Friday, November 21, 2014

Creative Blog Hop

I was invited by Lindsay of A Wooden Nest to join in a creative blog hop to talk about my creative process. I have been given a list of 4 questions that I will do my best to answer. Creative process is one of those tricky things that can be hard to explain, but I'm happy to give it a good try.

What am I working on?
Sewing: I have been throwing myself into a project of refashioning, up-cycling, and re-imagining men's old work shirts that are no longer usable for their original purpose. I've been calling the project "Pa's Shirts." So far I have made 3 new garments for my daughter out of 2 shirts. This project speaks to my "mend and make do" and re-use philosophy, while at the same time challenges me to upgrade my skill set in alteration, pattern drafting, and creativity.

Mixed Media: I am continuing my work on The Stitched Journal Project, A year long endeavor that I have been so excited to share with other artists. The Stitched Journal Project is: Makers from around the world creating one "page" or piece of work per month and sharing. It is a project to get the ideas flowing, to process the days in a creative way, to try new techniques and to push past fears that keep us from making something.  It isn't about perfection, or getting it "just right," it is about process and perspective.
When I started this project I had no idea how it was going to influence me and my work. It has become such a valuable experience. It has freed me and taught me so much about my own creativity as well as being inspired by the work of other artists!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmmm... do I even have a genre? I'm joking. Reading the other blogger's posts in the hop, this seems to have been the hardest question to answer. It's no different for me. While I am not sure exactly how to answer this question, I do know that my work is always changing, my color ways, my interests and my techniques are always evolving. Like I said earlier, I do love incorporating formerly loved pieces into my work, giving new life to old things, finding new ways to show the tradition of handmade.

Why do I create what I do?
Most simply put, I create because I have to. That may seem a little extreme, but the truth is, I can't imagine my life without creating. It is part of who I am, what fulfills me, challenges me, excites me and makes my life bigger and brighter.  

I have always loved working with my hands, stretching my imagination and making things. It is a passionate affair that has been going on as long as I can remember. It helps me to keep in touch with myself, to slow down, to feel empowered. Whatever the creative endeavor; be it stitching, writing, making music, etc. it lets me express myself and be myself. 

How does my creative process work?
It all starts with a tiny seed of an idea. Sometimes that seed sprouts quickly and makes it's way to a full fledged project right away. Other times, it takes ages for that seed to germinate. Sometimes I am making my weaving way stumbling through it all. I find myself walking into my studio picking up the strangest pieces, working on the small, the details, creating laborious techniques, exploring funny ideas.  It's about textures and color and... imagination.

The ideas can come from anywhere and everywhere. A song on the radio, everyday chores, an overheard conversation, the way someone is dressed on the street, and of course, necessity is the mother of invention. I'll often make a list in my creative journal, sometimes a drawing or five and then work those things in my head until they become more concrete, and take shape.

If I'm feeling stuck I love to get out into nature, go for a walk or hike and just keep my mind open and free. Listening to music can jump start my creativity as well.

I don't have a strict creative regimen to my process, it often happens more organically and spontaneously. I am endlessly inspired by my daughter, my family and my community. 

Thank you Lindsay for inviting me to participate in this blog hop, I am honored. Please go visit Lindsay, Kristina, and Ness, to read their inspiring posts and follow their links to others on the blog hop!


Jennifer said...

This was a really interesting read. I've admired your creations for a while now, I think you're very talented and your work is definitely unique and always inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Debby said...

Love what you did to the shirt. Very cute. I love your style.

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Great post, I just love how you're transforming those shirts!
V x

Frances said...

I've been having a bit of a catch up on blogs I enjoy, and it's been fun to see what you are doing with those rescued shirts, and then to read this post about your inspirations etc. Think I recognized lots of simularities.

Isn't it grand to just catch a little hold on an idea and then watch it grow as our eyes, mind and hands connect?


Lindsay McCoy said...

Love it! I agree - the question about how our work differs from others seems to be the one we all get hung up on most. It kinda forces us to compare ourselves to others, which, for me, is a little uncomfortable I guess.

Your work has always been a huge inspiration for me. So glad you joined in on the fun!

Annie Cholewa said...

I really enjoyed this. It's always interesting to hear more about how ones favourite makers approach the work they do.

I did the blog hop a while back and I agree, the how do you differ question is where I came unstuck too. As Lindsay, above, says, it asks us to compare, but I'd also say that inherent in it is the supposition that in some ways we don't differ, and yet we are all different in how when we come at things and have our own uniques aesthetic.