco, and the following year she made a commitment to learn one new knot every day. She called the project the Year of Knots, and we can all take a few lessons from it.
Windy first learned macramé from her mother in the 1970s but it wasn’t until three decades later that she touched the artform again. After leaving her corporate job, she set out to explore her own creativity, trying out different creative forms and finding what resonated. Within five minutes of repetitive knotting, she knew it was the right expression for her. It feels productive and beautiful, and puts her in a blissful flow.
“I’m proof that you can do and be anything you want to be. I had a corporate job, and then I left to explore my own creativity”
“You know the quote by Joseph Campbell about how when you follow your bliss, doors will open that you never expected? That’s been so true,” she said. When Windy started the Year of Knots her goal was to self-educate and expand her artistic palette, gaining fluency in the language of knots and learning their historical context. By the end of the year, the entirety of her daily ritual was an art piece, and she called herself an artist.
“I’m proof that you can do and be anything you want to be. I had a corporate job, and then I left to explore my own creativity,” she said. “If you prioritize your own creativity and you make art you can call yourself an artist.”
Her unique style has taken the craft to new heights, distinguished from mainstream macramé that’s often limited to just a few knot styles. It’s modern and self-reflective, and walks the line between decor and fine art.
Now, Windy is not just an artist — she’s an inspiration for building creative rituals. “Focusing on my own creativity every day is second nature to me now, that’s a habit that I built that I couldn’t be happier about,” she said.