When I committed to making a piece of textile art once a week for a year this time a year ago, little did I know how challenging it would be. After doing the Made on Monday challenge for 12 months I decided to reflect on my progress and processes so that I can use what I have learned in future pieces of textile art.
It was challenging in a number of ways:
- finding time – although the pieces were small I don’t often find time every week to sew,
- finding inspiration – it’s hard to be creative on demand sometimes,
- keeping ideas in check – 5 inches square can be fairly limiting
- trying not to get ahead of myself – thinking this would be great as blah, or I could make 25 of these and make blah etc.,
- knowing when to stop or when a piece is finished – although this is not a challenge limited to only doing these smaller art pieces,
- stopping myself thinking ahead about what to do with them all!
What I learned along the way:
- why should I make something for anything other than “because”? In other words, it doesn’t have to BE anything,
- a lot of people think that I should make coasters (!!!)
- placing limitations on a project when I create something is a good thing because it makes me think more (or sometimes stop overthinking) to solve a problem
- sewing and textiles IS problem solving
- I do overthink things a lot – the less I think about some of these pieces the more I like the end result
- I dream textile creations or solutions a LOT (although I already knew that)
- It is very beneficial working alongside someone (thanks Cora!) even if we are not always together in the same room – technology is a wonderful creativity tool,
- Ideas and conversation flow when we can encourage, critique and be inspired by each other’s work,
- It is easier to recognise your own self doubts when you can call it out in someone else.
Where will I go now?
- I plan on making more of these 5×5 inch pieces and adding them to the MoM gallery, perhaps not as frequently
- I want to use some of the pieces as a stepping stone for some larger pieces
- I will use some of the techniques I have used in textile art in dressmaking
- I will try placing limitations or challenge myself to use certain materials, colour schemes, techniques or designs to develop new pieces
- I recognise that I can recycle and reuse the smallest pieces of my stash to create textile art
I thoroughly recommend the Made on Monday challenge to anyone who want to challenge themselves to extend their creativity. It has opened my eyes to what I always kind of knew I could do but didn’t want to commit to large pieces to try. I get an enormous satisfaction out of looking at all 52 pieces in one go. I have them in a folder currently but have had an idea to make textile boxes to store them in, so we will see how that idea progresses!
Here are some more of my favourites.
What sort of challenge have you undertaken to extend your creativity? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Until next time