Art or what?

OK, so where do I begin this post? a few days ago there was an interesting post at a movable feast about the meaning of buying equipment, learning mew techniques and such. Annica posted a link to the incomplete manifesto by Bruce Mau which might be a mental gold mine for any creative person. This sat in my draft folder for a while because it seemed too personal, but now there was another posting about creativity at inaminuteago .

Reading all this made me think, and formulate a few thoughts that were floating arround in my brain for a while. (A big thank you for that to all people in the previous discussion). So why did I enter this challenge? Because I wanted to do some embroidery and needed a reason to drag my ass away from the TV and get started.

Why embroidery? I’ve been trying to paint and draw for ages, but never got really good at it. But the longer I was at it, the more I expected from myself, and ended up totally blocking myself. I never really got beyond the stage of classroom drawing exercises because I never was content with my results. I wanted to do something “creative” and lacked ideas most of the time, or thought the ideas I had were not fit for public display.

Outside fiber art circles, embroidery is mostly considered a harmless hobby for bored women. (At least here, in rural Germany). I wanted to do it that way, although I had some contact with the German fiber art scene before. And that seemed the right thing for me: a way to keep my hands busy without worrying about anything. And then I found myself competing with people who have university degrees in fiber art. I tried to ignore that and just do my thing. But as I went, I realized that I put more and more of myself into the pieces I did. Probably that is not obvious to others, but to me. Suddenly there was this “creativity” I have always been looking for, or at least the beginnings of it. Why? No idea really. Maybe because I allowed myself to play and enjoy.

Now is this “art” ? Does the answer even matter? Probably these are questions I shouldn’t be asking. Seeking critique on technical matters is important, but questioning ones own or others creative impulses is rarely productive in my opinion.

I don’t even know why I’m posting all this in a public forum. Maybe as a little inspiration for other struggling with such issues, and a thanks to those who inspired me with similarly open postings.



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