A Shout Out to All Creative People

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I love creative people. I realised today as I was going through my Instagram feed, that most of the people I follow, besides my friends, are people I’ve discovered that have some kind of creative talent.  Artists, musicians, fellow sewing enthusiasts; plenty of creativity flowing through my social media profiles!

I was scrolling through the ‘discover’ page and without fail, every profile that caught my eye was from someone who creates in some way. I just love seeing all the wonderful things people make, and every day I get inspired to keep creating cool things of my own. Even on WordPress, I follow a couple of blogs specifically because they relate to sewing.

I like to make clothes, and bags, and jewelry and knick knacks. I like to write. I would like to play music but am as yet mostly lacking talent in that particular area. I like to sing. I would like to be artistic but…hey, you can’t have everything!

So I just wanted to say, to all you wonderful creative people out there, keep doing what you’re doing. You are fabulous, incredibly talented and spectacularly inspiring. Thank you for giving me pretty things to look at, for inspiring me to keep creating even when I feel like I’m stunted, and for making this world just a little more magical.

Commitment and Creating

I am terrible at commitment. I prefer to visit people than to have them over, because then I can leave on my own terms. Collins aside, I have never stayed at a job for a full year. I am always starting a new story without finishing an old one. I sometimes change my clothes two or three times in a day. And don’t even get me started on relationships!

My commitment issues are coupled with an inherent frustration at my inability to do a thing. For example, despite owning a guitar for months, I can still only play about two chords. It’s not that I don’t want to learn, but I get too frustrated with my current lack of knowledge and talent, and get even more frustrated when I try and practice, because I can’t seem to get it right. I can’t do it yet so I put it off, so I can’t do it because I put it off. It’s a vicious cycle.

All of my creative pursuits are often like this. So when I decided to start The Elegant Fox, my friend asked me that question I was secretly dreading; ‘will you stick with it?’ At first, I wasn’t sure. That’s partly why I put it off for so long. But the more I thought about it, the more I came to realise the answer. And it’s applicable to all of my creations. Basically, I don’t need to be doing everything all at once. And the beauty of doing my own thing, is that I have some leeway. None of my creative pursuits are necessary, and I don’t do them for anyone else but me. So I have all the time in the world. And if I need to take a break from sewing so I don’t get bored or overwhelmed, then I can. It’s incredibly liberating.

I’ve woken up every morning for the last week thinking about sewing. It’s all I want to be doing! If I could afford to take time off work to sew, I would! So this weekend I sewed another apron for the shop, and today I made the first of my bow ties. And it occurred to me that even if I’m not sewing all the time, I’m invested  enough in it that I can justify opening the shop and selling my stuff. And there’s my answer.

Maybe the solution to my commitment is being able to walk away and remember why I love something. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. If nothing else, it’s a theory worth testing out! I’ll let you know, but in the meantime, here are some of my recent creations.

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More aprons, aprons galore.
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Batman bow ties are my current fave.

Why I Suck at Being Creative

I am a writer. Writing is just kind of the thing that I do…when I’m motivated and inspired. I am a creative person but I am also, unfortunately and to my detriment, an incredibly lazy person. So, most of the ideas that I have in regards to creative pursuits other than writing are often thought of with great excitement, right up until I lose interest. And it’s not because I don’t want to do these things, it’s because I get frustrated about the fact that I can’t.

Last year, I bought myself a sewing machine. As a small woman with a big bust, I often find it difficult to find cute clothes in my awkward size. So I figured I would start making my own clothes, or at least learn the ability to fix the clothes I’ve already got. And I did…for a while. I make aprons and skirts and once I made a vest without a pattern. But that is as far as I’ve gotten. I haven’t done any sewing in months, and my poor neglected machine is sitting in the back room gathering dust. It’s not that I WANT to ignore it, but I have so little time and in order for me to create, I need to have time. Thus, my sewing has ceased.

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This year, I finally purchased a guitar, something I have been talking about for years. As a self proclaimed singer without a band, I figured the best way to create music would be to learn an instrument to accompany my vocals, since I know very few musicians I would be comfortable enough to ask to help me. I’ve had the thing probably six months, and I know two chords. I know, it’s a horrible effort! But every time I try to sit down and practice, something gets in the way, and I have yet another would-be creative outlet gathering dust. So naturally, last week I bought a red ukulele with the same intention of learning, just to make things harder for myself. Silly Amy.

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And then there’s the typography. As expressed earlier, I am a writer. Some people are blessed with the ability to draw or paint or sketch, and I love those people and envy them in equal measures. I can draw stick figures with disproportionate breasts and that’s about it. But I love words, the way they work and sound and look on paper, and I decided a few weeks ago that I would look into the art of typography. My ultimate goal would be to write short poems or sayings, write/draw them up creatively and sell them. You know how far that went? I haven’t even purchased a how-to book to get me started.

And then, of course, there is my writing. Blogs aside, I haven’t written in months. Again, time is an issue but more and more I realise it’s an excuse. I can make time. I write best at night, when the not so silent silence of my house soothes me and simultaneously thrusts me unceremoniously into a creative frenzy. And yet, my laptop remains beside my bed – yup, you guessed it – gathering fucking dust.

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I will make no grand claims here. I will not pretend that I’m going to take up all my creative pursuits at once and throw myself wholly into tackling them because that would be a lie. I won’t, and you all know I won’t. But I will tell you this; I am going to get out of bed, eat, shower and dress. And I am going to look at my guitar, and I’ll walk past it. And I will glance down at my laptop and then ignore it. And I will go out to my back room, take up my sewing machine and alter some dresses I’ve been meaning to fix for two months. I’ll start small and hey, maybe I’ll inspire myself to keep going. Wish me luck!