Mark My Word Oct/Nov 2009
You know, things have always come fairly easily to me. That doesn't mean that there wasn't hard work along the way, but the ideas just flow in and out of my little wooden head as fast and as easily as celebutards at the Kabbalah Center. It's always been that way and there's just no explaining it, no rhyme nor reason.
I didn't come from particularly hypercreative stock. I was never dragged to a museum or cultural center, nor did I ever hear the classics being played on the high-fidelity console while I was growing up. The Beatles, maybe. Sergei Rachmaninoff? No way, Jose.
I was the kid with the crayons, the one always doodling on test papers and book margins. I touched every DMC skein at the five-and-dime, and I drew plans of what my future mansion would look like and how I would decorate it, once I escaped Crafton Heights and the tyranny of the colorless. Maybe I was a freak of nature, but, hey, I was a vibrant freak! And, my quilting colleagues, I suspect you were right there alongside me, coloring box in hand.
You see, it's my belief that we are born to be who we are. No one taught us to be imaginative, to love color, to want to feel fabric and to create. Oh, yeah, we certainly have had our influences, but when push comes to shove, we were born creative . Yes, even you, turnips, who may mistakenly think you're living with Creative Deficit Disorder!
Let me ask you: Do you really think you quilt just because you want to? Well, if you do, that's rubbish. You quilt because you must quilt. It's in your DNA. You were hatched as a creative soul, just like anyone who ever picked up a rotary cutter. You were born for patchwork greatness! Embrace it.
Now, that's easier said than done. I know firsthand. You see, just like every Tom, Dick and Harry who insisted you color inside the lines,
every Quiltzilla, Quilt Kong and Tyrannosaurus-Quilt passively (and sometimes not so passively) beat into you the “right” way to piece fabric, sew a stitch, and make a quilt. Well, back off, Jack! You do what you want.
When you look at a pattern, never give a second thought to whether you have what it takes to make it or not. Just gather what you
need and do it when you're ready! Stop second-guessing your fabric choices. If you like something you see, buy it (these darn fabric lines go out of print so quickly that if you don't buy it when you see it, you ain't getting any at all). Finally, take the “if I coulds” and change them to “before I trieds.”
Put away the self-doubt and connect with the creativity you were born with. Forget about whether anyone actually likes the work you do, the
quilts you make or your vision of creativity. Who cares? You're doing what you do for yourself, to satisfy that visceral creative longing you were born with. Start your machine for yourself. Collect your stash for yourself. Design and cut and sew and color for yourself.
There will always be those who love what you do, and others who could care less. There will be people who realize your genius and those
who will belittle your journey. Does it really matter? You're a creatively independent grown-up now. Color where you want and how you want, and everybody else can kiss your patootie. So, make a plan today to grab your tools, make your patchwork the way you want to, and swim in the process. Baby, get back in touch with the vibrant creative freak you, I and all of us are meant to be. Take no hostages and make no excuses! Most of all, own your creativity!
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