Creatives who make objects have a responsibility. There needs to be a balance between the desire to create and the desire not to add more junk to the endless human junk-pile. Society is so full of stuff. There is such an emphasis and obsession with physical objects. That makes sense since we are physical beings and I think concrete objects are comforting and easy to enjoy even though they are always temporary. Bored yet? My partner and I decided I am a philosopher without the intelligent conclusion part. Just the nonsensical circular unhelpful part. But Consumerism has turned the enjoyment of objects into a very weird gluttonous thing, where nothing is ever enough and there is always something new.
I love things. I buy them and make them all the time. I enjoy books, hats, fancy deodorant, earrings, LOTS of handmade clothes, and shoes. I like shoes a little too much. Every time I go to make something there is the thought, “Is this worthy of life”? As a Maker I create so much CRAP in all my experiments and exploration of materials. There is no avoiding it because I am not going to make the one amazing “thing” if I don’t make a bunch of crappy “things” first. That’s just how you get good at anything.
The most recent challenge I have given myself…if you haven’t figured it out yet I give myself new challenges the way other people go on tinder dates: Starts intriguingly energizing and has an anticlimactic quick “finish”…anyways. The most recent one is to use my stash horde. If you are a crafter/maker/artist you have your own private dragon horde known as your “stash”, and yes the drug terminology is extremely appropriate. I went through all my supplies including fabric, yarn, color pencils, photo paper etc. and put them in three categories. 1. Substantial, functional, usable supplies 2. Use it this year or loose it you weird hoarder 3. Why please tell me WHY you have this?
Number one was organized and mentally catalogued, number three was either thrown away or donated, and number two is what started this whole post.
I have a set amount of materials I need to use or get rid of it. So instead of having an idea and finding materials and I have materials and have to come up with and idea. My first was using scraps of fabric to make tree silhouettes because the fabric was pretty and I think tree silhouettes are beautiful. Simple right?
Oh this tree silhouette looks like crap, it doesn’t have the right vibe, or the right finishing those frayed edges are gross, why doesn’t it have the right vibe, it’s hard to capture the majesty and wisdom of a tree in a 10 inch by 10 inch silhouette, then maybe I shouldn’t make a silhouette, this is stupid, vintage locks, vintage locks have majestic and wisdom-y vibes, I think I will make the silhouette of a vintage keyhole and stitch a silhouette of a tree on top of it, well that is super flat, not enough depth, still doesn’t express what I want it to, oh I know I will cut up this book of fairy tales and use that somehow, LAYERS I need more and moreandmoreANDMORElayers…….
I guess in other words I am incapable of being one more maker who does something well loved and safe like watercolors of flowers. I am one of the people who love watercolors of flowers, I think they are gorgeous. Yet my creativity does not function in that mindset. Just because I can make something it still doesn’t mean I want to. I could make millions of zipper pouches, or tree pencil drawings, or tote bags. But for some reason that doesn’t satisfy my creativity in any way shape of form. I have a day job for a reason. So I can come home and experiment with whatever I want to.
Trees are silent observers. Their apparent timeless indestructible facade stands witness to everything and anything. When I look at them I think of fairytales and everyday magic. They make me happy, sad, scared, and awed just like the best stories. What is the point of making something, which essentially is sharing my point of view, without including my point of view. A simple tree silhouette doesn’t capture what I see or feel or think. To make something is to try and capture and understand your truth and then share it.