Hey Creative Friend, I’ve been working on this piece for a while now. It’s called I’m a Child. I’ll share the backstory to this piece with you in another post. In this article, I want to show you the “I am a Child” work in progress photos. They’re so informative.
I haven’t done work in progress photos for a while. I feel like it’s time to bring it back here on the blog. Of course, if you want to see the work as it progresses through each week, then follow me on my Instagram page. On my IG page, I post weekly updates including videos and then join my newsletter to hear behind the scenes discussions of my studio work and exhibitions. When you follow me on Instagram, remember to hit the bell next to my name and then turn on notifications (for posts, stories, IGTV, and live videos). Unfortunately, the way Instagram works, following me does not guarantee you’ll see everything I post unless you turn on notifications.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s carry on.
Here on the blog, what I’m thinking of doing is, a summary post after I’ve completed each piece. This way, I can show you the stages through which it progressed. I believe that the back of my work has a lot of character. It shows a certain angle of my creative thinking process that the front is not able to capture.
While I’m somewhat controlled in the the drawing and digital illustration stage, it’s not so when I’m stitching. During the stitching stage, I truly let go and allow the piece to tell me what to do. During the illustration stage, I don’t plan ahead how I’m going to stitch what I’m drawing. Neither do I worry that something I’m drawing will be difficult to stitch. I just draw, then figure out the stitching when it’s time to stitch.
I’m still working on letting go in a similar way with the illustration phase. I’m a work in progress and that phase of my art process is something that I’m still working on. Having said that, it’s not the entire illustration phase I tend to be controlled about. For example, when I’m choosing color schemes, I let it happen organically. I’m also very loose when I’m creating patterns or designing the clothes of my figures. I take the same approach even when I’m creating their hairstyles. I’m not so controlled about that either.
In light of all of that I think that looking at the stitching on the back of my work shows you the improv way in which I approach that phase of my work. The quilting police will certainly have issues with a lot of my ways. Because for me, instead of aiming for perfection, I aim for expression. What’s the best way I can express myself through stitch? I seek that path and pursue it with a passion.
So, here’s the first of hopefully more work- in-progress posts where I’ll give you a look at how the stitching progresses in my work.
Taking progress photos help me relive the process of creating the artwork. Without them, I sometimes forget what the challenges and joys of creating a piece were. The “I’m a Child” work in progress photos for example, remind me of the time I stitched the leg of the table. When I got to the table’s leg, it looked so big. I was intimidated. I couldn’t think of how to stitch it.
Like I said, I don’t pre-plan my stitching. So, I sat there with the work pinned to the wall just staring at it. I do that a lot. I just stare at the work and let it speak back to me. Eventually, I picked it off the wall, put it on the sewing machine and started to stitch.
Although I still wasn’t sure how to proceed, I was calm and ready to explore, experiment and do something with that portion of the work. Mind you, I have a I-don’t-rip-stitches rule. Of course that puts extra pressure on me to either like what I stitch or figure out a way to fix it without ripping stitches out.
What I’ve learned over the years is that the trick to experimenting, and discovering new things is developing the ability to sit with discomfort. Yes! You heard me right. Learn to sit with the discomfort of the uncertainty about that new thing you’re trying to do. Don’t rush to the seam ripper, or the eraser to get rid of your initial attempts. Just give it time to evolve. More often than not, after a while, you’ll see it come together.
That’s what happened to the stitching I did on the leg of this table. I really love this maze-like pattern that eventually emerged. It’s a pattern I’m certainly going to add to my tool box.
That’s it for this “I’m a Child” work-in-progress post. Let me know if you’ll like to see more of this type of posts.
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