I’ve always loved Marisa’s art and creations. A while ago, she started selling embroidery kits. I had never embroidered before so of course I had to get it. It took me a while to start because I had to buy the string and needle, but once I had all of my supplies and did a tutorial on youtube, I went for it. I really loved it!
Embroidery – done.
As I try to figure out what I want to do and how my creativity can be channeled, I collect data. In reality, I’m probably already channeling it, but I digress. I absolutely love Austin Kleon’s How To Steal Like an Artist. Whenever I start a writing project or do an art project, my first thoughts go to – who will read or see this? What will they say? How will they respond? I’m far too concentrated on other people. I love his advice, “Write the book you want to read.” This reminds me that creativity is personal. It’s a space where you belong.
song of the day: April Come She Will by Simon and Garfunkel
Sometimes I tell myself a story that I’m not expressing my creativity. I tell myself that I don’t have time to do crafts or try a new collage medium. I tell myself that I have some sort of creative block. I read blogs and dream of things to do but then I don’t put my intentions into actions. Yesterday, I was sitting here telling myself stories and reading blogs when I came across some cool paper flowers on Poppytalk. I clicked through and found an actual tutorial on PaperVine. Right then, I ran into the other room and found some supplies and made a flower! I didn’t have maps to do the project or a skewer, but I had some blue paper and a chopstick. I think it turned out really cool! It reminded me that our stories evolve. It was wonderful to feel creative and do a project, but it was really important to me that I watched my story evolve, even for a moment.
Here are the before and after shots of my new bag (note the cool pocket).
I went to the beginners sewing workshop yesterday. I hadn’t realized that I went with high expectations until I was walking home afterwards. I know that it takes time for everyone to learn a skill, but of all of the people in the class, I made the most mistakes. I know this means that I can only improve, but I was disappointed that I didn’t just take to it. It bothered me because it confirmed my belief that I have no raw talent. “Belief” is the key word here. I’m sure that I have talent or at least the will to try, but I somehow don’t see it. I’m blinded by my comparison to others.
I also thought that I might make a connection. I guess that I had assumed that if I did something crafty and in my neighborhood, that I would at least have a small connection to someone in the class. No one even talked as we stitched. I tried to engage a few people, but it didn’t really work. It was pretty disappointing. I’m still glad that I went – I have a new bag.
I’ve lived in New York since August and I still don’t have a job. It’s certainly not for lack of trying. I’ve applied for job after job and have even had several interviews. At this point, I’m applying to jobs that I am not excited about at all. I feel utterly discouraged and frustrated. I completely understand that we are in a recession, the unemployment rate is nearly ten percent and the competition is tough. Everyone around me tells me not to take it personally. But how can I not? Everyday I go through waves – one minute questioning my skills and abilities and the next wondering why no one can see how good I am. I say to myself that I will only spend three hours a day searching for jobs and enjoying myself the rest of the time. But, I find myself searching and applying all day. At the end of the day, I feel isolated and frustrated that I’m not making better use of my time by exploring New York or being creative. I know that when I do finally get a job, I will crave more time.
I can’t stop thinking about what my life would look like if I didn’t have a 9 to 5, but instead could make a living doing something creative. The other night at a holiday party, I was reminded yet again of how few people actually get to do that. I met a woman who crafts lamps (very cool ones too!). She has a studio in her apartment and does all of her creating in her free time. Her business is growing and she has even been on HGTV. But she still has another job to pay the bills. I am going to move towards this. I think my path right now is to have a job and still pour myself into creative things.
Yesterday was the Handmade Holiday Craft Fair at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. I couldn’t believe how inspired I felt to do be creative. It’s pretty amazing to be around so many people who are doing what they love. I talked with one of the vendors for a while. She works at the library and a design collective in Park Slope. She produces her collages and other crafts in her free time.
I work very hard at being present, but when I am around crafters, I want to jump ahead in time. I imagine myself sitting on the other side of the table with my framed collages and note cards talking to people about my crafts. I know that I am not there yet and that I have to spend time with a craft and then see what happens. When I think about it though, I realize that I have done a lot of different crafts (and other endeavors) that have been short-lived. One winter I decided to try knitting. I knitted a number of scarves and was in love with yarn, but for some reason I stopped doing it. A few years ago, I decided to create my own note cards with my collages on the front. This too lasted only about 6 months and then I stopped making them. I was also into poetry and writing for a long while. I even took a course on poetry from UC Berkeley Extension and had a few poems published. I still write poetry from time to time, but it is not my focus right now. There are so many other things I have started, been passionate about and then stopped.
I don’t know if I am just the kind of person that has many interests and loves to try things, or if I don’t have the motivation to continue them once I’ve started. I have every intention of really staying with a craft, but then something happens (usually fear or my excuse that I have no time) that prevents me from moving forward. I am very hard on myself. I tend to think that because I have tried so many things, it is because I am flaky or have trouble committing. It may just be that I am a passionate person and I want to try all sorts of projects. I know that I don’t have to figure this all out right now.