‘Slugs on the Refrigerator’ is a wonderful insight into your life, loves and passions. I especially enjoy your posts that transform life’s frustrations when channelled into craft, ‘My Future ex Husband’ is a great example.
What does creativity mean to you?
Its about living life to its fullest and getting the most out of what I make, have and do and not just what I buy. Its also about instilling in myself and my family a sense of “I can do that” as opposed buying into the “I can buy that” mentality.
Recently, I was rereading my old journals and it struck me that in my early twenties I often could be found lamenting the lack of creativity in my life. In my childhood, like so many people, I was told that I wasn’t good enough at still life drawing or following directions in art class and was pushed into science and math and reading. I thought that I didn’t have the ability to be creative or that the creative spark had to find me. I realised that actually, I had to make it happen. I had to throw away all of the preconceived notions about what I could or couldn’t do and just start and do something.
Even now it amazes me how a small drip of just starting some thing can start a full waterfall of creativity if allowed free reign. It adds tremendous meaning and satisfaction to my life…much more than I ever thought possible.
Disasters or experiments? What’s your attitude when it all goes wrong?
Accept it happens. Learn from it. Move on. Use the materials in some other project.
The quick fix, the 15 minute project – do you think being prone to fleeting from one project to the other could be detremential in us not really developing our skills?
The reality of my time right now is that with a toddler and a job, I don’t have many hours of devoted alone time to create, but I get a fair few 10 minutes here and there speckled throughout a week to work on things. Picking up and putting down complicated projects over and over is not only difficult, but it can be demoralising when you spend much of your day doing tasks that will never finish (the dishes, the laundry, wiping drippy noses). I like to do work that can be done in a short amount of time so at least I can show that I did something with my day.
All of that said, I am as guilty of anyone of quitting when it gets hard. One thing I have learned is that feeling discouraged and wanting to move on to something else are natural parts of my process.
Do you consider the source of the materials you use? The dyes, the production process?
Where possible, I choose to use repurposed and recycled materials. I prefer natural materials, but do not snub my nose at recycled plastic products (ie felt). This is quite an easy task when in the context of general craft materials, but I find it much harder when looking at fabrics. We just do not have the availability of good quality organic or recycled textiles, and shipping from America is very expensive. I will buy new, but I make a real effort to use every last scrap.
What are the roots which feed your creativity?
Lots of reading, my family and real ale.
When considering the issues that western society faces do you feel creativity has anything to offer as an antidote?
I think it goes back to what I said above. I feel that creativity, do it yourself, make do and mend, all of it is fundamentally about getting enjoyment and satisfaction out of what you do, not just what you buy. As a culture, I feel we have been deskilling ourselves in areas we actually need to survive and by doing so we are damaging our entire ecosystem. Creativity, for me, must be deeply grounded in practicality. I want what I make to be useful as well as beautiful.
There’s lots of nature in your work, has creativity played a role in nurturing your communication with nature?
For me it’s a beautiful circle of inspiration. I am unbelievably inspired by the natural world…in creating, in cooking and in living my day to day life. But my own creativity has its roots in an ethic of respecting that we have limited resources on the earth and making the most of what we do have.
Who is inspiring you right now
My biggest inspiration at the minute is my unravelling course. It’s a great way to take time out for myself and use my camera to explore the different sides of me. The others on the course are hugely inspirational with their work and lives, its great.
Consistently I find that its groups of people creating together is the best source of inspiration. Its best in person and I always come away from our crafternoon feeling refreshed and revitalised. But my e course is a great way to bond over creating and art as well.
Would you share something your particularly proud of?
I am most proud of some of the writing I have done, to be honest. I feel very attached to the post about creativity.
Have you plans for a project which dangles carrot like off in the distance that you’ve never quite got the time for………….?
Yes! A quilt. I love quilts and I am desperate to make one for wee man, but its so hard to get material that I like, find a pattern, do the sewing…maybe one day.
You can visit Kat’s blog at Slugs on the Refridgerator