This is a presentation I did recently and I share it with my friends who were not able to attend.
Plant Creative seeds to Harvest Tomorrow.
Lets look at Quilting with new eyes.
Even though I had years of experience as a fashion designer in a previous life, I had to begin quilting as a basic novice.
Who can forget Lessa’s log cabin class. Cut those puppies into two and a half inch wide strips and sew them together. You could finish a quilt top in a day.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my sojourns into quilting would lead me to be here today talking to 100’s of gorgeous ladies about my experiences in quilting.
And so it is.
Over the years I found out that some people deliberately choose a career that allows them to exercise their creativity on a daily basis. They make their living designing, writing, and developing new ideas
They get to do something they love, and someone gives them money for it.
Speaking as someone in this group, I think it’s a pretty great deal.
But then, creative work comes with a unique set of pressures.
I’m compensated for the ideas I generate, the value I create, and the problems I solve, and though I may be good at what I do, I sometimes I feel at least a little out of touch with the mysterious process by which any of this happens. I admit that the process often overwhelms me.
When I travel and teach, people think that I’m accessible 24/7, and as a result I frequently feel like I’m always “on.”
I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have to work into the wee hours writing, sending photographs, contracts or just answering questions.
As a Teacher I feel the need to develop new ideas, genres and techniques.
Each new project starts with a blank slate, I feel like I need to prove myself again and again.
I choose to do the hardest example I can so that I can run up the mountain and down the other side.
No matter how successful we’ve been in the past, each new project is a bit of a gamble and elicits the question: “How will this turn out, can I really do it?”
To comfort myself, I often share the ideas online and in my blog. If I fail, its no drama, but it reinforces the fact that I’m not perfect.
There are tremendous benefits to doing creative work. I get to add unique value, carve out my own niche in the marketplace, and watch my notions and hunches go from conception to execution; could there be any type of work more gratifying?
But the flip side of this is that whether you are a designer, writer, consultant, or Tutor, you are required to create value each and every day without reprieve.
The work never ends, and as long as there is “just one more thing” to think about, finding time to rest can be difficult.
My primary tool, my mind, goes with me everywhere.
I’m expected to be able to solve a problem on the spot and create in an instant.
This is the way I work, but its not unique to me. I have a group of peers that I associate with who experience the same problems, the same situations.
We’ve had discussion recently about genre’s. “I’ve been doing the same thing for years, how do I create a freshness in my work. How to I move to another genre.” One named quilter asked me.
Some of the Tutors found they were not being booked as often as they were in the past. My suggestion was to stop, go backwards and become a student for a week or two.
Said teacher took the plunge and altered her genre by becoming involved in the Modern Quilt Movement. The work is still hers, she’s being booked much more and the work is an extension of her original genre. She just looked at her work with new eyes. She looked at her work with fresh imagination and it all came together.
So if you think, you’ve done your best work.
You continue in the safety zone for years and suddenly its a bit old. Where do you go from here.
What is your inspiration and how do you capture the sensitivity of creativity?
Well there’s no deep dark secret to unleashing your best work – it begins with a sense of purpose and the will to excel!
Perseverance, Patience and Practice.
About 10 years ago I worried that I needed to find the Pam Holland look.
I put so much pressure on myself to do everything correctly and to do it to the best of my ability and I had reached a height that I thought that I couldn’t leap over.
How much further could I go?
The students expected so much of me as a tutor and mentor that I was afraid one slip and I would let them down.
I talked to older people, I asked their advice.
One friend whom I greatly admired looked at me and said.
“Girl, quite frankly, you asked for this, now get on and do it the way you do best. It will all fall into place” and it did just that.
I found my mojo through hard work and experience.
My quilting style belongs to me and me alone.
What I create is from my heart and head.
My brain is my tool, my heart is my intuition, and my hands do my bidding.
However, that doesn’t mean I won’t have a slip up on occasions. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have doubts or worries. I do fail sometimes.
But I have a plan in place for the next 5 years I have wonderful support and employing Miss Roz as my PA was one of the best decisions I made.
I found that by sharing my enjoyment of art, photography and textiles without expectations is my gift to my friends.
Plant Creative seeds to Harvest later.
If you want to deliver the right idea at the right moment, you must begin the process a long way upstream from the time you need that idea.
My journey through life has been my inspiration and of course I get to travel and photograph as I teach. I carry a book to write and sketch notes. Every photograph is taken with an idea to create a piece of textile art. That gives me huge freedom. I’m not hinged to one single genre.
Sometimes the inspiration comes from my imagination.
For instance, in the film you will see unusual illustrations of animals, buildings and people that are pure ‘Pam’
Other times, a photograph of a pair of children shoes, a sock, an Indian man, a woman in Mexico. Sometimes its just the colors I love.And other times its pure emotion.
I guess one would say my re-creation of the Bayeux Tapestry is far removed from the pair of coloured sock quilt. But that too is our ‘Pam’