On making, + creating! - The Dainty Squid

On making, + creating!

Monday, October 20, 2014

This year has been absolutely amazing for me. Obviously moving to Cleveland, getting my own apartment, taking up cycling, making new friends, and challenging myself out of my comfort zone were/are huge HUGE huge things in my life. Most recently though, I feel like I'm finally getting my creative spark back!!!

I'm not sure how many people have been reading long enough to know that a few years back sewing was my main business, blogging was just something I did on the side for fun. I made super cute zipper pouches from adorable fabrics, some of which I even screen printed myself. I sold thousands of them. My work was available in boutiques all over the world. Eventually I just got burned out. I put too much pressure on myself, and killed my drive to do any sewing at all.

Even in the months leading up to that I had gotten into this really awful mindset that if it wasn't something I could sell, it wasn't worth my time to do. Taking up new hobbies or learning new skills would involve a great period of time where the results wouldn't be perfect. I didn't have time for that. My work was in demand, I wanted to stay ahead so making something for myself just felt wrong. I couldn't even make things for myself in my off time because there was no off time. I was always working on wholesale orders, new designs, my product photos, etc.

On top of that I wasn't really in a great place in my life, I guess. I basically just stopped making things completely which I'm just now realizing was incredibly out of character for me. Even as a child I liked to make things. My favorite aisle in the store? The craft aisle. I was always begging my mom to buy me a new craft kit.  My favorite class? Art class. I've just always loved doing things with my hands.

These last few months the urge to create has been gnawing at all like crazy.  Finally, last month, I took up embroidery and have been having a blast just poking around at fabric. I'm not great at it. It'll take time before my work is awesome. It doesn't matter though, I'm having fun. I'm enjoying myself. It's incredibly relaxing.

I've finally accepted that it's okay to make things for no reason. It's okay to make things no one else will ever see. It's okay to make things for YOU and you alone. It's okay to make things that aren't perfect. It's okay to try new things for the fun of it. It's okay to make art that no one else understands. If it makes you happy, inspired, excited, or anything other positive emotion that is all that matters.
I've been having lots of fun at the beach lately. It's where I've been feeling the most creative. I've always liked picking up the things I find for photos but I've been thinking of them on a larger scale these last few weeks. I want to make more permanent things with the items I find.
On another note but still related to beach trash, remember when at the beginning of summer when I said I was going to collect all the lighters I found on the beach to see how many I'd have at the end of the year? Yeah, still going strong on that one. Below is how many I found in less than an hour. It blows my mind how many there are. I'm getting pretty pumped to count them all up

Get creating!  xoxo

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44 thoughts

  1. It makes me smile to hear that you are getting your spark back! Have you seen Kiki's Delivery Service? Essentially, a young witch goes away to train and in the process, loses her magic. Whether your magic is writing, or creating, or photography, it's scary when you don't feel motivated anymore to do what you love. I've learned that creativity can't be forced, but it should be nurtured. I love everything you create on this blog--your writing, your abandoned series, whatever. Even if it can't be sold, if it makes you happy, it's worth it :)

    The What's In Between

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    1. Thanks so much, Zoe! You're right, it is really scary when you're not motivated to do something you used to love. I'm still working on getting my sewing magic back but I'm super pumped to be making anything at all.

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  2. Very cool...thanks for sharing! I feel the same way a lot of the time being an artist. I love what I do, but sometimes I have a hard time creating things on the side for just me.

    Also...it's crazy how many flossers you've found on the beach!

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    1. Haha, right?! That's like the second most common thing I find!

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  3. This is a very uplifting post! If you ever come back to Georgia and you're interested in exploring...check out this place. It's called Paradise Gardens and Howard Finster was the artist who created it. It's in the middle of nowhere, but it is very worth the expedition. I went earlier this year for the first time and it blew my mind (also a few artists like REM filmed music videos there.) I learned about Howard Finster in an art class I took in college and he was very inspiring! His childlike nature expressed in his aged body is simply precious. I think you'd love it!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRdN2jzD9Js

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  5. So happy to hear that your creativity has returned. Yes, create for you and enjoy every minute of it. Being happy in our day is what matters most in life. My day is always better when I have spent some time doing something creative. Do you knit? I think you would be amazing at it and can see you creating and wearing amazing knits! :)

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    1. I *kind of* know how to knit. I taught myself the very very very basics a few years back but never really got too into it. I think the main reason I was never really into it was because I didn't know what to knit. My first thought always goes to scarves. LOL.

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  6. awesome!!! i'm one of those readers from way back when (i've got at least 4 of your pouches - 1 i still carry around daily)....but then i fell off for a while....but then i came back and it was like you were a new person! more awesome than ever! i've always looked up to you as a creative and i'm glad to hear you're doing well and doing things you love!! xoxo

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    1. Hah! That's awesome to hear you still have some of my pouches.

      Thank you so much Taryn! <333

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  7. I've been reading long enough to remember your sewing business! That's how I found your blog originally, actually. I'm glad you're getting your creative spark back! :) I can tell through your posts that you're so much happier now, and I'm happy for you.

