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Tuesday, 9 November 2010

On creative validation

My first dart!

Why does it matter what other people think of what we create? 

We must care, because we post it on our blogs, show it in exhibitions, publish it in books. 

I'm not talking about when something is intended for selling, but rather when we make something for ourselves, because we feel like it, because it needed to be made, (or because sometimes it seems to make itself), why then do we care what people think?

Recently I have been going to a sewing class at a great little studio/gallery/cafe near my house.  I wanted to learn how to use my sewing machine properly, and maybe even make something I could wear.  And this skirt was the result. 

I am slightly in awe of the fact that it was actually quite easy to make something which fits me absolutely perfectly, and wonder what I could have made all those years it didn't even cross my mind to try. 

But the wierdest bit of it all was when I sewed in my first zip, and my teacher described the sewing as 'beautiful', I think I actually blushed.  I am 33 years old.  Why do I care if someone thinks I sewed a zip in beautifully?  I don't know.  But I did.  It made me feel ridiculously proud of my little skirt.  And it made me want to make more things, and make them even better. 

So maybe sometimes it is good to get a little validation, especially when tackling something new, or something that you used to be afraid of.

What about you?  Do you care about what people think of what you create?


  1. I must admit that yes I do care. Actually sometimes I care too much and my creative journey has been teaching me some lessons on listening to my own inner voice more. I find if I care too much the process is stiffled and I end up not creating authentic work. But still, it does feel awful nice to have someone say they like your work!

  2. I do care, too. But I have learned to trust my feelings and my intuition. This is happening with my Creative business . Everybody has an opinion and believe me, it is not easy. I am trusting my inner voice that is telling me the right path! In the painting classes i hear everything from my teacher and my class mates but someday, after I learned more about painting, I know I have to trust myself!
    I love the skirt. Beautiful fabric you chosed. I learned to sew whe I was in 8th grade and it was worth it!

    Enjoy the ride in this new adventure!

  3. I love all your words and it's something that has been on my mind. I am the same, I need people to tell me that they like my work sometimes. It took me forever to start a facebook page because I was scared about the 'liking' bit. This week I got a little update about my page and it said that 2 people 'disliked' me. Oooow, I must admit that it hurt a bit. Even though I know it's fine.

    I love your skirt! It's on my wish list to learn to sew. What a treat to make something you can wear!

  4. I'm 47 and I no longer care ... I cared for to long and it has cost me too much. I now create cause I was created.

  5. i love it and i know exactly what you mean! i sew a lot, but never clothes, but i recently saw the most amazing bubble skirt in an anthropologie catalog and i am dying to try to replicate it myself. i don't have to, i want to just to say i can :)

  6. Gorgeous skirt Beth and yes most of the time I do care and its so lovely to get that validation or compliment - so nice. Although I think that when we know we are on the right path, opinions and comments are welcomed and we do need some validation and most of all the strength to keep going if we dont.

    I love that you blushed, that is so cute and i can just see your lovely smile and rosy red cheeks right now. Cant wait to see your ongoing creations. LOVELY. xx oh and you have inspired me to learn to sew too. My mum was a fabulous seamstress and this skill needs to be revived :-)

  7. It does matter to me....not sure why but there are days when I really need the feedback and others where it doesn't matter quite so much. By the way...I love your skirt and have been flirting with the idea a sewing for some time...hope to get to it soon!

  8. I've written on the topic of validation, too, over the past few months, so I understand all too well the pull of being happy internally with what we create and the striving for validation. I think it's human nature. LOVE the skirt!

  9. As I get older I do seem to care less. But sometimes when you put yourself into a project, you revert to that 8 year old little girl that is looking for approval and an "Aren't you a clever girl."

    Love the skirt, great pattern.

  10. wow! i love seeing that! it's been so hard for me to take on sewing, despite how very much i adore clothing and beauty!

    i've been fortunate enough to have really positive and supportive people around to give me feedback on my art :) and just keep going with what's in my heart!


  11. First of all I am soooo impressed by your dress making!!! Bravo!!!Maybe someday I will have the courage to sew. I don't know what I am afraid of???Feel the Fear and do it anyway.

    Yes I do care. I think that has been a lot of my problems on why I did not put my art out there sooner. That feeling of not being good enough. Where does that come from??? I know that has changed for me. I think I care a lot less then I did and that is why I can show my art. I could not bare to show my stuff when I was younger. Life changes and then you grow. That's the beauty of it. xxxooo

  12. YAY for your first skirt!! You chose some lovely fabric for it =-)

    This is a good question...I do love to get compliments on the work I make whether it something I have made for myself to wear or a special gift I have created for a friend. The feedback I have gotten this year in my work since putting out into a vastly bigger and public sphere has been wonderful but since I have always been creating I'm not sure if it's something I need for validation...I can say that the most treasured feedback I received was from a well respected costume seamstress from France when I was working at the LA Opera costume shop - she had someone tell me that she admired my hand sewing skills through an interpreter, since she only spoke French. It meant a lot to me to hear that!! She also gifted me some hand sewing needles that I have to this day and use on occasion - it always reminds me of her =-)

  13. This is stunning! What a perfect fabric. The pattern is so beautiful and I can see this being dressed up or down.

    Wow, I've always been afraid of making my own clothes - I've only ever really sewn ornaments and small stuffed animals. Perhaps someday I'll get over my fear and try, though!


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