245 people can’t be wrong? / The constructive possibilities of reaching an online community.  

Ya’ll have responded to this post so positively, it was especially surprising to have this rejected for a class sample as flat-out unprofessional, unusable, poorly constructed, in poor taste. And of cours, it was hard to hear (as usual) without an explanation of what could be so wrong with it, other than “Would you actually want to take this to work every day?” - seems like the correct answer is “I wouldn’t dream of it!” 

This is a scenario that occurs fairly regularly for me in that very specific context - but it’s one that has a lot of influence on my life and work. Putting things that I make out to a broader audience - like ya’ll - is one thing that helps me feel more confident to try making new things and more importantly to actually share them.

That part can be so hard, and getting feedback in some form, from all different kinds of people is helping me inch out of my protective shell bit by bit. Granted, tumblr followers and instagram users or friends on facebook can be quite a wide array of folks. Some are extremely talented crafters and sewists, some are aspiring or just admirers, some have the perspective of a consumer (i.e. to purchase handmade items or give them as a gift), and I’m sure there may be some whose opinion isn’t as useful. I might not be able to tell who all my audience is, but of the chunk of ya’ll whose work I actually know, I know there’s a good variety of perspectives.

This particular thing brings up something I have been struggling with profoundly the past few years. Figuring out the conversation in my head that can convince me to keep trying, to not reject ideas I have before even trying them out, or rejecting things I make outright because the rejection I experience is the most consistent and prominent feedback I get and it’s hard to not accept it as a foregone conclusion. 

I am and have been struggling as an artist, a maker, creator - to make a safe space to just create, play, try things. Whether a quick little silly one-off, single granny square, or a more time consuming garment or elaborate embroidery, just being brave enough to share it at all is a huge step for me.

And you bet that I am still scared of doing it but i’m doing it anyway! Because in that particular environment/pattern I’ve been consistently not able to shake despite doing everything I can to stop that cycle, the last few years have seen me becoming more timid, less confident, less brave to just play and try new things.

It’s why I haven’t put out a zine in so long, and why I try to post many many of the things I make - to just feel normal about that and not need validation. Knowing I was brave enough to show things to anyone is a huge step to make me feel braver, whether or not anyone likes it. 

This tumblr blog is about sharing work I admire, with a loose focus on interesting needle work, and also a day-to-day type of documenting and sharing of my making. Now you know of another purpose this experience has for me. 

Love and stitches, my friends! 
XO Niku 

xostitches:

Lunch Bags - first = wipeable oilcloth, 2nd = wipeable, thermal-insulated, laminated cotton.