Thursday, October 1, 2009

Talent or Skill...?

I am making a bonus blog post for today because I took a peek at one of the participants in the Blogtoberfest, Chunky Chooky and read her profile story and I just had to write about it.

I am happy to see that Cath chose to work through the 'scars' she received at the hands of Miss Nash, the high school sewing teacher, and honor her own creativity and her own way of working. I have heard many stories of people having their creativity squashed by teachers and I find it upsetting because this is how people go into 'hiding' with their creativity, which I believe is much needed in the world. Many times, there are teachers who don't always see that every one works in different ways and therefore, learn differently.

I can say from personal experience that learning to sew, especially on a sewing machine, is a tricky business, and if you don't have a great teacher it can be a painful process. Then there are all the things about sewing a garment or small craft items to learn and it can be overwhelming.

I have been sewing for well over 30 years now and when people see things I've made they seem to always exclaim: "You are so talented! I could never do that." (wistful sigh here)

Well, my dears, actually, yes you can, but it will take time, patience and preserverence. In the course of my 30+ years behind the machine there was a time I stopped sewing ALTOGETHER for nearly two years because some of my things weren't coming out the way I wanted them to. Granted, I was following in what happened to be my great grandmothers footsteps (without my knowing it!) - family lore is that she could look at you, start cutting WITHOUT A PATTERN, sew the garment and like magic it would fit!

Unfortunately, some of that magic had gotten lost between generations. =-P

While I was on sewing hiatus though, I would look at clothes in the stores and I began to scrutinize them and look at the construction and see details I had not been aware of before. I slowly began to start working with these techniques I was observing and I began to get better results. Then someone told me about a community college that taught Fashion and Pattern Drafting and I enrolled at Los Angeles Trade Technical College to learn about pattern design and drafting so I could finally make better fitting clothing and costumes for myself.

It was a great program and I learned so much and my skills went from good to great and over time I think I can say they are pretty amazing. But it happened because I took time to learn about the craft of sewing and I took time to practice sewing. Yes, it helped that I went into that school with some good basic skills in sewing by hand and machine, but it also helped that I wanted to learn more and I wanted to be better. As the saying goes:

When the Student is ready the Master appears.

I applaud Chunky Chooky for her courage to choose her own creativity! The bag she is giving away is beautiful in it's mix of color, pattern and texture, which I love! Go see it here and send her congratulations on her courage AND her 100th blog post that will take place this month. =-)


Cath from chunkychooky said...

Thanks! Very well said! It still annoys me some times that i didn't go to art college etc... however I found soemthing lese I love to do and sewing / creating is an outlet that I love.

Creative Beast said...

Hi Cath! thanks for stopping by here!

just so you know, it's never too late to learn art skills and you don't always have to go to a professional art school for them. i did get some art training with the plan to transfer to a 4-year but i think things have worked out better for me without the 4-year degree =-)