The first time I ever went to the big International Quilt Festival in Houston I wandered through in complete awe of the gargantuan display of quilts, fabrics, supplies, and textiles. It was sensory overload. 1500 booths with fabrics, patterns, ideas and possibilities, all the newest and the best the market has to offer. Not sure how I decided what to focus in on but somehow, I stumbled onto a booth that was selling new, upcycled and vintage Japanese fabrics. I was completely enchanted. The pieces that were the most appealing to me were roughly handkerchief squares called Japanese Boys Day banners. They were a lovely cotton, bright colors and the designs were decidedly Japanese, which I love. I bought at least 5 and I have made 4 quilts with them. This is one of my favorite quilts of all the quilts I have made. I made it to sell, ( I sold it) then I made another one just like it! The rendering of the Antique Japanese Woodblock print “The Great Wave” by Hokusai on the high-quality cotton for just a few dollars and all ready to sew was appealing to me in a way that is particularly delicious. I love getting to interact with those colors, with that fabric, with that beautiful famous piece of art! You might look at it and say it was a framing exercise rather than a full-blown original piece of quilting. I am ok with that. I work best starting from an inspiration piece and I truly love the process of searching and then finding the perfect pieces to complete my little design party. That is often how I quilt. Quilting on Art.
Creativity as a concept is sometimes hard to get your brain around. It feels intimidating to many people. It seems completely foreign to others. But it pops up in our lives in many ways. At its core, creativity is taking things from unrelated places and putting them together to make something new. We do it in business, we do it in the kitchen, we often do it to solve a problem or figure out a way to make something work that isn’t working. Some cultures practice and promote it more readily, some people do it more easily and some educational systems encourage it more intrinsically. It is an ability we all have and it is often necessary to make life work. I am fascinated by creativity. I have made a decision to establish a career that revolves around the creative process. I am naturally inclined to be creative, had a childhood conducive to it and I feel very comfortable with it. When it is for enjoyment. The idea of creating as work is, and I am being brutally honest here, terrifying. The reason is, the outcome is totally unknown. I have no real idea of how my creative process will be received and what will happen after that. I put my raw soul out there on the line every time I create and share it with the world. The world can be a very harsh critic. I spend time online and I know what people say in the anonymity of the virtual world. Trolls have left the fairy tales and are now in your comments section waiting to totally demoralize you in a few blinking sentences. I have no real idea of how this choice will look or turn out over the next few years. It is like leaping into outer space. I have no idea–– what the outcome will be. In private that is pure joy. In public it is pure terror. Every time I put something out there the encouraging words you all give me is like a precious gift, the gift of not falling to my death, in a void, alone. I thank you for that from the depths of my soul. I am working on getting to a place where my love of the process and my commitment to whatever patches of goodness I can contribute with that creative process that helps, soothes, informs, connects or maybe even heals can be my purpose. Such that, even if I never make a dime or enjoy “success” in the American vernacular of the word, even if the trolls come up from under the bridge to eat me alive I will still create, and connect and sleep well at night and love my work and continue to do do that work. That is my goal.