Vlog 10.08.2017: A peek inside my art tools bag

I See You: a love letter to artists facing self doubt

Nothing will kill art faster than self doubt.

And unless you are certifiable narcissist, every single artist goes through periods of self doubt. It is normal. Overcoming it makes us better artists.

But, today fiberista, I want to acknowledge and validate your self doubt with loving tenderness. It is real and it is your right to process through all those feelings no matter what triggered it, what life experiences formed it, and how long you will carry it. I also want to see you move through self doubt, gathering all the gifts (yes, gifts) that it has waiting for you.

Art is important. It is your visual language, and your voice is important.

Art is a gift not just to the artist but to those who have the honor of seeing their work whether they resonate that piece or hate it.

Art sparks inspiration in other artists. I don’t mean idea stealing kind of inspiration, Art inspires others to find their own voice.

Self doubt calls you to push through it by finding new directions and inspirations. It asks us to change our art until our heart skips a beat and we bravely stand behind our work.

Self doubt also calls us to give up on art. It asks us if we really have the passion to continue. What would you do if you were not creating? Are you brave enough to try new ideas, fail, get back up and try again?

Self doubt is a fucking bully.

Fiberista, no matter where you are in your journey, you are exactly where you are meant to be. You are an artist despite your doubts, because you participate in finding that voice.

I see you.

I see your bravery. And I can’t wait to see your evolution.

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Creative ADD

Years ago, before my fiber art obsession, when I was a graphic designer, I loved to take art classes. I took so many community art classes. Batik, Metalsmithing, Raku, Lampwork. I loved to dive into learning ways to create. Despite creating all day for commercial purposes…no…probably because I created all day for someone else…I would carve out precious time to learn new methods of making stuff. Most of the mediums were not something I found pursuing too far beyond the classes. But I don’t think I ever hated any of the techniques I learned in any of those classes. Often It was simply I did not have the space or resources to pursue the mediums outside of class. Like ceramic required dropping  a couple hundred a month for share in a studio, or a few thousand on major equipment. And finding homes with studio space at that time was just not a priority.

I would also go to art openings. I had such admiration for those artists. I wished that I, too, was in that place of selling my art (well…outside of logos, ads and brochures) After bemoaning my longing to be like them to a dear friend, she pointed out that my creative ADD was not doing me any favors. And she was right… I was not diving deeper into a body of work. I needed to pick one. At that time, I had just learned how to knit. That was the  beginning of becoming a fiber artist. All because I was able and ready to dive deeper into growing that medium. And it is true, the way to really grow a body of work and a style is to make a whole lot of the same thing each time changing what isn’t working, adding new ideas in slow baby steps.

But sometimes that linear focus can lead to some serious creative blocks. There have been times when I feel I have reached a dead end in the direction of my work. It happens to all artists at some point. I believe this is where crafting ADD is a good thing.

Here’s the thing, your creative voice is a constant. You subconscious sometimes needs a different medium to get the flow going again. And I do not mean you need to go who hog and decide you are now a metalsmith or sculptor. It can be as simple as art journaling (my personal fave) or maybe adding some clay headers to your weaving. Or maybe it is taking you favorite sweater and creating an abstract painting of it. What this does is jog you brain in a new direction. You do not need to make a masterpiece. You just need to create a few new neuro pathways.

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Letting go of WIP guilt

Fiberista, I have a feeling you can relate. You are not loving any of the projects you have on hand. It doesn’t matter how many WIPs you have, everyone has a threshold of WIPS that is too embarrassing. For some, they will only work one at a time (Rare I know, how in the hell do they do it) or like me it can be  much higher…like 24.

Here’s the thing… that guilt can totally kill your creative mojo. If that guilt is keeping you from actually doing the creative work, then it is not serving you AT ALL. Feeling meh about a project might actually be your right brain telling you you are on the wrong path. Not all projects are meant to be finished. If you are not loving working on something…chances are you will not wear it either so all that time and material will be wasted.

So, today fiberista… I give you permission to let go of what you are on the fence about. If starting a new project means you keep making art the HELL YES… lean into the startitis and get clearer on what you’ve.

Wanna see some of the WIPs I let go of…there are a lot of them…

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Wednesday 11: Random thoughts on creativity fueled by cabin fever and cold medication

I have been in the bed sick for days, so I am totally blaming this post on the cold medicine. As I sit down to write today’s blog post my mind is in 50 different places. I have often partaken in a series of post called the Friday 5. Today I am going to give you a hodge podge of brain blips I am calling the Wednesday 11 (because I have also had two cups of coffee… Woohoo).

No. 1:  A closet full of fiber. I have not been too ashamed to disclose the obscene amount of wool I have stashed in this closet. Like beyond-life-expectancy-full-of-wooly-things-to make kind of stash. Aside from using a bunch of it for my dye classes, and a bunch more for one crazy art yarn ideas, I have been ruminating about carding some bats and making felt hats. I started down this path last year, and then set it aside to finish the move. Supplies in place. I am ready to dive back in. Hats, and maybe some bags and slippers, but mostly hats. Not sure why, I really don’t wear hats, or even thing I look good in hats (my face is too round). but I am into the hats.

