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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

shown here are the Copyright of Louise Gardiner 2012.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Thing is.....

You have to be prepared to screw hours of work up into a ball and start again...... thats the deal.

Scrap the lot.  Start again. Remember that even though you are scrapping it something has happened ... some creative decisions, a few practice runs and you are not, I repeat not back to the beginning but further ahead and even further ahead for actually having scrapped the lot in the first place.


That's what I've learnt over the years.

Bloody brilliant.

I am working on a very (to me) important commission and its gone from 'doing my head in' TO 'exciting get a grip and enjoy this you wazzuck ......
I have been revving up to it for a year, it was commissioned off the back of the Kristie's Homemade Home Series on C4 (even if I did look like a nutter / hair dresser/ crystal gazer on mushrooms) by a lovely and very trusting client in London.

I am nearing the end of the design stage which has taken about two weeks on and off.  The idea has been simmering in the back of my huge expansive brain (yeah...?) for about 10 months, a bit here, a bit there and I had to muster up the courage to grab the rope and swing with it ... as its quite a biggy.  The thought of stitching a piece this detailed and large makes me feel sick ......but excited.  The knowing of the physical side and the muscle to machine embroider this actually drains me ... the anticipation of the time required, the size and the labor intensity which is needed for what I see in my head, how I envisage it, seems like a heavy weight leaning on my shoulders.  BUT the excitement of producing it and seeing it evolve wins of course and I have to do it, its a mental and physical process.  I am at the stage where it has to be created, made, done.

Lets boogy.

Like with the Liberty Genie project,  I have researched and fed my brain with lots of different inspiring images and let myself be led from one thing to another and round and back again.... I am not really very good at this and get frustrated when I cant see physical processes finished at the end of each day.  Its almost as if I have some religious kind of guilt system.... unless I stitch till I die I feel I have not done enough...... it doesn't matter what I have been doing in the studio, the only thing that counts as work is finished product.  That I suppose is why I am not a painter.  Far too enjoyable in comparison maybe.
It does not involve bending over a noisy small badly designed machine with back ache and squinty eyes, licking bits of thread ends like an obsessive compulsive.  Re threading the needle a million times with little fiddly bits of sinewy fibre and spit, snipperty snip snipperty snip.

But I do love it really. I think.

WILD GRIMACE and backwards shoulder stretch.  Swig of Vodka. Snarl.

So yeah...... the design stage is a laborious and painstaking one... but probably the most important.  If you don't get it right there and then, theres no hope.  Game over ...... Hours and hours of stitching for nothing.  These questions have crossed my mind.......

1.  What am I doing?
2. Where did this weird tree idea come from?
3.  Whats has inspired me and why?
4. Can I really draw design something this big?
5. Is this going to look totally bizarre?
6. Will my client be pleased with this, how was this idea born in our liaisons?
7. How the hell am I going to applique this and which bits first?
8. What if the linen I have ordered is not fit for the job, I have never used it before?
9. Is this design too busy and complex and mad?
10. How can I keep this simple and allow for interpretation during the process?
11. Have I thought this through enough?  Where am I going to face big problems?

There are millions more but that's a selection of a few.
Anyway..... The lesson for us all today is ....

Don't be scared to scrap something and start again.  Don't not do something for fear of not being good at it, screwing it up, wasting time.  Chop it up, rub it out, screw it up, bin it.
As many million times as is necessary.


Step by step by step.
Be patient.

That's what makes us grow as creative creatures.

Being brave.

And we are all creative creatures in some way or another, every single one of us.  Like it or not.

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Louise :)

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