Photo of Theo

Photo of the artist Theo Milnor

Throughout this series, we’ve spoken to painters, sculptors, and visual artists about their creativity. This time, we’ll be speaking to Theo Milnor, a passionate crocheter, who says Cups, and the community therein, became a safe space for her to practice her craft and find new meaning as an artist.

For Theo, crocheting started out as a way to relieve stress and help her focus when she needed it most, like during class. 

“I started crocheting mainly because I was on break and wanted to try something new, only to figure out, oh, this is really, really nice. It’s something to do with my hands. I’ve done a bunch of different art stuff, but crochet was new to me,” she said. 

“Then [crocheting] became almost like a coping mechanism. When I was in lectures, I’d crochet to have something to do with my hands so I could, you know, listen to the teacher better. It’s a very calming thing to do. Whenever I come home and I’m just completely stressed, all I have to do is turn on the T.V. and crochet and I’ll be fine after like thirty minutes or so.”

However, crochet held a completely new meaning to Theo after one impromptu visit to Cups in Fondren. Not only did she find a place to explore her creative potential, but also a place to form new friendships. 

“I started crocheting over there and one day I made this little jellyfish, and all of the baristas were like, oh my gosh, that’s so cute! And I was like, do you want it? Since then, I make them little things to hang around the store and they’ll give me new ideas or themes to work on,” she said. 

“I just finished a summer theme, which was a series of sea animals. Now, I’m working on fall, and I just gave them a crochet ghost recently. They absolutely love it, and it’s made me realize how my work can make people happy. Seeing people get really excited over the stuffed animals I make is so worth it.”

Photo of art on display

Pictured above: Theo’s crochet pieces on display at Cups in Fondren

Theo’s experiences with Cups made her realize the importance of having a local spot for artists to show their work that isn’t always a museum.

“Cups creates safe spaces in Mississippi, especially for artists in my age group. Having a place like Cups is so inspiring,” she said. “Cups gives artists here a chance to get their work out there and say ‘hey, I’m doing something pretty cool and I’m getting recognized for it.’ Plus, it’s really, really nice to see everybody come together at Cups. You meet so many new people and everyone’s really nice. It’s just a great little community.”

To any local artists wanting to have their art displayed at Cups, Theo had this advice to share:

“Just go for it! It’s so satisfying to see your work on display or hanging up in the coffee shop. You could even inspire someone else and really get your name out there. You can do something you love. Don’t let fear or anxiety or any doubts hold you back!” 

Be sure to stop by Cups in Fondren to see what new items of hers are available!