Sunday, November 15, 2009

The one, single, biggest problem, is that people don’t take their creative lives seriously

Or so says Rice Freeman-Zachery in her book: Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art

If you struggle with excuses, procrastination or not enough time, you HAVE to read this interview with her:

Thursday, November 12, 2009



Click on the link above and watch the 4 minute video....What are you avoiding in your creative life?

Monday, October 5, 2009

At which point do you give up?

There are always at least two options with the creative struggle. Keep going and try to turn a sow's ear into something better, or give up, knowing that you have tried everything you can think of but now you really need to move on. I find about half the time perseverance will pay off and after countless trials and auditions, I am happy with the result. The rest of the time I feel like I have explored all the same options, but the result is still a mess.

The 'respond to the piece' mantra works particularly well for the more abstract works, where you have a starting point but no fixed idea of where the end point will be. However, I am just as likely to find myself in a no through road when I have a clear design, but I just can't translate it into my vision.

It seems, looking back, that the things which came together in a hurry have been the better and more satisfying works. The ones with ongoing problems often don't get to a happy solution.

Of course, every dead end is in its own way a learning experience. Mainly I've learned that I don't enjoy dead ends!

I think there is a difference between this dilemma and the kind of working method where you know you are going to make a few samples to see which is going to work best.

How about you? Do you know when to give up?

Julia in NZ

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Working with Metallic and other difficult threads

I think the best advice I ever got about using difficult threads was from Linda Schmidt in her Quilt University class:
  • Use Sewer's Aid lubricant on the spool (a few drops every once in awhile)
  • Straight lines/walking foot will have less breakage than using curved lines/free motion
  • Play with the top tension....usually need to loosen the tension
  • Go slow
  • Try the difficult thread in the bobbin and quilt from the back.
  • Have low expectations. Know that the thread will break periodically and celebrate when it doesn't break for a couple minutes!

I've noticed that Sliver or Glimmer (which isn't metallic, but mylar strips) stretches a bit, so doesn't break as easily as metallic thread. No need to lubricate mylar threads.

My favorite brands: Sulky Metallic (the variegated tri color #143 is pretty cool); Superior Metallic and FS Madeira Metallic (which is metallic wrapped about a black core of regular thread which helps with the breakage and looks like tiny beading)

So share your frustrations and successes here!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Is your work art?

This sounds like a loaded question but I am prompted to because of a line in the movie I watched last night on the life of Georgia O'Keefe. In a discussion with her husband she was angry with him for exploiting her art. His comment was something along the lines of " your WORK is just WORK, it is only ART after someone buys it."

I thought that was a powerful statement. I know many people who are artists but don't sell their work, musicians who are artists but don't play for money and a great example for me are sidewalk artists who's work is fleeting. On the other hand, I also know people who call themselves artists and, for me, they are only crafters who follow other people's patterns and instructions.

So my question to you to start the week out is: " Is your work art even if nobody ever buys it?"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Now What?

So... I have identified the why and what of a creative slump...
I am revved up, my jetts are hot, ideas are working overtime,
but I have housework to do, company coming and following on the heels of that, my house will be painted.. inside. How do you deal with that?
I try to jot a few notes and sketches in my journal.
Any secrets to putting it on hold and coming back to it?
Because, knowing me... it will all fizzle to an unrecognizable
blob by the time I get to 'work'.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jump starting Creativity...

I found myself in a creative 'slump' over the past few months.
The mind just seemed to be made of lead!
I know others have had this kind of a 'block'... what did you do to open that
door and move on?
Probably backing up a tad, why do you think it happens?

Rituals of Preparation

Twyla Tharp in her book, The Creative Habit, talks about how helpful it is to establish some rituals - automatic, but decisive patterns of behavior - at the beginning of the creative process when you are most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up or going the wrong way. The ritual erases the question of whether or not you want or like to do it, you just do it.

Do you have any rituals that get you started or can you think of any that might work for you?

I use the kitchen timer, telling myself I will spend 15 minutes on something...and usually I'm enjoying it so much, I spend much longer. But it's a way to get started which is the hardest part.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome to Fast Friday Talks

The purpose of this blog is to have a forum for Art, Quilt, and Creative Process discussions originating with the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge group. Anyone is free to comment on the postings.