Have you ever wondered what you would say if someone interviewed you, as an artist, for that one featured artist blog you read daily? I have. This is how I imagined that interview going:
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WEAVE?
i had wanted to weave years ago. after i came back from a trip to india in 2010 where i had weaved a few hand held fans and a stool. but i couldn’t find the proper tools here. the loom my mom had bought me was too small and we just couldn’t figure out how it worked.
i remember taking a tour of ACAD in grade 12 when we had to visit post secondary schools as part of CALM class. i had noticed a loom in a room that wasn’t part of the guided tour. it reminded me of preschool where we had a communal weaving project and the teacher helped me add my one piece of fabric in the cricket loom.
the large scaled woven wall hanging in the basement of the law library at the u of c. you know the one. its orange and purple and yellow and white. its got a measuring scale on it, i think. its an abstract piece. i spent hours studying on the couches in front of it. some of those hours i spent just staring at this wall hanging. i had no intentions to learn to weave at that time in my life.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO WEAVE?
i’ve been going to market collective since year II. when it was in the carpenters upon hall. before it moved to the ant hill building. and then finally the chinese cultural centre. all of these artists, creators, designers, have all played a part in getting me ready for the time i will apply for a booth of my own. in my early years of university i believe MC collaborated with art in the park event on campus. this was where i was introduced to my favourite artist. it has been incredible to watch this wonderful lady grow in her art. it’s her success that has inspired me to share my art with the world too. there’s a necklace i wear that says “live what you love” for me, that is weaving. when students ask me what it means i tell them they should live out their dreams and do what they love everyday. i thought that was teaching. i think I’m learning that feeding my creative soul is just as important as fulfilling my purpose as an educator.
what inspires me is the community of artists supporting each other. i went to the inglewood night market the other day [obviously this was written a while back] and i came across a lady who had displayed a tool to spin wool into yarn. although i didn’t get to meet her. i dreamed of perhaps working together on a project in the near future. its really neat because she uses natural dyes to hand dye the wool!
i also met another lady who made felt clothing. she goes into classrooms to help with projects too. it would be so awesome to teach students to weave. even using a simple cardboard loom.
this night at the inglewood night market i also signed up for a weaving workshop. i had hesitated signing up because i didn’t know anyone who would have wanted to go with me. im glad i went. and met another wonderful being who taught me the basics.
it wasn’t until after a knitting class at stash that i was really inspired to turn my hobby into something more. knitting isn’t really my thing. but learning just a little about the knitting instructor and her part time business. it was clear that i needed to set goals for myself and jump out of my comfort zone and do something worthwhile while i couldn’t do what made me feel important in the world.
WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUPPORTER?
my boyfriend. [and since then a few more people, thank you] he has been the most encouraging person for me to find myself again. i had taken a break from creating for a while. he was able to stir up that intrinsic motivation within me to actively engage in being creative. he supports me. he listens to my ideas. he drove me to the uncommons just before closing time to get me a beautifully crafted arrow dowel to hang my very first weaving onto. they were closing at 5 on a sunday. i had called and they were super nice and said they wouldnt mind staying open a few minutes later. we got there just 10 minutes before 5. i didn’t even know if this orange arrow would still be there. i had seen in months prior and knew there was a reason i was attracted to it but i normally don’t move towards orange objects. it was then my boyfriend suggested i start an etsy account. i hadn’t even completed my first weaving and he had bigger dreams than i had dreamed for myself. i was in awe that he thought it was that good. that was the day i gained some confidence in my artistic abilities.
my mom. surprisingly is very creative herself and is always looking for new things to learn on youtube. she helped me get started using a home made cardboard loom for my first project. then she took over while she was teaching me and did a huge chunk before i realized she was going to take over my project. i feel like she’s more supportive of my art now that ive gotten a couple of degrees and am hopeful in having a safe career.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
finding the colours and textures of yarn i see in my mind. we’ve got a few great local shops in calgary. and i’ve found lots of great items at all of them. i still find it difficult to find the stuff ive been eyeing on other makers instagram pages.
when you are forced to leave your job and people you love. you must find a new way to live and love. weaving somehow fit within the medical restrictions i had at the time.
i’ve checked off some big things on my list of goals: be disciplined and compile a good number of weaving instead of giving them away as gifts. start an instagram page solely for weavings, and not posts of my dog. set up an etsy shop.
next i would love to be a part of my favourite local market. turning my dreams into reality by sending in an application this week. fingers crossed.