Nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever exactly as you envision it – ever. Sometimes it is better.
~Natalie Chanin, of Alabama Chanin, writing in EcoSalon.com
Six women participated in the 3-day Design Your Own Fair Isle workshop last weekend. My workshops are just that: not a time of passive accummulation of knowledge, but a chance to plunge in and create. The 3-day workshop takes the design process from germ-of-an-idea to defined-goal-and-a-swatch. Doesn't sound like much when I put it like that, but it's a real challenge for most people.
I don't think there's any substitute for persistence. Sure, the inspiration is important—the heart, the love, the enthusiasm. The joy.
But these rarely get us through the hours of creation. Somehow the idea has taken hold that creation is the moment of inspiration, that the follow-through is sort of an after-thought, something to be farmed out to someone else. Less important. The "craft" side of the "art."
I'm as guilty as anyone—I love the playing with colors, the swatching, the sketching. I tend to fall flat on the completed garment side of the equation. Witness the baskets of half-finished sweaters lining my windowseat.
So what do we need to get the project done?
- A strong vision of the completed project.
- A desire to see it completed.
- A commitment to learning the skills to complete the project.
- Awareness of the mental demons that attempt to derail anything that involves effort and a loud inner voice to counteract those messages.
- Systems to support the project—for me, I have my mini-journals that allow me to return to projects when life has forced me to step away for awhile and I have my baskets to organize the projects.
- Probably some other qualities that don't come to mind immediately..... Feel free to chime in!
Please notice that money, and time, and innate ability don't appear in this list.
Shadow, on the other hand, is totally uninterested in such discussions. Here he models the art of relaxation.