    Remembering that it's okay to not be perfect at your first try is so important. I'm an art student and I constantly have to remind myself I won't be instantly amazing--and that's okay. It's fine to screw up and make things just for yourself.

    I can't wait to see what you do! Hugs and kisses to all your animals ♡

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  8. I love the colors! I can't wait to see what you create. Sometimes it takes creating something for no one but yourself to get that spark back.

    ~Jenny~
    http://magiccatjenny.com

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  9. I love this post! I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell myself to "just have fun" with a new hobby or project instead of immediately thinking of how I could turn it into a profit. I'm saving this post to my favorites bar.

    P.S. I absolutely love the way you set up those first 6 photos!

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  10. The point you make about doing things for no reason is exactly what I needed to hear right now -- I think a lot of times it's easy to get caught up in doing art /for/ other people or worrying how you compare (re: skill or whatever) that you can end up forgetting that the whole purpose is actually to enjoy it.

    http://www.thismoxy.com/

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    1. I'm happy to hear that this resonated with you! :)

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  11. This post made me quite happy.

    It also made me want to go to the beach and be creative, so thank you! :)

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  12. I've been lacking in creativity for the past year or two... I have all these grand ideas but no motivation to execute them. I definitely agree that the space you're in is a major factor in helping creative juices flow. Shawn and I haven't had a place that has felt like home in a long time. We're trying to change that, but I get the feeling we need a physical change of location lately to match our antsy travel brains, and I'm not just talking about a new apartment... I think it's time for a new place entirely.

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    1. Hey, I'm with ya there, sometimes ya just gotta completely switch things up! A change of scenery is always good.

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  13. I'm just now getting back into sewing after a long dry spell. It's so exciting once you rediscover your love for a craft or find a new one!


    Delicate Teeth || http://delicateteeth.blogspot.com/

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  14. Such a good post Kaylah! Always a good reminder to do things and make time just for you. Keep it up!
    Jordyn
    Pretty Lovely

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  15. Yes! Create for you, for others, for no one. It doesn't matter as long as you're *doing* it. Love this little installation, though. I'm glad I got to see it. :)

    Uncustomary Art.

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    1. Thanks, Mary! Not going to lie, your blog has definitely inspired me to work on getting my groove back! :)

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  16. I'm excited to see what you can create with all of your finds! I'm too much of a germaphobe to collect beach trash so I will just live through you :)
    I agree with you on all of your points on making and creating.....looking back, anytime where I wasn't doing something (anything) creative those were times when I wasn't at my best. I'm just happiest when I'm creating and connecting through my creating. Which is why blogging is so great!

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  17. You know it's good read a post like this one, it makes me hope. I've fighting an inner war with myself, because it's like I just stopped like everything I liked. And I just can't find my place in the world. But, and as you said, it's ok to do things for no reason, and that's what I'm trying :D Good luck to you! :)

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    1. Aw, I'm sorry! I'm glad that the post gave you hope though! Good luck getting your groove back!! :)

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  18. That's awesome you're getting back in the creative mood! I lost all my creativity when I was in school and am just now getting it back after many years, it's a wonderful feeling! I remember when you used to run a sewing business and always wondered why you stopped. But I know very well anything can stop being fun if you put too much pressure on yourself. I can't wait to see what new creative things you get into next!

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    1. Thanks! I'm pretty excited to see where my creativity leads me as well! :D

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  19. I have so many things I want to say but I don't know how. Just, feels. This post really hit home. Thank you.

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  20. I really like this post! It's so easy to get discouraged and I find myself talking myself out of trying something because I won't be good and what's the point, but learning and trying and exploring and creating are valuable and it's important to keep that in mind. Also like the photos - the colors are great.

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  21. This really hit home for me. I stopped writing creatively five or six years ago. It was sort of a steady decline that began with me feeling unsatisfied with what I was writing, which ultimately led to a fear of writing itself. I recently started writing again and I find it enjoyable. Too much pressure can ruin creativity. I'm glad you've found your creative spark!

    On another note, I still have one of your pouches (a Frankenstein one). I carried it around daily for the longest.

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  22. Saw this work....stephart.blogspot.com/
    Thought of you, as well as how I can have my students do something inspired by these pieces....

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  23. Ah, I remember when you made those pouches and stuff! You know, Im glad you got your break from it, being burned out is not a good feeling(I know), and profiting on hobbies may not always lead to a great hobby OR a great job! It is good to find a balance I guess! I really enjoy your society6 stuff, and I hope that you do to! I guess it is an easier option than creating it all from scratch yourself. You already take incredible photos! why not make some money as a bonus:) keep on creating:)

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  24. aaaay-men. it's kinda sad how kids create art endlessly, instinctively; and adults don't do it unless they're "good" at it or whatever. i'm not "good" at visual art but making it is so much fun. it's been hard to silence that inner critic but ultimately SO worth it. congrats on freeing yourself!

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  25. If you're ever in Los Angeles, you should try to visit the Garden of Oz.... It seems like a place you would appreciate. You're not supposed to take photos there, but some people do and even visiting is inspiring!

    http://www.theluxuryspot.com/the-hidden-garden-of-oz-hollywood/


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