Aesthetic means giving pleasure through an appreciation of beauty – but how do you create your own aesthetic?

Fortunately, the world of textiles and stitch is such an amazing genre to work in for those who value beauty, combining the allure and charm of fabric, thread, colour, texture, pattern and embellishment.  But how do you make it your own?

Creating your own aesthetic takes time – even understanding your aesthetic can be really confusing, but gradually your voice, your personality and your style will begin to develop and dictate your aesthetic.  And that’s when you can really start to enjoy working with your aesthetic to create something new.

Pretty much everyone I know takes images of their work.  Sometimes it’s for entries into competitions or exhibitions, sometimes it’s purely for social media.

But I’ve made a decision to inject my personality into as many of my images as possible from now on.  Not for me those flat, bland unexciting images of the past – I’m creating new work from the aesthetic I’ve already created.

It’s different from branding.  There are no fonts or base colours, no white space or clean lines (actually quite the reverse), continuity or consistency – yet it screams and whoops with my personality and identity. – because it’s me.

And that’s exactly what I’m after.  I want to allow the charm of my individuality and persona freedom to shine – and I know it’s not to everyone’s taste, but it is to mine.

Yes, I’ll still take the images required for exhibitions, but I also want to enjoy my work, along with all the beautiful objects and bric-a-brac I have around me.  For some reason, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to put these disparate objects together in a photo, creating images full of beauty, character and interest.

Saturday mornings have become my designated photoshoot time.  And I’m very organised and disciplined – whatever comes out, must be put back, so out come the pretty teacups, the seashells, the old perfume bottles – along with beautiful beads, fake flowers and even fruit.  All lovingly displayed alongside bits and pieces of work I’ve created.  It’s a match made in heaven for me.

And all I can say is, why not?

But I haven’t explored everything yet.  When the weather becomes a bit warmer, I’m off to the mangroves for a photoshoot there.  And what about the park in Autumn with all those magical, stunning colours and textures.  Or even atop an old, gnarly wooden picnic table with an amazing view in the background.  My mind’s in overdrive, but I think you get the idea.

We make beautiful artwork, but do we really explore that fully?  I’m just trying something different.

I’ve even created a new series on my YouTube channel called Textile Zen.  Simple, yet highly contrived images, made into a short two minute or so movies, linked by some form of theme, simply backed by music – no talking.  Perfect for taking a breather with a coffee or tea, simply to enjoy the textiles we love.

So while my brand is sacrosanct, my aesthetic is something I’m willing to go out on a limb with.

Because it’s just me, and I want to enjoy it.  What about you?

cathy jack coupland