Apr. 14th, 2009

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I've wanted to be an artist for a long time. More than that, I've wanted to make my way in the world as an artist. Someone who can pay the bills (or at least pay some of the bills) with money derived from doing what I love.

I make enough money doing what I do now. But working out in the mundane world is sometimes more stressful than I can handle, and it's taking its toll on my health. My social anxiety gets worse. So does my Tourette syndrome, my IBS, and my immune system doesn't take too kindly to it all either, throwing constant infections at me until I can't remember what it's actually like to be healthy anymore. My asthma prevents me from doing a lot of things that I really want to do, my hearing problems combine with social anxiety to make social interaction outside of a very small comfort zone a real chore. Depression may be making a comeback. And that's the tip of the iceberg. I have to suck it up and work through all of this, all the time, and it's wearing me down.

I need an out. And now I'm finally working to get one.

This journal isn't going to be primarily a selling-stuff journal. Each post I make isn't going to be a "BUY MY STUFF" advertisement. That's just annoying. I'm going to post various crafts here, various pieces of art, finished pieces and work in progress, tutorials, ramblings, failed attempts, all sorts. Some things will be for sale. These things will be marked as such. But these will likely be a minority of posts. More often than not you're going to just see stuff that I'm working on or trying out, that sort of thing.

And if you want to help me along by purchasing a thing or two, that's awesome, and I thank you in advance for it. If you don't, that's cool too. I like to make things for the sake of making things. The potential to make a little bit of cash from it comes a very far second from the job of sitting down and creating something from nothing in the first place. It's the candied fruit on the icing on the cake.

There have been so many things I've been tempted to try. I already knit, and someday I swear I'll teach myself crochet, but until then I'll happily keep knitting. I've been wanting to try knitting some heraldic image charts and then felting them to make badges or patches. I recently bought a tatting shuttle and want to try tatting. I can sew and embroider decently, but want to practice more at both of those things. I like to design patterns. One of these days I'm going to buy myself a spinning wheel and learn how to spin on that (I'm already getting a bit better at spinning on a drop spindle), and I'd like a loom to weave on, too. Tablet weaving is something else I want to try. Kumihimo braiding, and other forms of decorating braiding and knotting, are also on the list. Naalbinding, which you don't see too much of outside of SCA or other historic re-enactment circles.

I want to get back into drawing and sketching, and have been loaned a decent set of coloured pencils to practice with too, until I can get good enough to justify buying myself a really good set. I've been wanting to take up painting, too, though that will likely have to wait until I get more space.

There are other things. I've got a leather tooling kit that I want to practice with as soon as the kitchen table has enough space cleared on it. I keep looking at trash we have and going, "I could make something from that." Broken bottles can be made into colourful glass mosaics with time, paint, and patience. Tin cans can become cheap pretty lamps, or planters for seedlings. I used to make wax sculpture and carvings when I was younger, and I've been wanting to take that up once more, maybe in addition to experimenting with making candles and soap. I want to try my hand at making paper someday, too.

All of these things excite me, and I want to try them and show off my attempts, my failures, my successes. I want to learn what I'm good at, what I like, and what might be better put aside in favour of something that doesn't frustrate me quite so much. I want to experiment, to play around, and maybe, just maybe, find my niche. I want to find the place where I can be comfortable, doing what I love doing, and making a living from it.

And you know, there's no better day to start.

In keeping with the "Born in the Wrong Era" idea that came along with this journal, a good number of these crafts may involve things that you'd expect to see in ages gone by. Patchwork pillows or blankets made from old clothing. Socks done in naalbinding. Embroidered Faire garb. Things that you don't tend to see around that often unless you're in those specific circles. I like them. I find old crafts fascinating, and can easily see myself sitting in some old cottage in the countryside, a fire going on the heart that's heating up soup in an old black kettle, and I'm sewing away at some piece of clothing or other. I feel sometimes that I was born into the wrong era.

Don't get me wrong. If I was born into any era but this one, I'd probably be dead. My crappy lungs would have given out long ago, or else I'd have been tried as a witch or something because of Tourette's outbursts, or any number of things. I'm glad to live in current times because current times enable me to keep breathing, to get treatment for my conditions. But there's a lot to be learned from the past, and taking a quick jaunt back to yesteryear is no bad thing sometimes.


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