The theme for May is about how we describe ourselves, or see ourselves, in regards to the embroidery/fibre art/textile work that we do. Do we call ourselves artists? Crafters? or something else?
Well, I do not call myself anything at all, really; it just doesn’t seem necessary for me to have a label like that. Why, or when, would I ever say “I am a fibre artist”, or some other term? I just don’t describe myself like that. I mean, I do the cooking at home, but I do not describe myself as a chef or a cook.
When asked what things I like to do, I will happily say “I enjoy embroidery”, or “I love to play with threads and fabric” etc, but not “I am a ….”. Pedantic semantics perhaps, but it certainly gets around the perennial quandary about whether my work is art, craft or something else. 🙂
So, where do the butterflies come into it?
Well, I had a terrible time deciding on how to depict all these thougts on a crazy quilted block. How could I illustrate what I thought about art, artists, craft etc? I came to the conclusion that I flit from one thing to another. I enjoy trying lots of different things – a variety of embroidery genres of course (such as needlepoint, crazy quilting, crewel, blackwork, pulled fabric, drawn thread, surface etc) but I also spend time making braids, scrapbooking, producing hand-made books, artist books, dressmaking, and so on.
And that reminded me of an artist book I made some years ago, in the shape of a butterfly, and which included a poem I made up:
If I had wings I would flit from one thing to another,
trying this, then that,
never landing, never staying still, never grounding.
I’d be searching, always searching, obsessed by one thing for a while,
then losing interest and moving on
from flower to flower, from tree to tree,
from this to that.
A flittery fluttery creature
Not staying long, always moving on.
Hence the butterflies – illustrating how I enjoy doing many different things as outlets for my creativity. Sometimes I flit from one thing to the next,l thoroughly enjoying the process.
And to finish the story about my butterfly artist book, the other wing has the other side of the story:
If I had wings, I would climb and circle and soar. Free.
No longer shackled, no longer tying myself down.
Free to explore beyond my boundaries.
I could look at things with perspective,
look at the whole picture beyond my own little world.
I could climb, I could swoop,
no longer holding myself back.
I could try new things, go to new places. Explore.
I could fly free, free to be me.
Perhaps that also is pertinent to my thoughts around my creative endeavours.