Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Moving On Does Not Mean Goodbye!

The outpouring of messages that drifted into my e-mail since my last post, the comments posted here and on my Multiply site have prompted me to blog tonight to clarify what I meant.

Part of the switch for this blog and our website in the last year has been to reflect the greater view of my life as an artist, instead of only a needlework designer. I have always loved to make pictures, create images, play with craft supplies, dream and imagine possibilities that don’t have to be anchored by laws of physics or practicality. To be creative is to always look for the possible impossible. To dream of unicorns and dragons.

For the past 12 years, I have been making most of my publicly recognized images with needle and thread. Ever since I began doing cross stitch, I have imagined pictures made up of little stitches, written poems that begged to have bands of stitches or tiny images enhance the words or added sparkle and shine to imaginary creatures that I could never have done with watercolour or pencil. The fact that some of my ideas literally do not leave me in peace until I put them onto graph paper will not change... I doubt I will ever walk away from needlework completely, because it brings me the most amazing satisfaction to watch something grow stitch by stitch until suddenly... you have a picture!!

What has kept me enthused about stitching this summer, amid all the chaos of the show we traveled to and the book illustrations, is looking forward to the CSNF show in Toronto later this fall. Like the chance to meet store owners in person at a trade show, this incredible multi-craft extravaganza lets me RECHARGE my creative batteries instead of depleting them. Spending time with stitchers is one of the most rewarding experiences I can think of... to get their feedback on a new design that comes out as a class before the rest of the world sees it... to spend time laughing and celebrating what we love about stitching... to fondle new fibres or play with new beads. That is what keeps me going through the grind of reporting illegal sites or firing off letters about infringements I see to other designers.

All creativity involves risk. No one knows that better than creative souls in our modern society. Arts and Music programs are slashed in schools. Songs, movies and patterns are traded electronically by people who truly don’t care that they are breaking the law. Ideas shared could be ideas stolen. But in a world that seems to focus so much on the negative and the horrific, those who create offer places of refuge, peace and enjoyment.

I just laughed and snorted my way through The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff that I found before our trip. Having the story set in Toronto and other parts of Ontario was just the icing on the cake. For the few hours it took me to devour the book (I’ve always been a speed reader in English. I’m about average pace in French) I was totally captivated by her witty style and knack for throwing in the neatest zingers. The book has now been fondly placed among the several hundred books that clog our basement shelves, to be enjoyed again someday.

This morning, after I pretty much averted the flooding of my office due to a freak 2 hours of rainfall (the carpet beneath the window is still a little soggy from the waterfall when I got the pump into the window well) the soothing sounds of Pachabel’s Canon restored my sense of calm as I settled down to complete another illustration. Just 5 more to go!!!

Without the creativity of others, my life would be so much poorer...

I just still don’t understand why or when it became acceptable to steal it?

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