Monday, December 7, 2009

Call me Chanel

For the past 4 1/2 years I have lived with an artist. This has meant a number of things, both good and bad, such as always having the walls of my house decorated (good), and coming back to my freshman dorm room to find the entire floor covered in confetti and bits of magazine because it was collage week in art class (bad).

Right now the artist is working on an installation piece she's showing in a gallery. The show opens Friday, and she decided to double the size of her installation tonight. The artist doesn't worry about deadlines, she just decides not to sleep for a couple of days to get it done. As such, she has been spending the last couple hours (and will spend the next couple of hours) on the floor of our living room cutting nylon stockings into pieces, then taping them to a board so that she can stencil them.

Creativity is something I have always felt eluded by, and by this I mean the creative with your hands type of creativity. I plan events for a non-profit. You don't throw parties with no budget without creativity.

Anyways, I'm consistently fascinated by her creative process, creative processes in general, and try to foster some of my own creativity. I tried a lot of hobbies growing up, most of which didn't work out. My own mother laughed out loud at my attempt at knitting. My father tried to teach me to cook, but I never made it past the salad. And after scrap booking my back packing trip across Europe, I vowed to never pick up a decorative pair of scissors again.

There was one summer however, when I was particularly broke that I picked up sewing. Fashion has always fascinated me, and while I will probably never be a good seamstress, I have figured out how to make myself some clothes I deem acceptable to wear in public.

For Christmas last year, I got my own sewing machine, and after covering my bed in throw pillows, decided my next project was going to be a skirt.

When I sew I don't use patterns. I don't measure twice. I cut things the wrong size thereby necessitating the purchase of extra fabric. For every seam that's done right, there are 2 if not 3 I have ripped out before. My impatience turns every article of clothing into a project of epic timelines. In other words, the skirt that got started last January was just now completed tonight.

Still, now I know what I'm wearing tomorrow.

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