Nov 27, 2011

gournal share

Despite this being the most difficult time of year for me creatively, I think I can say I still got it. Though not technically from my journal, this diddy was born from the same mode of creation that I first practiced on my journal pages and so, feels kindred enough to be considered a "gournal" share.

During late fall my struggle to overcome the gloom makes successful creativity all the more rewarding, it becomes truly uplifting. Though I'm no stranger to SAD, this year doesn't feel as gloomy, sullen or miserable as years past. Just slow. Epically slow. There's just so much inertia to overcome! My body and mind want to settle into a cozy, hibernation like pattern of sleep - eat - watch - read - repeat, and I'm often oh so happy to oblige.

Interestingly enough the depths of winter find me more creatively stimulated than late fall and the holiday season. By January I usually come out of fall's energetic slumber and start gaining momentum, at least mentally; I sort through gathering inspiration and start formulating plans. In the spring time I start getting productive and continue to build momentum through summer. When fall comes around again I start winding down and my energy is ready for a restful period. By paying close attention I've been able to observe these seasonal changes in myself, though in a society largely disconnected from nature and natural cycles it can feel like useless information at times. Just when I'm ready to settle down for a rest I feel the pressure to be a'bustle with holiday productivity. I feel out of synch! Not with myself, but sometimes with the world around me.

Nov 15, 2011

blocking hexagons: a perfectionist's nightmare

It really was. I had to closet my perfectionist self for this one after the first four hexagons, if I didn't I would've driven myself insane. Other than that, it went well and was simple enough. I laid the hexagons out on a towel, shaping them as I pinned them down to the floor. After that I laid a thoroughly damp flour sack kitchen towel over them and ironed each until the flour sack was dry to set the shape. Then I left them pinned in shape for a few hours or overnight so they could set thoroughly. I don't know if this last step was necessary, but it felt right.

I planned on writing a comprehensive step-by-step of this process but the photos I took aren't very attractive, so I canned the idea. Getting a nice hexagon shape was fun and challenging though none of them are perfect, and I know that we block knit items to help make them the right size but... they aren't all the same size either. I know! But I didn't feel like being insane about it!

Above is a sketch of the final pattern, and below that are all the hexagons laid out as such! The slight size variation seemed to be a bit of an asset when I laid them out today, though it needs a bit of fine tuning, and we'll see if it's still an asset when I'm joining them with yarn instead of just laying them on the floor. Yarn color for the joining is still undecided (though, I'm leaning towards off-white) as is the method I'll use to get them together. Help?

Nov 11, 2011

all stirred up

I stirred up my life a little and now I find myself riding a wave of joy, delight and inspiration. I poked at the embers and now the flames are jumping up lively and strong. I recently gave my notice at the tea shop; I'll be done after Thanksgiving and I couldn't feel better about it. It's hard to express how I evolved there but I'll just say I feel more like myself than ever before. Many of the people who were there with me have become great friends or my chosen family. Miro was exactly where I needed to be for the past four years with exactly the right people, and now I feel I'm moving on at exactly the right time. I can tell because it's propagated this wave of said joy, delight and inspiration.

-- an unrelated photo of my desk after i reorganized it this summer --

The inspiration seems to be bubbling up and leaping out of me in all directions. I get caught singing nonsensically to myself/my cat, I miss drumming terribly, and I want to dance again. A few pals have recently complimented my writing, something I've always equally enjoyed and struggled with. The encouragement has given me new energy for words and has reminded me that writing is in fact a very important part of my process, one I shouldn't neglect. I find myself playing with words in my sketchbook in a lyrical sort of way as well as recording significant if not oddly isolated memories from my youth there. This new excitement in writing has also brought zines back to the forefront of my mind. I always suspected they might be an excellent vessel for my art and I'm beginning to believe it even more. Speaking of zines! Short Run, a small press fest, is happening tomorrow at the Vera Project; over 70 exhibitors will be there with their comics, art books, and zines. I can't wait to check it out and hopefully participate in the future!

I've been listening to a lot of Bikini Kill lately and during a discussion with a friend about what it takes to change the world I brought up Kathleen Hanna and how inspiring she is. Her bold, irreverent and unabashed expression of rage, trauma and sexuality is liberating. I wasn't lucky enough to have her blow my mind during adolescence (I probably couldn't have handled it anyway thanks to some deep denial) but I know she and Bikini Kill freed a lot of young people from such struggles and in doing so changed the world for those people. My friend and I came to the conclusion that becoming someone who changes the world is a journey of millions of small acts rather than a few large ones. It requires only that you be fully dedicated to your own truth and work to live it everyday. I guess I've been re-inspired to change the world by living my truths. That's a pretty big deal.

The subject of living one's truths brings to mind the moments when those truths are met with less than wholehearted support. As a creative thinker I find myself believing in, coming up with and expressing unconventional ideas. There are many words that can sit in place of unconventional here: radical, imaginative, revolutionary, brilliant, crack-pot, hair-brained, far-out, wild or outlandish all apply at some point or another. Not that I'm any kind of genius (not even close!), it's just that I can entertain, enjoy and learn from far-out ideas without being threatened by them or wholly losing my grasp of logic and reality. Still, I know what it's like to have my thoughts and ideas make someone uncomfortable; it's not terribly unusual for me to experience dismissal or criticism for expressing something challenging or weird.

The thing is, we'd never evolve or make progress without outlandish creative ideas. I would much rather be someone who works to direct the energy of their wild ideas into something productive and practical than try to breath a skoosh of life into a dead wet noodle of an idea. One of my instructors at AIS said something during critique that was the most valuable thing I ever heard come out of her mouth. I don't remember it verbatim, but she said to always work with the ideas that have the most possibility even if they seem impractical at first since it's easier to reign in a good idea than improve a bad one. Oh! I think her words were "you can't put frosting on shit." (Sigrid Cannon, ladies and gentlemen!) Anyway, my point is all ideas must at least be entertained, otherwise we condition ourselves out of creative thinking and spontaneous expression.

I'm just so enthusiastic right now, it's getting all over the place. Thanks for sticking with the stream-of-consciousness / loosely-related-themes in today's post. To finish up I'd like to express my extreme gratitude for all the beautiful, talented, loving people I find myself surrounded by. (That's YOU!) Also, lets all live our truths and change the world! :D