Creativity · Designing · Life

Making it

Today while having a tidy up I found the drawing of the Maxi Ear Warmer. I love drawing. And look how it turned out! I reflected, rather smugly, that I am achieving much of what my teen self wanted; although I wondered if my teen self would be particularly overjoyed. True, I am a designer, musician and fitness professional, however my teen self would have wanted ‘famous’ to preface those professions. That fame was as important as the actual thing that earned it. I guess it’s part of being young. Now in my 40’s I’m delighted I can pretty much do what I like. We have enough.

This got me thinking about the idea of ‘making it’, you know when people say they want to ‘make it’ as a singer/designer/artist/whatever. The idea of being a celebrity/household name/whatever for doing something. How hollow, how temporary and how little it has to do with the act of creating something. There are many many artisans /artists etc who pretty much do what they like and have enough to live but whom few people have heard of.

Our little girl has recently started playing ‘pop stars’ with her friends at school. I’m not entirely sure what this entails. And so it starts again. I hope I can help her see that it’s the act of doing that’s the important bit, not the fame that might or might not come as a result. And why is that important? Because when ‘Making It’ is measured by fame and mass recognition by oneself and others it’s too easy to be encouraged to have ‘back up plans’. My back up plans sucked and brought me very little happiness; I wish I’d had the confidence at the time to accept my own judgement as valid enough rather than relying on external recognition.

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New Toy!!!

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I am like a child in a sweetshop!!! I needed it! I’ve gone over, or should I say back to the dark side and got a windows laptoppy-tablet-drawing thing; our most recent Mac has been less than premium. So far so good… I’m impressed. Finally, maybe, I get to keep all my designs, ideas, notes and pattern details in one place…. we’ll see

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I’m so excited! …. WIP

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At the weekend I split milk all over my ‘phone.  No point crying over that one, the screen is gradually becoming less and less responsive but this gentle decline is at least giving me enough time to back everything up!  Anyway a new one will be winging its way to me drekly. As well as some software which will hopefully transform the design process – well that’s the promise!  I’ve also bought my husband his Christmas present which is super exciting as I know he will love it.  I will want to give to him as soon as it arrives; hopefully I can be restrained and keep it a secret until Christmas Day!

I found the pattern notes I’d made for the gauntlet mittens that I sold before working out the pattern. With these scant scribbles and the photo I should be able to work it out.  BUT THE MOST EXCITING THING…

THE ERIKA KNIGHT WOOL HAS ARRIVED!!!!

I’m working on some new pieces and I am so excited.  Almost frenzied.  This is how it feels when I’m working on something new.  I feel like I’m fizzing inside! There’s a beautiful muffler and a lovely gentle contouring hat, plus a cape and so much more…. I’m making a start….. and smiling from ear to ear.

NB, please forgive any typos or spelling – my screen is dark blue and some of the touch screen areas don’t work xx

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Nothing is wasted … ever.

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Today the house is quiet except for the gentle hum of the fish tank. I’m beginning to feel calm after a number of days feeling a bit ‘stabby’; I’m starting Beaky, a puppet; a beautiful birdy-style puppet.

I’ve made the foam head. I’ve burned myself on the hot glue more times than I can count. I’m smiling  I’m making first pattern for the covering out of carrier bags, and I’m smiling. Let me tell you why.

When I was 14 I found out that a friend’s brother was going to Falmouth School of Art and Design…. the most interesting fact was that in those days you got a grant to live away from home.  Yep the local authority gave 16 year olds money to go study art…. CRAZY!!!! Anyway, I wanted to leave home, at the earliest opportunity and so a plan was made.  I could draw, the deal was sealed.  Fast forward on a couple of years and there I was, living away from home at the tax payers expense doing a BTEC ND in Fashion Design.

I didn’t pass the course. None of my work satisfied the ‘commercially viable’ component and I didn’t have any money to put on a final show. I didn’t really care.  I was my own (utterly irresponsible) person, living on my own I had loved every minute of the life drawing and finding out about different media and I had learnt about pattern cutting. So, what! I didn’t pass!  move on to Plan B .  Not that I had a Plan B… Let’s be honest, I hadn’t really thought Plan A through that well!

So many years went by during which I developed a CV that looked like a Yellow pages. I mistook being good at something as a reason to try and make it a career … including jobs that involved wearing suits and taking responsibility for stuff I wasn’t interested in (not my happiest epoch), I enrolled on a music degree course only once again to run out of money, I applied for jobs for which I was totally under qualified and gained them due to my creative writing skills on the applications.  All the while I felt like a failure.  I felt like I never knew enough, like I had achieved nothing and would never amount to anything. However, I realised during many dark nights of the soul that in each of my incarnations, I learned something, I gained skills. That I was luckier than most in that I had experienced so much and had so many opportunities to learn new things.

Fast forward loads more years.  My baby girl loved the muppets… ok I loved the muppets and it was a good reason to watch them again.  She loved puppets.  I decided to have a go at making them.  ‘How hard can it be?’ I thought – it was this thought that was behind many of my creative job applications.  And it was hard but I didn’t care because when you want to do something you don’t mind, and I started to remember my pattern cutting and I smiled. It was a light bulb moment.  Truly, nothing is wasted.  Everything I have done or not done has taught me something. Sometimes the lessons are harder to spot than others.

So anyway I have no qualifications in making puppets other than I make puppets. I use skills that I have learned my whole life. Surely that’s the most important thing.  The Doing Something Because You Love It.