Yes, the new year is an opportunity to update tired and old thinking – and use your experiences, knowledge, and ability to make new opportunities in your work.
As textile artists, we should be in constant motion in our work, so anyone who is not continually moving forward, asking questions, and experimenting to innovate may well be asleep at the wheel.
Put some pep in your step and be curious, do some research, learn something new, and just dive straight into those extraneous topics and themes to make your own opportunities for inspiration and new work.
Ask yourself what you’re going to do in 2023. Have a plan, even if it’s only vague.
What about extending what you’re already doing?
If you normally work in 2D, what about working in 3D? If you work small, what about working large? Could you incorporate a different technique within your work, or could you extend your current theme or topic?
Why not try incorporating text or storytelling in your work?
Or why not write about your work and submit that along with glorious images of your work to magazines?
Keep looking to find a key that opens that door of opportunity for you, not your friend and not your mentor – this is about you and your ability to make those opportunities for yourself.
So what’s my key this year?
I’m really looking into working with form and dimension in my current work Coral.
That required searching for lightweight forms I thought I could either stitch onto or cover with fabric to enable stitching. Some lightweight paper shapes from France were full of possibilities and were easily purchased via Etsy.
I also had to think about how I’d present the finished works – so I looked for presentation trays. Stackable jewellery trays from Amazon solved that problem.
Plus I’ve really had to think about how to cover and stitch these forms, making me extend myself. Do I cover the form then stitch or do I stitch the fabric then cover? Either option impacts on technique choices.
And by pushing myself that little bit further, I feel re-invigorated for the new year ahead.
I’m producing new work that I’m very happy with and that will form part of a body of work around my theme of Coral – and I’ve managed to push it that bit further.
What more can I do I wonder?
Perhaps we should all be asking that question.