Friday, March 25, 2011

Craft and Art as a Full Time Experience

I have been involved in the sewing/quilting/craft fields my entire adult life. I have watched hundreds of women turn the creative work of their hands into a viable business success. In the late 1970s, I remember people talking about the resurgence of quilting as a hobby. Yesterday, I heard someone say that sewing, as a trend, has experienced a long dry spell in popularity. (Huh?) I have often heard my friends say something like, "When I was growing up, my mom and grandmother didn't work, and they crafted for the pleasure of it all day long!" These same friends relate that their personal love of creativity is somehow more important now that they have to figure out how to squeeze it into a life that includes full-time jobs outside their home responsibilities.

I guess it is hard for me to relate to folks who say that craft/art/sewing is a new trend, a resurgent hobby, or a precious stolen moment in their otherwise too-busy life. I want to understand where they are coming from, but I just politely pretend to do so. In my experience, creativity and working with fabric, fiber, and my hands has always been like breathing. It didn't matter who was sharing this activity with me, like a grandmother might have. Or what the magazines say is on-trend. Or if "Home Ec activities" are seen as valuable, or, even how busy my life is. I cannot imagine a day without art, craft, sewing, or creating.

While I have always made time for creativity, I am fortunate that at this stage of my life I am able to be a full-time fiber artist. My days of balancing this daily pull toward creativity with other activities like raising young children, a boss to keep happy, or a long list of daily household chores are long gone. Now, I get to give creativity my first and best energies every single day! I vote that we all cherish a new way of thinking about creativity, in whichever manner that creativity is expressed, and whether or not we are full-time or brand-new to this gig. The old thought is "This is what I create when I have nothing better to do." Let's replace that with a new about, "I create today to express a valuable and beautiful part of myself. I share that with all of you!" So, if my only creative act today is making a good PB&J, I know it is a thing of beauty!

I tip my hat to all of the folks who in years past, as well as this very day, choose a creative lifestyle.

Thanks for stopping by,

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