It’s one giant step – from that idea that just won’t leave you alone until you simply have to take some form of creative action to express that idea into textile art.
There must be myriad reasons people begin designing their own work – and there’s really no right or wrong way.
It could be serendipity, inspiration from a class, or from being part of a larger community of like-minded creators – but somewhere along the line, you simply have to take that first, tentative step.
And a lot of it’s about self-belief – that’s the hard part, but it’s also very much about something called ‘process’ – a series of steps we use to get from that first idea to the final finished artwork.
I remember being more frustrated than anything else, always following someone else’s inspiration when I had this pent-up desire to design and create my own work, brimming with my own personality.
But I didn’t know how or where to start, so it was more a lack of knowledge about the sequence of processes needed to move forward.
Simple things that when designed to suit my requirements, certainly made life a lot easier.
And I soon learned that it was best to teach myself.
Once, I did ask for help along the way, and signed up for a 20-month mentored course where I had to justify a comprehensive knowledge of Design – so the pressure was on.
In hindsight, researching and learning about design myself, was the best way for me – and having a deadline certainly formalized a work ethic that still exists today.
But what that really did was consolidate my understanding of the concept of ‘process’.
Process is defined as a series of steps taken to achieve a particular end.
But process is also about the order in which steps are worked.
It’s about crafting a narrative and learning to combine techniques and colours to support that storytelling – but it’s also about learning to create systems that suit you, nurturing sustainable work practices along with forming a strong family/health focus as well.
It’s about learning where to look for inspiration, taking images of your work, writing about your work, exhibiting and selling your work, and learning to use your social media platforms.
And it’s a very personal journey developing systems and processes that are most likely unique to you – things that you know work for you.
So I look at design as the ‘big picture’ event – a conglomeration of smaller events that combine to make up the whole – simply because that’s what it is.
But you don’t have to work like me – it could be that designing and making is enough. Who wants all the added extras?
So if you want to design your own textile art, that would be one of the first questions to ask yourself.
How far do I want to take this?
Am I simply about creating and working on designs that have meaning for me and that I love to stitch? Or do I want to become a professional Textile Artist with a website, a blog, and social media platforms – someone who takes their own images, makes movies, exhibits, and sells?
Because there’s a world of difference between the two.
Either way, there’s a realm of satisfaction with your name on it.
Give it a go. Design your own textile art, whichever path you decide to take – and learn to develop processes that suit you best.
Confidence comes with doing – and that’s a skill we’ve all had to learn on our own.
All views expressed are my own personal views and opinions, except where acknowledged information is included from other sources.