Monday, 8 September 2008

Getting Crafty and Connected

I wanted to share this with you today, its a picture of a scarf I crocheted for my 15 month old daughter in very soft, very beautiful cashmerino wool. I taught myself to crochet a couple of months back and this was the first thing I made-Im quite proud of it and she seems to love it, parading around the room with it draped about her little person!
One of the reasons I decided to learn a new craft was to give me a relaxing diversion from my art. It is great to be able to switch off and focus intently on one thing, unlike when Im painting when I sometimes seem to dwell on all manner of things, and sometimes I talk myself out of a painting because Ive already convinced myself its not good enough before Im even started!
It was whilst crocheting the other evening that I began to think of how often I compare myself to other artists, I weigh and measure myself against their successes and make myself feel hopelessly miserable in the process. I began to acknowledge that although it is ok to be inspired by anothers work, it is not ok to condemn yourself or your art because it doesn't look or feel like someone elses.

It became increasingly clear as I finished work on the scarf that I was capable of creating a totally unique item for my daughter that I could feel very excited and proud of - so where was this feeling when I was painting...? Where was that feeling when I was comparing what I did with what others had done and finding myself feeling somewhere at the bottom of the heap, rather than glowing at the top of it?

Today, my friend Niki serendipitously passed on a link to a video by the lovely artist Wyanne - and I let her words sink in (so timely and necessary) about how we shouldn't try and be anyone else - how art becomes hard when we try and emulate or compare ourselves with others. Inevitably we have to acknowledge the talent that lives inside ourselves, and grab it with both hands and thrust it out there into the big wide world to show what we are capable of, what is possible when we believe in our own gift.

So, when I hold the scarf I made and think, yes-I did that, I didn't copy anyone, or try and make it like anyone elses - I chose the colour, how long it would be, to put flowers on just there at the corner like that, I know that I hold something beautiful and unique that was created with skill and from the heart - I know that I can apply this process to my art when Im feeling challenged or overwhelmed.

To simply remember that 'I am me' and that my art is 'me' - to go inside of myself and paint what feels the need to be expressed in my own style...this is the only way to do it.


  1. Wow your scarf turned out so beautiful! What stitch did you use?

  2. I can so relate to the toture of comparing my work with another's. What a horrible feeling it creates. Why do I spend my energy creating that instead of art? Why can I not just be pleased with, or dare I say it, IN LOVE with what I create? I still struggle in this area. Personally, in my case I believe it is a lack of outside encouragement. Not all of us are totally self-sufficient.

    By the way, I think your art is beautiful-fabulous. And so is mine.



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