The Terror in Creating

The Terror in Creating

Terror.  That’s a word they never mentioned in art school.

Color theory, art history, figurative drawing, these were all pre-requisites; considered the very foundation of any good education in the arts.

Terror?  Fear? Not so much.  Neither of those words or any words like that, were ever uttered.

And yet… who doesn’t feel fear and even terror, at some point, when creating?

As children, we run headlong, without thinking, without concern, without fear, and we create.  Using mud and sand and sticks and our fingers. We don’t pause and reconsider.  We don’t think – but maybe this isn’t a good idea.  Yet somewhere along the way we learn to be fearful. We learn that being creative opens us up to criticism, anger, even rage and perhaps violence.  Suddenly what came naturally to all of us, no longer feels natural.  We tell ourselves that we aren’t “creative types”.  And yet, I would argue that we are born creative.

Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

Creating doesn’t have to be on paper, it can be an idea, a vision, a way of thinking.  Each of us has a unique mind, shaped by our experiences, our interactions, what we love, our passions, where we were born, the families we were born into, the land upon which we were raised.

So where does this terror come from?

Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear, fear, fear.  We are taught to be “sensible”.  We are taught to not “dream too big”. We are taught to not “waste time”.  We are taught that to create is a luxury.  But what if what we were taught is wrong?

Moving through fear, even terror is one of the most exhilarating, transcendent things I’ve ever experienced.  It is what connects me to other human beings. It is what connects me to my creativity.  It bonds, unites, and can bring me to my knees.  It’s what causes me to rediscover the unadulterated beauty and joy of my innocence, that exquisite time before I learned to feel fear.

If any of this resonates with you, consider enrolling in my new workshop: Finding Your Voice where we will use various prompts, words, exercises and even stitching to break though our fears and find ourselves in our work.

 

Favorite Fabrics & Threads to Stitch With

Favorite Fabrics & Threads to Stitch With

Yesterday I released a new YouTube Video: My Top Ten Favorite Threads For Hand Stitching.

As a follow up to that video, I’m adding my favorite materials to use, as well. Click on any highlighted text for more information.

Fabrics:

  1. Pat Pauly’s gorgeous hand dyed linens.  My absolute favorite thing to stitch on is 100% linen and Pat Pauly’s gorgeous hand dyed linens are the best, most unique and above and beyond anything else that’s out there on the market.  Pat is almost always sold out of her linens as the demand has been fierce, however, if you want to learn how to hand paint, stencil and screen print your own, take one of her workshops and you can learn to create your own.  As a quick aside, I have a brand new workshop that I’m offering in 2022, which features fabric kits made up of Pat’s linens that she is specifically making exclusively for my workshop.  These linens are only available to those who sign up for the workshop!  Very exciting.

“Flow” using Pat Pauly’s hand dyed linens.

2. Mulberry Bark. I love layering my linen with Stef Francis’ Mulberry Bark.  I stitch directly onto it.  Some people have said they soak it in water, but I don’t.  I prefer to pull it, bunch it up, stitch it down and let it be.

Adding Mulberry Bark

3. Hand Dyed Cheesecloth.  There are places to purchase already hand dyed cheesecloth, Stef Francis being one of them, but I like to paint my own, using Caran D’Ache Neocolor II Water Soluble Pastels.

Hand dyed Cheesecloth and Silk Throwsters

4. Stef Francis Silk Throwsters.  I love this stuff.  It’s a bit like wool roving, but it’s silk and has a beautiful hand and texture to it.  I needle punch it and then stitch on top of it.

5. Stef Francis Sari Ribbon It comes in a huge hank!  I couch it, ruch it, scrunch it, twist it, use it to wrap other things in it and then stitch on it. There is no end to the things one can do with it.

Wrapping with Silk Sari Ribbon

6. Old T-shirt.  I love hand dyeing an old t-shirt and then cutting it up.  I did a video on how to do this. See below.

7. Silk Velvet It’s fun to hand dye your own, but Stef Francis also carries some beautiful silk velvet in gorgeous colors. If you want to get really creative, you can emboss your silk velvet, as I did in the photograph below.  I like using wooden stamps, like these.

Embossed Silk Velvet

To see my Top Ten Favorite Threads to hand stitch with, go over to my video and be sure to scroll down to see the links I’ve provided for everything I discuss and demonstrate.

❤️

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