No. 2: I only make mugs. So this clay hobby has kind of become a thing. All I have been making really is mugs. I have always collected handmade mugs. I enjoy making them. I love drinking my coffee out of a mug (or 2…3…okay 47…) that I have made. I have no idea what I am an doing with this new obsession other than filling my cabinets. I definitely do not want it to become a product line. I have not been opposed to the idea of selling a mug or two. And if you are wondering what you will get from me for Christmas…just know it will be a mug. I may venture into making some bigger mugs that are chili bowls.

No. 3: Do not email me with the suggestion to make yarn bowls. They are trickier to make thanks to their tendency to warp at the cut out space. Seriously…I am not going to make them. I have 4, I rarely use. I only make mugs.

No. 4: I am also ready to get this monster working. I got this lovely Structo loom off craigslist for $50. It is only missing the hex bar that would hold the warp spools. I even have a bunch of the spools. But I am not really a fan of using a boring white cotton warp. The reed was full of rust and was finer than I imagine I wanted to warp. Enter Gowdy Reeds in Rhode Island. They make custom sized reeds. Perfect! Structo closed shop decades ago. I have an order in for a replacement reed form Gowdey. Hopefully can get cracking on this new direction in my work.

No. 5: That being said, what I really would love is a Saori loom. I have literally avoided fiber shows because that siren song is super strong. I decided that if I can get the Structo working, and actually start using it, then and only then will I let myself invest in the loom I really want. Wish me luck.

No. 6: I must be an old lady. Because for what ever reason all I want to do is crochet this freaking afghan. AFGHAN!!!! ugh! Not sure why I am all about making a blanket. Winter is coming…I have only 2384706 sweater WIPs in the basket. And I actually could use some new sweaters. I just can’t stop making this insanely addictive stash buster blanket. I am using this stitch.

No. 7: Maybe it is because I am not leaving the house much. I only leave to go to the community art center. Seriously. I have discovered that actually paying for grocery delivery service saves me in time and impulse buying. Yep, delivery fee and tip is cheaper than my hourly rate. Plus price comparing is easier online, as is sticking to a list. This really only works because I am big on meal planning.

No. 8: Meal planning is my creative jam. Here is how life happens when I don’t meal plan. It’s 5 pm, I am mid project and not really in a place to stop. I kind of panic because I realize I need to start thinking about what is happening for dinner. In my head, I inventory what I think is in the fridge. I remember I have skirt steak! Woot… I am making Vietnamese noodle salad bowls. 45 minute later I am at a stopping point, go upstairs and either realize A) I am missing some vital ingredient or B) I am just too overwhelmed to do all that prep work. We order Indian food. Food budget blown. If I can think of 7 meals that involves ingredients I have on hand, fill in the rest  with my list, I have meals to choose from and beat the overwhelm. I don’t schedule out what to eat on what days, because I find I might not be in the mood for something. I always keep spaghetti on hand as my back up meal. I use smorgasbord days to use up leftovers than need to be eaten before they go bad.

No. 9: I belong to the cult of Instant Pot. To be honest, I did not even really know what I would use it for when I bough it at a Black Friday sale last November. I only knew that many of my friends had drunk the instant pot Koolaid and … Hey look it makes yogurt. Holy crap I love my instant pot. I used it no less than 5 times a week. I have been collecting crazy good recipes on this pinterest board. I never knew mashed potatoes could taste so good, or that I even cared about mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are really just a vehicle for other flavors. Incidentally I have yet to make that yogurt…

No. 10: I digress…must be time for lunch…

No. 11: So much art so little time. Did you know Picasso also made ceramics? I feel like I should know this, and maybe I did, but in my Nyquil induced Pinterest surfing, I newly discovered that Picasso made some cool pots, pitchers and vases. This became important as I vacillate between mediums finding uses for all this creative energy in my head. I have always dabbled in many, many mediums. It has only been in the last 15 years settled on a few to mediums to dive deeper. For what ever reason, I worried that dividing my attention also divided my creativity. You know what… I think working between different mediums has really only multiplied my creativity in each area. After a lot of struggle, I have let go of the idea that I needed to focus on one. That guilt over not focusing has lead to some of the biggest creative blocks I have ever had. Yes some projects never get finished, but then again, some projects just need to die. If you are making art, it is because you were meant to make art. Stagnating over how you should be making art means you are not making art.

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About UrbanGypZ

Fiber artist Stacey Budge-Kamison AKA UrbanGypZ lives and works in Cary NC. She can also be found knitting in public, hammering out her latest e-course at local cafés and spinning yarns in her booth at her favorite arts festivals. A designer at heart, Stacey has decided that her mission is to help fellow knitters, crocheters, weavers and felters embrace their own style and creativity by exploring fiber art as it is a part of their everyday life and helping them embrace the title of artist no matter where they are in their journey.

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