My art work musings #2 – The difficulty in being excited by too many textiles techniques

(A long title, but there we go.)

I have the affliction of a textiles addict. Excited by every new shiny technique that I come across.

I know I’m not the only one, I’ve read about others.

Others who see something and long to learn how it is made… others who see a technique and instantly see the possibilities of how it could be altered and explored… others who collect techniques like houseplants, unable to stop themselves.

Dramatic as it sounds, it is actually bloody annoying. God I wish I was someone who did one thing well, grew in their craft and was known for one technique.

I really wish I didn’t flit and float around with different ways of working and textile techniques. I can’t even decide between 2D or 3D. The difficulty in this way of working is that you never build up a strong style or identity.

By never settling on one style of work you never grow into a style, and you stop others from being able to discover and settle on your work, knowing what to expect. You build less of a name for yourself online, where your style works when it is instantly recognisable and categorisable within the 9 little squares.

I feel like I am stuck in stage one of a project, the research and exploration stage.

I could go on about the trouble I face in this area but I’ll get depressed.

A hot mess of textiles samples on the floor as I’m going crazy working out what I do / who I am / why am I doing this etc.

OK, The Positives

  1. Endless curiosity, playfulness and appreciation at the possibilities.

2. You don’t approach work from a prescriptive place, each time you work it is at the thing you want to work on, not what you should be working on as you have built up a style.

3. Your work is fresh and exciting (even if just for you). AAAND maybe like me, you have no choice so although there aren’t loads of positives, it is better to find them and cheer yourself up about the affliction you have.

Steps I’ve done to help with this ‘difficulty’

  1. Limit my colour palate, even if things don’t instantly sit next to each other in terms of style at least the colours aren’t jarring against one another.
  2. Finish samples and try and make good work – as above, things that look good at least are never offensive
  3. Try and do at least 2-3 finished samples in one technique so things can sit together and there are little ‘stories’
  4. Connect with the why. I find this quite difficult and I know I need to look a bit more into it and really get my purpose concreted in my mind, but if you have a strong why, a strong mission / value / purpose then it should translate past the technique that you are using.
  5. Curate social media – a strong filter game and making sure the mess is edited.
  6. Not care so much. It can be a blessing as well as a curse, enjoy making work, don’t compare too much, chill, stitch, smile.

Any more tips you have, please answers on a postcard.

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