The Creative Instigator’s Handbook: Leanne Prain on Making Social Change Through Art

4 May 2022
By Fiona Ellis
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Do you have a belief that you feel really passionate about? Something that you would be prepared to act upon to preserve, protect, or prevent? For me, talks of cuts in library funding make me feel that I would be prepared to engage in acts that might mean going to jail if it would prevent libraries from being closed. It seems the stories of the early suffragette movement’s protests had a big impact on me.

Maybe you have a hot topic too. We are, of course, not alone. In The Creative Instigator’s Handbook: A DIY Guide to Making Social Change through Making Art (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022), Leanne Prain has tapped into that passion and highlighted how creative individuals can use their artistic endeavours as a method of raising awareness.

She demonstrates (pun intended) that making your voice heard on a subject doesn’t have to be an aggressive act. She guides the reader along a path of discovery, illuminating many different ways that social change can be achieved through acts of creativity rather than criminality. An instigator for sure, but also a gentle motivator for people who might need a little encouragement to begin a project they have in mind.

Leanne says that writing Yarn Bombing taught her that “projects don’t need to be large and aggressive, even a small creative act can make a change in one other person’s day.”

Other books by Leanne Prain:

Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, co-authored with Mandy Moore (2009, 10th anniversary edition 2019)

Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery (2011)

Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles (2014)

All published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

All images courtesy Leanne Prain/Arsenal Pulp Press.

About Fiona Ellis

Fiona Ellis learned to knit from her Grandmother at a very early age. She went onto to study Fashion at DeMontfort University (Leicester UK) where she specialized in knitwear design. She has been designing professionally since graduating in 1993. Her original designs have been sold to major fashion houses in New York, London & Paris for mass-market production and have been widely published through premier knitting magazines and in yarn pattern booklets for many yarn companies. She is the author of the books Inspired Cable Knits, Knitspiration Journal and Inspired Fair Isle Knits & is also an instructor at Craftsy. You can find out what she is currently doing at

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