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#1: Put everything to good use (everything)
As a teacher at DIY Textile School, creativity is part of my work – like making samples with certain techniques for a class. Until recently, I used to look at those samples as not at all relevant to my creative work. These objects were not art, they were just illustrations of particular techniques. Until one day, I realized that as an artist, I can use everything! I can use and (re)work them into my art pieces. In fact, putting everything that is at your disposal to good use, is a smart thing to do – especially if you need to use your time and energy wisely. Using my limitations in time and energy creates synergy. It makes my work more interesting and it makes me feel better about my creativity.
#2: Plan your time (and stick to your schedule)
Reserve time to make art. Block regular amounts of time in your schedule for the specific purpose of making art. If you don’t, your days and evenings will fill up with other activities – household and work chores, social contacts, watching tv to relax – activities that you could actually spend less time on, or skip altogether. The most important thing is to make art a priority, setting time for it in your schedule – and sticking to it! Guard that time religiously. One great help to do this: the strategic use of deadlines – read on to tip #3!
#3: Pick the Right Kind of People (like-minded ones)
This was a huge help for me: finding like-minded people who encourage and inspire me (and vice versa). Every one of us has her own process, but it is good to travel the art road with others, to encourage, promote and support each other as an artist.
I found my travel companions with Concullega’s (‘competitors/colleagues): four women (Marjan van Holthe, Josien Eulderink, Diana Warmels, and myself) who decided to work together as colleague-artists. In a way we are competitors, as we all have, or are developing, our own enterprises. But we share our passion for textile, the inner urge to grow as an artist and the ambition to show our work in varying locations, like Open Studio days, festivals, and other art forums. The featured picture is an example of all of our work – to be seen in Weeribben in June 2019.
It has given me a structure to organize and realize my dreams. And practically speaking: exhibitions create great strategic deadlines, which is important to help you achieve both large goals and small ones. It helps me to do what I love doing: get into the process of creating, painting, and stitching. To come up with a concept, to develop a theme, and to develop my own style. Creating a voice for my artistic endeavors.
#3: Prepare Yourself for New Things
I am of course in a luxury position, because as the Director of DIY Textile School I have the freedom to organize the courses and workshops that benefit me as an artist (and a lot of other people, I’m happy to say). Such as Rita Trefois’s Master Batik course and Matthew Harris’s 3-day workshop, and Isabelle Wiessler’s 2-day workshop. I too learn from these masters. Of course, everybody has her own needs, her own pace, her own level, and it is good to know that there are people everywhere that can teach you what you want or need to learn. In every field, on every level, from very costly to (almost) free. Look, choose and learn!
These tips work for me. I hope they will benefit you too. Let me know! What motivates you to make art, and how do you go about it? To whom do you show your work? Where? How often? Who supports you in this process? What tips would you like to share?