I'm reading The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp with a group set up by Lynn Krawczyk, check out her blog for more information. Choreography and textiles may not seem like obvious partners, the common link is the need to be creative.
The first chapter is concerned with the place where creativity is triggered, Tharp calls it the "White Room" and the second is what rituals we go through to prompt our creativity.
My white room came as a surprise: "My white room is my drive home from work. My commute is about an hour each way, so this gives me the opportunity to have the internal dialogue that gets me into the right place to make a start on being creative when I get home."
My rituals did not: "My studio time is evenings after work and once dinner is out of the way. I'll start by switching on my sewing machine, even if I have no intention of using it. I sit at my table, either facing my current design board or my current work in progress and I'll review where I'm at. This will prompt me either to work in my sketchbook, or to work on the wip. If neither of those inspire me I have a stack of patchwork blocks that I'm cutting up and seaming as I need to re-make them. Chances are after a while the routine machining will spark something for me."
These two "revelations" helped me take something that wasn't working well this time last week:
To something I'm much happier about now:
The whole piece has started to look more integrated, and less like I'm trying to fashion something out of nothing. In the coming week I plan to do one of the exercises from the book and to face my fears about how I start to develop this piece further.