The delicate art of creating

An artist reflects on inspiration, textiles, and the butterflies in her garden

August 16, 2019
Vanita Guinn

I am called a fiber artist, which is a fancy way of saying I really love fabric and I really love making stuff. One of the things I’ve learned about being an artist is watching seemingly impossible combinations come to life.

In my creative world, it is always about the fabric – the colors, the textures, the infinite possibilities. Nothing pleases me more than watching buttons and tassels and silk fabric pop out of a box – waiting to become a part of something bigger. The fun begins with the unknown of what I can create. What are the possibilities? Honestly, the answer every single time is — the possibilities are limitless. In my opinion, this is the soul of the creative process: there are no limits on what you can create.

I started sewing out of necessity –making many of my own clothes and room decor.  When I had children, I sewed for my girls until that fateful day they decided they hated everything I made. This did not deter me.

I re-channeled that passion and began creating art pieces  — textiles, quilts, bags, wall hangings — for local art galleries and, much to my surprise, people actually liked the work.  This part still shocks me: People are willing to pay for my art.

I am inspired by everything—my surroundings, my past, my family, the birds on my deck and the butterflies in my flowers. All of these experiences express themselves in my work.

I suspect it is this way for most artists and creatives – making something that has never existed. It is exhilarating. It is inspiring. It is frustrating. It can be head scratching on some days. But at the end of the process, it is the ultimate reward to see something no one else could imagine.

My advice to other creatives and startups and, well, everyone on the planet — is to use your senses: keep your eyes open, listen, smell, touch and always, always stay curious.


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