Quote for the day found on Pinterest - no link to original owner to give credit but lovely!
This little quote typifies my week so far. I've been having a good physical and mental creative clearout - having a good hard look at my working and thinking habits and deciding what should stay and what should go. Quite, quite liberating. I mean, who knew I had so much fleece but haven't done felting for years? Do I still want to and would it matter if it wasn't there any more? Answer - YES. So what's stopping you getting around to felting? No organised space. Ok, no space you say? Then we have to make do with what we have and think carefully about how it is used.
So that's what I've been doing, cleaning house so to speak and deciding what stays, what is stored and what isn't needed anymore. Granted the last pile isn't that big as I know I WILL use most of my materials and equipment again, even if it isn't right now. The trick is squeezing it all in the space I have without overstuffing it but still having enough room to work comfortably. It feels like trying to put a duvet quilt back into its original packaging once it's been opened and fluffed up - damned tricky:)
I think if you are a maker, becoming a hoarder of materials comes naturally - especially if you use a lot of mixed media. You end up collecting bits of everything that could be interesting to incorporate into a collage someday:) Ribbon, buttons, old keys, luggage tags, fibres, yarn, fleece, pressed leaves, beads, wire, fabric scraps, letraset, stamps, ..... And equipment! - heat gun, sewing machines, knitting machines, looms, dye pots, wax pot, etc.... It all builds up and takes over your house, shed, loft :)
But it's the mental clutter it creates as well. It's good to know you have an arsenal of creative skills under your belt but sometimes it can cause confusion when you want to start a new body of work or get back into the swing of things again. That and the fear of becoming a 'jack of all trades, master of none'. If I spend all my time switching from one technique to another, then am I sacrificing that time when I should have been becoming proficient in just one skill? And then I remember, that is who I AM, work with it:) I am becoming proficient at being creative in my own way that is unique to me, so don't even give it another thought. NOPE!
It's a bit like a creative identity crisis from conditioning by society and creative teachers at college. They give you a framework that you should fit and I always remember thinking 'this model doesn't feel right for me' but you carry on persevering 'cause that's the way the creative process should be. So years later, you carry about old labels and images of yourself in your head - I'm a weaver, no, a knitter now, no, a teacher, no, a mixed media artist.....When I really should stop trying to shoehorn myself into a label. Creativity doesn't fit nicely into a labelled box, it tends to slop all over the sides and organically morph into new combinations and ideas. And that's what is so great about it. Following your muse and seeing where it takes you - the techniques and materials are just tools to get you there. Why not be all of these and more? Shrug off all that old conditioning and be who you are meant to be.
So what I really learned this week was that I am a patchwork of my creative experiences and although I probably don't need 4 or 5 knitting machines right now, I do need to make the knitter, designer, teacher, artist, part of the new creative me on the next stage of the journey. Sometimes a clearout helps you rediscover some jewels that have been lying hidden for all those years:) Time to use them and see where the muse takes me.