Turning Creative Ebb into Flow in 21 Days

Turning Creative Ebb into Flow in 21 Days

I have to admit, I am so happy to be back on the blog after my post vlogmas hiatus. After taking 3 weeks to recharge and reorganize, I have to admit I am so freaking happy to start a new year. In 2017, I found my creative groove and I don’t think I have ever been so productive when it came to art. I have since kind of fizzled out a little, but lord knows I am ready to be back in that creative space. I came across my art journal from most of last year and holy smokes, I don’t think I have ever made such a wonderful art filled book. Here are two journal flips I did.

Last fall I made my fauxdori, and proceeded to use this collection of journals to track my projects and work. And you know what….my art mojo dried up since then.

Outside of my wall dolls, there was really not much happening. Avoiding the clay studio, Not much in the way of fiber happening either outside of a boring but much needed sweater, and a stash buster blanket. All the essential oils in the world could not break this slump. But I have been doing this long enough to know that creativity ebbs and flows. For the most part it is best to just roll with the waves. But I also think we are not always at the mercy of our slumps. I have written about this so much. (like here, here and here).

So yeah…once again, I am aware of how much my creativity flourishes when I art journal. And for me what that looks like is ONE BOOK. One books that I carry with me always with all my ideas and notes and day to day stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of little notebooks. OMG squared Moleskins, dotted Leuchtterms, even handmade journals. I love love love them all. I have a collection of them. And I have been using two focused goal planners (this and this) to work on my business. I love the idea of bullet journaling, but honestly…as many times as I tried to do a bullet journal…it just does not stick.

What works for me is one book, A5 (5.5″ x 8″), preferably watercolor paper with lots of squared paper sheets I can glue in. Lots of inks, watercolors, ephemera, washi tape, envelopes, and my favorite pens. Just leafing through my old journal brings me back to all the inspirations and creative energy. I have placed it on my drafting table to inspire me further this week. I am grateful for this resource of my own inspirations. And it is not even that I make beautiful master piecing in my journal. It is a collection of doodles, and color and random stuff. But as a whole it becomes a work of art. It is a collection of notes and ideas, even the mundane stuff like my meal plan for the week becomes part of my art, reminding me that inspirations can come from anywhere.

So I suppose it is time for a new art journal challenge. I do this every now and then when I find myself falling off the journaling wagon (and in this case, the art mojo wagon). So, this time, I am going to aim for 21 days. I will post to Instagram and Pinterest. I also will post at least 3 flips on YouTube. Alright! I am gonna give myself 3 days to prepare, so starting Saturday I am doing it.

Sign Up for the UrbanGypZ Fiber Arts Collective

220195_10150996938972124_1233200635_o

Vlogmas Week 3: Answering questions and some of my work

Vlogmas Week 3: Answering questions and some of my work

Alright fiberista….we are heading into the vlogmas home stretch. Despite the intense learning curve on video edits, and the constantly thinking of how to share my day, It has been nice to meet you guys!! And I tell you, your questions have seen me through the days when I think I just could not share one more second of the pets, a parking lot, my cleaning the studio, or the actually drudgery of my never ending administrative tasks.

Being vulnerable on camera has always been terrifying. But I find after years of self doubt, being able to show that I lead a life of ups and downs just like a normal person has finally been possible since moving across state. That wasn’t possible until I moved away from the artsy community and all the expectations that come with being an artist in Asheville. It is my hopes that you will see that my life is probably not that different from yours. And if you have any doubt that you are not artsy or strong or bohemian enough to be an artist I am hoping I blew holes in those doubts. I am not a special unicorn, or wonder woman, or the greatest artist of my generation. But what I am is your biggest advocate for you finding your own visual language through your fiber art no matter what it looks like at this moment. Thank you for being a part of my fiber art community! You guys are awesome.

So here are this weeks videos I answered some of the questions I got and share a little more of my work.

Sign Up for the UrbanGypZ Fiber Arts Collective

220195_10150996938972124_1233200635_o

Vlogmas Week 1: I Made An Art Yarn Scarf

Vlogmas Week 1: I Made An Art Yarn Scarf

I love making videos. It involves all the things I loved about graphic design and but with more dimension. I knew taking on YouTube’s vlogmas challenge would be …well…challenging. Vlogmas  is where vloggers post daily vlog videos to their channels from Dec1-Christmas day. I am already one week in and I have to say filming, editing and posting has gotten a whole lot smoother. But, not without all kinds of glitches and a call to Tech Support. I consider those battle scars.

