When I moved to Asheville, I had high hopes of immersing myself in the art scene that Asheville is known for.
I enjoyed the Birmingham art scene so much, and was convinced the Asheville scene would be off the charts. I have dabbled in art all of my life. Clay, mosaic, mixed media, bookmaking, batik, metal. I have tried so may things. But, one day, after watching me jump from one medium to another, my friend Robin patiently said “Just pick a medium and stick with it.” Such a simple sentence, that just nailed exactly what was blocking my diving deeper into my creativity.
I needed to focus, get out of my own way and just do the work.
Once I arrived in Asheville, I was just not clicking with the local art scene. Truth be told, since moving here, I really have not found the comradery that I had with the Birmingham art scene. Thankfully, that did not stop me from creating. In fact I was creating more once I found my comradery through the internet. First with my knitting, designing my own sweaters, then with spinning and dyeing my own yarn.
I did not start out knitting to make art.
I was moving to the mountains in the middle of winter and needed warm clothes. By incorporating my love for knitting into my everyday routine, I began getting comfortable enough in that routine to explore the creative side of knitting and making yarn.
Believe me, I have made a lot of mistakes and ugly sweaters and scarves. I have studied every technique book I could get my hands on. I started a Stitch and Bitch to bounce ideas off of fellow knitters. And I blogged to share with other knitters and spinners outside of my community. I used to feel self conscience telling other artists that my medium was knitting. I make wearables.
I thought wearables were not hip enough or avant garde enough to be called art.
It was that daily routine that grew into a passion, which in turn grew into an art.
I was surprised that my path led me to be a fiber artist (I love claiming that title, I thought my medium would have been clay). It was that routine that cracked open my creativity. Exploring my creativity through knitting every chance I could get grew my confidence to claim my title as fiber artist. But, it could have been any other everyday creation instead of knitting. Cooking, sewing, gardening, canning, scrapbooking, home decor, kids crafts. They are all opportunities for creative expression.
You do not need to work in a traditional medium like painting or sculpture to claim the title of artist.
I remember in middle school, they changed the name of our Home Economics class to Home Arts. Art has the potential to be present in everyday creations if you let it. Here in Asheville, there has been a growing local foods movement. Chefs are exploring creative new ways to make really good food trying to keep the resources local, organic and sustainable. I dare anyone to say it has not become quite an art. With recognitions from notable publications, tourists are flocking here in great numbers in part because of these innovations.
So, I invite you to let go of your ideas about what art is, recognize the creative spirit in what you do everyday.
Your. life. is. art.
One way I practice art every day is to keep an art journal. I posted a video of my art journal pages here. The trick is to keep using your art journal as your visual sounding board for all you passing ideas, and time to yourself to just play with art be it cheap watercolor tins, doodling, or just pasting stuff. Every now and then I challenge myself to do so for 30 days straight.
So want to join me? The 30 day art journal challenge will start February 1.
I send out daily emails with encouragement and tips to get your journal practice going.
Registration closed Today (January 28th)Join me!!