I have spent the last year since my book Modern Hand Stitching came out trying to figure out where to go next. It is difficult to start in another direction when you have spent a year and a half working towards one goal and then all of a sudden it is finished! My question then became, now what!
Last fall when I began to develop the Boro classes, I also began to feel like I was going in too many directions. I felt like I needed to sit back, regroup and decide what my unique style really was, and begin to concentrate on developing MY style instead of trying this that and the other. Trying new things is great but not if I could not bring my own style to it. It seemed the more I tried to do the more scattered and frustrated I became.
So, as the year came to an end and I felt more frustrated than ever, I came across a post on the Slow Stitch Movement blog with Mark Lipinski. It was talking about purging the things out of your life that you didn’t need. It really resonated with me and so the first thing I did in January was to purge my studio. I mean I really PURGED my studio. I not only got rid of about half my fabric, (it went to charity so that made it even better) I had my design table cut down to better fit the space and moved my machines so I could look out the window when I work. It’s amazing how just being able to look out changes my perspective. My studio once again became my inspiration and haven. I realized all that “stuff” was having a very negative effect and was stifling my creativity. I felt as if a load was lifted off my shoulders!
I also began a routine. Every morning I hand stitch for at least 30 minutes with NO distractions. We spend too much time with noise and media bombarding us for the rest of the day. That 30 minutes becomes a way to center my day. (I do confess to checking Facebook first thing to see if I have any new grand kid photos 🙂 ). It is amazing what you can get done in so little time. I have also found that I look up and it has been more than 30 minutes sometime and I have the luxury of working from home so I can do that.
Next I started water aerobics again, it gets me moving and the water is great for my joints. I encourage whatever you enjoy, just move your body parts. I found that it allows me to stitch longer! If I’m loose my stitching is relaxed and I enjoy it more.
Finally after much thought and bouncing ideas off some great friends, I realized I had travelled far from my roots. For me it was way too far. I grew up in Japan and have always loved the style and simplicity of Japanese art forms. For me, trying to be a traditional, modern, contemporary fiber artist,or any other word I could come up with was not me. I have a style that grew in me as a child and I love it! I still don’t have a description or word for it, but it is distinctly Japanese and me. When I realized that and quit trying to find a new style I began to create again. It is amazing how much thatfighting against myself was stifling any artistic ideas I had.
I have some great new opportunities coming up for me. I am excited and energized about it all!