Vlogmas is also forcing me to be accountable when it comes to carving out creative time. It is so easy to let the admin side of running a creative business take over. This week, in response to a question I had in the fiber art collective FB group (join us here!) I decided to share how I use my 2.5dpi heddle to make an art yarn warped scarf. I also shared some behind the scenes of from the clay studio and my sketchbook hashing out a new piece.

So, if you are not subscribed to my You tube channel, you can do so here. Other wise here are this weeks Vlogmas videos.

 

Sign Up for the UrbanGypZ Fiber Arts Collective

220195_10150996938972124_1233200635_o

Vlogmas Weave-O-Rama: Let’s do this

Vlogmas Weave-O-Rama: Let’s do this

I am fired up you guys. And it is thanks to you.

Many of you remember last year I took December to organize my new studio and blogged everyday about it. I love challenges like this, so I am doing it again. But, this time, Fiberistas, you guys have inspired me to go video and participate in YouTube’s Vlogmas challenge. I love video, and you guys have indicated that you find it super helpful.

If you are not familiar, Vlogmas is an annual YouTube event were YouTubers upload a video daily through the month of December leading up to Christmas. Am I crazy? Totally. And yes it is going to be quite the challenge. But for me I need to challenge myself to streamline my editing. That Asheville week video? I have been editing it for 3 days because I ramble so freaking much. You would die if you could see the footage that never makes it into the actual video. Gotta get concise. And I also need to streamline my editing process. Practice makes perfect.

Vlogging has helped me really see my work and process for what it is and as well as what it is not. And It has also helped me connect with you guys more. From what I hear in the comments and emails, it is helping you make art. THAT is insanely exciting for me. So lets do this! I am in.

So for the month of December I am vlogging a daily weaving related video. I say “related” because I do think there is more to weaving than being at the loom. And I think it is important to share the whole process.Get ready, I will start December 1. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notices when those videos go live.

In the mean time here are some of the fiber art weaving like videos I have made so far.

Pumpkin Spice Sweater Knitting

Pumpkin Spice Sweater Knitting

I have no doubt where you live now, You are already deep into the crisp fall weather. Here in Raleigh, It all started this week.

Flip the switch on the gas fireplace and cue pumpkin spice everything. Thank you baby Jebuz, it is finally sweater weather.

If I had been a productive and smart cookie, I would have a stack of new hand knits to unwrap. But alas, I was a total slacker on filling out the wardrobe over the summer. Argh!! I had this idea that over the years I would stop buying commercially made sweaters and began replacing my fading wardrobe with hand knits. HA!! All I seem to have is a fading wardrobe. It is not that I don’t have a long list of sweater WIPS, I just get bored with the the drudgery of the follow through. I know many of you know exactly what I mean. Startitis is actually a thing. And so is the class of patterns called quick knits, with the intentions of shortening that drudgery middle part of making something.

Here’s the thing, the magic of creative ideas are often born during the drudgery of doing the work. Doing the work simple requires you to show up. And fiberista, I have not been showing up for my own knit work. I don’t know about you but the start of fall always feels like a fiber arts new year to me. It renews my knitting love and calls me to remember why I love what I do.

So today firbeista, I am sharing my creative plan not for the greater good of adding my visual language to the conversation. I am straight up wanting some new clothes. So here is what my knitting season is going to look like.

I am not going to start anything new. No, really…nothing new. I have 24+ WIPs. 

I am, however, willing to frog stuff. Because sometime it is better to abandon the project and save the yarn than to soldier through and end up with a sweater you will not wear.

I am going to show up at least 3x a week. Here is a crazy truth…I have always had a hard time wrapping my brain around art time as real work. Yep, this professional artist feels guilty for doing the work that makes me an artist. It is a very deep rooted issue I will always struggle with. But, it is also always something I overcome thanks to lots of practice. Wash rinse repeat. So yeah, routines are pretty vital.

I am also stopping there with the guidelines. Any more rules or promises to myself will overcomplicate this. I am hoping to get at least 2 new sweaters out of this, but 3 would be amazing. And it would also be amazing if I promised to vlog about it, but that might be more than I am ready to bite off right now.

What are you working on? Leave me some comment love below.

 

Sign Up for the UrbanGypZ Fiber Arts Collective

220195_10150996938972124_1233200635_o

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

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.

Sign Up for the UrbanGypZ Fiber Arts Collective

220195_10150996938972124_1233200635_o