Who am I really?

I’m the person who turns up to work every day; who tries to be generous and professional; who strives for consistency and who also aspires to ongoing innovation and advancement.

Routine is my BFF – it’s what gets me through the hard times, so I can float on the weightless, drifting bubbles of contentment through the good times.

I try to be generous to requests because I like to ‘give-back to an industry that, in the main, has been extremely kind to me – it certainly has offered me an amazing outlet for my creative expressiveness.

And I’ve tried to be professional in my dealings with galleries, curators as well as respectful of other artists and their work.  After all, we need to support the textile and fibre art industry as well as each other – especially with Covid.  I work to deadlines and I comply with briefs or conditions of entry as a courtesy to hard-working organisers and sponsors.

Being consistent is the only way I know of dealing and coping, and that also relates to ‘housekeeping’ – or the work behind the work of being a textile or fibre artist.  Setting up systems and templates, working within a structure of order and control, rather than chaos and disarray – and I actually did an online course with Lisa Call about just that – and learnt a lot.

Then there’s the idea of ongoing innovation and advancement.  It seems to me, if I don’t continue to learn and grow, then I may as well give up right now.  Thankfully, I’ve found two avenues that continually inform and educate me.  The Stitch Safari Podcast means I have to read and research – and that’s an amazing journey on its own and has already inspired a new series of work as a result.  But now I’m also offering Live Love Design on my YouTube channel – and that means I’m probing and exploring one of my all-time passions – the world of Design.

But there’s another person housed within – the one who’s tired, stressed and sometimes under pressure and snappy.  The one with a daughter being married soon and a son who’s sitting yet more exams.  The one with friends whom I don’t contact enough, but love to natter with when I do, and the one who needs to exercise every day and aspires to a mostly healthy diet.  And let’s not forget the person who has a husband who gets up at 3.30 am to enable him to hit the road before peak-hour traffic.

I’m not perfect but I have choices and pathways in my life.

I’m the sum total of all my interactions and it’s up to me to choose how I cope or deal with those interactions.

Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not.  But at least I finally know who I am.  Do you?

cathy jack coupland