Janet Echelman

Janet Echelman


The thing I had to teach myself was how to hear my own voice. I didn't even know it! You have to hear your voice before you can follow it.


By Roadtrip Nation

Janet Echelman


My road in life took a while to figure out.
When asked to describe her job in one sentence, she says: “I go to cities and create spaces where people can come together.”
Her sculptural artworks are massive, soft, multi-layered forms made up of different kinds of fibers, often displayed in public spaces like parks or town squares.
When she told her mother that she wanted to be an artist, her mom said, “That’s a great aspiration; now go make 100 paintings.”
She said the message behind it was, “this is a great thing to aspire to, and I support you, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work and persistence.”
She was rejected from all seven art schools she applied to, but she says that devising her own education in the arts ended up being much more authentic and fulfilling.
She originally started out as a painter, but after college she took a trip to Bali, and when she tried to ship all of her paint supplies there, they got lost in the mail.
As a result, she started looking around for new materials to use to create art, and she started making sculptures from the local fishermen’s nets.
She gets a lot of her inspiration from nature, but she executes her vision at scale with help from computer science and engineering technologies.
Keep following my journey



I am a sculptor and fiber artist combining ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to transform urban spaces.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Day to Day

I go to cities and create spaces where people can come together. I'm often asked to create pieces that interact with particular environments and open people's imaginations. I'm constantly experimenting with and engineering different fibers and materials to use. I am also constantly learning new technologies and science skills in order to bring my work to the scale we need and be able communicate the technical details to a variety of individuals including construction workers and engineers.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Don't censor yourself! First, pursue that innate dream that you have. You can always compromise later if it doesn't work out.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I'll never be an artist if I can't get into art school. "

Challenges I Overcame

Learning Issues