"There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms. A physical, an emotional, a mental and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person."

Rumer Godden 1907 - 1998

Monday, 6 April 2015

Community

Reading aplayfulday, one of the blogs I enjoy for it's energy and inspiration, reminded me that I used to blog much more frequently than I do now. aplayfulday has launched The Love Your Blog Challenge which will run during April. My hope is by joining in with this challenge, by responding to the themes for the weekly challenges that I'll start to love blogging again. 

Blogging is a two way process, it's sharing words and pictures with an unseen community and responding to that community too. Take a look at any blog and you'll see a set of links in the sidebar which represents the community the blogger has gathered around them. Watch anyone using a computer, laptop or mobile device and you soon notice they have favourite blogs and websites. I recently described myself as: Claire Textile maker, artist, knitter, journal-keeper, baker, cut flower grower and gardener, I omitted to say blogger. I feel sad about that, all the time I blogged and explored the work of other bloggers I felt full of artistic ideas, I was part of a huge mobile community. These days my creativity isn't original, I'm not designing anything myself, I'm bringing my own interpretation in the form of yarns/ beads to something someone else designed.


I did a City and Guilds in Creative Embroidery between 1996 and 2002, then an advanced textiles course to develop my art practise, I suddenly had a voice. I thrived in this sharing environment and created lots of original work that I shared, giving as much back to my community as I gained from them. I had the two things I find most conducive to work, a purpose and a community. The small picture is a sample from a sketchbook called Creative Connections that dates from about 2006. 




About 10 years ago I used to blog almost daily [that blog no longer exists :-( ], at that time I was part of a different community of artists who created altered art, who shared and posted online about it. Initially my work was very group driven, joining in with collaborative projects such as the page below in an old tattered copy of Alice in Wonderland. Through this I was a part of a huge art community spread across the world, I collaborated on lots of art projects and from these collaborations, I gained energy and inspiration. 


That community folded and suddenly I found something was lacking in my daily art practise. I was creating work like the picture below, I'd turned inwards, exploring myself through limited art practise. It wasn't same as the creative environments I'd been used to, I had nothing to feed from and no purpose. It wasn't long before I stopped blogging and creating any art.  When my husband and I started to plan a house move, I effectively lost my voice, 18 months of living in a rented property totally stopped my creativity.


These days (in a house of my own again) my artistic voice is very limited, I seem to struggle to find purpose and inspiration, I make a lot of promises to myself about new work that I don't keep. I have a world of inspiration outside my window what's missing is the wider artistic community I used to belong to.

Artists need inspiration, food for thought and most of all a community to explore which supports and validates their work. Introspective as this post has been it will serve as an opportunity to extend my community, finding new ways to connect and a way back into a more creative world. Who knows I may regain my creative voice!

14 comments:

Leah (Good Enough) said...

I hope you find your artistic voice again!

Sadie said...

I love the art in the post! I hope you do find your voice again.

travelknitter.com said...

Thank you so much for this post. I love seeing snippets of your artwork. I think it highlights how creativity is really stifled in a vacuum; we all need that interaction to flourish. I hope this is the start of a new surge of creativity for you.

gillirun1 said...

I can identify very strongly with your description of what happens when creativity is strangled. I wish you all the very best on your journey to breathe new life into your crafts again.

Nidhi said...

I do hope you find the artist in you again. Maybe this challenge will help inspire you to find that voice again? Wishing you all the very best:)

Louise Tilbrook said...

Such a great, honest post. It can be difficult to find a balance between inward and outward artistic expression. I hope this challenge helps you to find your voice again.

Claire said...

Its been so long since I last blogged regularly that I've forgotten how to reply to comments publicly, until I do I'll be sending replies by email.
I am very touched and encouraged by all of them, thank you

Helen (Yarnful) said...

Your post is so powerful. I can relate to the feeling of being lost when you lose your creative outlets, and wondering how you will find a way back. I think that you have a very honest and direct voice and I'm looking forward to reading more. I hope that this challenge helps you to find your creative voice again - your work is beautiful.

Miss Elle said...

I hope you find your creative voice again soon, your pieces are beautiful xxx

Becca said...

To be creative, I think we do need others around us, to bounce ideas off and to challenge each other. I hope you find inspiration, a community and your voice through this blog challenge! :) x

Clare Carter said...

A beautiful thoughtful post. Very thought provoking. It resonates with me so strongly, thanks for sharing. I hope you find your inspiration again - I think being in a space where we can't / don't create is very stifling for us. I know how hard moving can be too and the impact this has on day to day life.

Laura said...

In some ways, it's even harder to get back into the groove when you've been in a great creative community and lost it. I know it's taken me a long time, and in some ways made me wary, in case it all goes wrong again. But I think the great thing about building communities through blogs is that they tend to be a network of personal connections, rather than clustered around a single centre that can too-easily collapse. I hope you find the inspiration and network you need - certainly there are lots of awesome people posting at the moment!

And thanks for your comment on my blog. It really helps to know I'm not the only one who finds online interaction a tricky beast, but I'm hoping, like you, to use the Love Your Blog challenge as a springboard to new things :)

The Sampler Girl said...

Artists do need inspiration, absolutely! And for me, when that whirling wind of a muse doesn't show itself then it gets to frustrating and you can't force yourself to create ... just to wait and the tide will come around again and whisk you into the creative feed. Lovely blog. I hope you blog more again xx

Delusional Knitter said...

Wow! That touched very close to home for me. I also attended in person (and online) groups that did altered art, rubber stamping, etc. It was a joyful time, but then life changes happened and I wasn't able to attend. That's when I found knitting and fiber arts, which are my total obsession now. I have been slowly getting back into sketching and paper, pen, ink and pencil mediums though! Glad to have found your blog, maybe we can validate and inspire each other :o)

Post a Comment

Thank you for posting a comment, I do read all the comments made and appreciate the time you've spent reading my blog and making your comments.