... and controversy?
I hope your new year has begun creatively! I've been a bit too tired to be doing much, but have had some time to think... I am changing around some of the regular posts round here... The Younger Years is going to be paused, maybe for a few weeks, months, or longer - I'm not too sure. I have more to share, but I'm really not feeling it. Inspire's format is also going to change - instead of being fortnightly, I am simply going to share an Inspire post whenever I feel... inspired! Tried & Tested and Photography will stick around on alternate Wednesdays, though :)
Beyond those simple changes, I have been thinking about the creative world, and my place in it.
Not that long ago, arts and crafts were something special. Something which showed great skill, patience and time. They were valued, and of high standard. Over the years, "crafting" has become more accessible, and this has both positive and negative effects. The positive? I think creativity is a really important form of expression, whether it's writing, painting, crochet, etc... For me, it's a release of who I am, and a place I can spend time with myself. Whist I express specific thoughts through writing, I express my inner being through creating - it's therapeutic. And why shouldn't that be available to everyone?
The negative though... Blue Peter's "here's one I made earlier" was one thing. They took household oddments, and managed to bring them together in ways that people at home never could, to really create some brilliant things. But now... We have large craft stores such as Hobbycraft, where you can buy ready made embellishments to stick on ready made backs, and call yourself a crafter. This "phenomenon" is being powered by craft shows on TV, often featuring "crafts" with very little skill factor. And the internet... Pinterest, blogs, Etsy (think Regretsy!) - all offering similar things. Tutorials about such very basic things. Some basics are necessary - if you've never used a sewing machine, then how to thread a needle is priceless. But how to glue an embellishment on to a backing piece? Really?
I find my inspiration around me. I see something, and an image appears in my mind. I don't necessarily know how to make it, but I work it out. Sometimes I'll look into tutorials, sometimes I will just wing it. Surely that is what creativity should be about? Where's the fun in everyone creating the same things?
I'm getting rambly and not sure I'm reaching what I want to say. There is a world of popularity in the internet. You can become incredibly popular, whilst not necessarily creating anything unique or spectacular. You can also get lost out there - have something amazing to show, but have noone to show it to.
I often think my blog feels quite inaccessible to people. I jump from photography, to crochet, to painting and drawing, and back again within a week. And that's not going to change - I just love creating. I've spent time trying to become more popular, trying to put my work out there, and I still will, but I almost just don't care right now.
I have a to do list staring me down. It is an agonising sight. Some projects have been on there for five years, just waiting for me to be well enough to attempt them. I think I will crack if I can't make progress soon. I am currently trying to choose just one to focus on. If I can make one of these big projects a month, that will be 12 less on the list by the end of this year (although I will probably have added 20 more!)
I want what I share on here to be something special. Something a bit quirky and different. Things which really try to showcase my talent. I am always trying new techniques, and I won't hide those early attempts - we're all human. There will always be amusing mistakes to be shared and lessons to be learnt. But I want what I share to inspire people to try creating more freely. To think for themselves, and break free from some of the unthinking robotics taking place in the modern day crafting world.
I want crafting to mean an array of skill and creativity again.