Happy Monday Y’all. Today I am posting an article from last weeks newsletter (if you are not getting my newsletter, you should!! Sign up here. I offer my list lots of warm fuzzies like a peak at behind the scenes, cretivity tips, and special offers). I have been thinking quite a bit about creativity and what it means to be an artist. Anyway, in the 11th hour, while in bed with the ick, I cranked out this article from my heart.
SOUL + COMMON LIFE
When I moved to Asheville, I had high hopes of immersing myself in the art scene that Asheville is known for. I enjoyed the Birmingham art scene so much, and was convinced the Asheville scene would be off the charts. I have dabbled in art all of my life. Clay, mosaic, mixed media, bookmaking, batik, metal. I have tried so may things. But, one day, after watching me jump from one medium to another, my friend Robin patiently said “Just pick a medium and stick with it.” Such a simple sentence, that just nailed exactly what was blocking my diving deeper into my creativity. Ironically, it was she and her partner Ramsey that talked me into taking a knitting class at the community college a couple of years earlier.
Once I arrived in Asheville, I was just not clicking with the local art scene. Truth be told, since moving here, I really have not found the comradery that I had with the Birmingham art scene. Thankfully, that did not stop me from creating. In fact I was creating more. First with my knitting, designing my own sweaters, then with spinning and dyeing my own yarn. I did not start out knitting to make art, I was moving to the mountains in the middle of winter and needed warm clothes. But incorporating my love for knitting into my everyday routine, I began getting comfortable enough in that routine to explore the creative side of knitting and making yarn. Believe me, I have made a lot of mistakes and ugly sweaters and scarves. I have studied every technique book I could get my hands on. I started a Stitch and Bitch to bounce ideas off of fellow knitters. And I blogged to share with other knitters and spinners outside of my community. I used to feel self conscience telling other artists that my medium was knitting. I make wearables. I thought wearables were not hip enough or avante garde enough to be called art.
But it was that daily routine that grew into a passion, which in turn grew into an art. I was surprised that my path led me to be a fiber artist (I love claiming that title, I thought my medium would have been clay). It was that routine that cracked open my creativity. Playing in that creativity every chance I could get grew my confidence to claim it as my art. But, it could have been any other everyday creation instead of knitting. Cooking, sewing, gardening, canning, scrapbooking, home decor, kids crafts. Finding art in a routine and not a traditional art medium just takes the decision to own it. A choice to dive in and explore.
I remember in middle school, they changed the name of our Home Economics class to Home Arts. Art has the potential to be present in everyday creations if you let it. Here in Asheville, there has been a growing local foods movement. Chefs are exploring creative new ways to make really good food trying to keep the resources local, organic and sustainable. I dare anyone to say it has not become quite an art. With recognitions from notable publications, tourists are flocking here in great numbers in part because of these innovations. So, I invite you to let go of your ideas about what art is, recognize the creative spirit in what you do everyday. Your. life. is. art.