Wednesday, May 16, 2018

commiting to fail

I've been sewing a lot lately. This past week I've been using all of my free time to work on my costumes for EDC Las Vegas. My flight to Las Vegas is later today but just last night I was up until 4am finishing a costume. I assume since there was no banging on the ceiling that my neighbors were not bothered by the sound of my sewing machine hehe.

My favorite thing to do arts and crafts wise is crocheting even though I also really enjoy knitting, working with clay and sewing. But the problem with crocheting is that it is extremely time consuming. It allows me the freedom to create basically anything I want as long as I can imagine the general shape of it in my head but it also can be very daunting to start a project because depending on how big or detailed it is it can take days, weeks, or even months to complete something. There have been times when I was so in the zone and so eager to finish a project that I'd work on it for hours and hours until I got shooting pains in my hands from the repetitive motion. Also, things that are crocheted are thick and can be very heavy.

So sewing is just more appropriate for making a lot of things because it can be faster, and the type of material you end up with can be much more varied since there are so many materials you can sew with. There are many types of yarn you can crochet with but I prefer to work with worsted weight aka 4 weight yarn because it's readily available in craft stores, comes in a large variety of colors, and is the most inexpensive. But for clothing it can be just too thick.

But still, I generally like to stick to crocheting to make things because it's so easy for me and I can make pretty much anything. But for one of my costumes for EDC this year I did the whole thing with sewing. I have a little sewing machine, one of the teeny simple ones that is like $40 on Amazon, and even though sometimes I push it to the limit in terms of what it can handle and it will jam or the thread will straight up rip every now and again, it still gets the job done with good results. I'm so happy with how the costume turned out! I am not the best at sewing, but I'm gonna wear this costume while dancing in the desert at night at a rave full of crazy people so I don't think anyone will be too critical of my somewhat sloppy stitching.

I'm just really excited to be getting into sewing more and to have actually completed a sewing project and have results that really make me proud! I have been intimidated by sewing machines for a long time... My nana, my grandmother on my dad's side, actually bought me a little pink sewing machine as a gift a long time ago... It is so thoughtful because she had bought it for me before I got really invested in making art but I guess she recognized that I was creative and thought I would like it. She passed away and I really regret that I didn't make use of the sewing  machine while she was still with us so I could show her things I made and make her happy. I actually stupidly broke the sewing machine she gave me too because when I was still learning to use it I tugged too hard on some fabric that was in it and I broke it... I feel really bad about that. But now I am sewing and I think about her whenever I do. It's a good thing she just got me a little mini sewing machine and not a big nice one... At least I didn't break a big nice one.

But that's how I learn... by messing up and breaking stuff until I get things right. And that's what arts and crafts is. Making things takes a lot of effort and time but not even because the actual finished project is very complicated or difficult. It's because if you are creating something original you have no instructions and are just kind of winging it. You have to keep trying and trying until you get the results you want and that could mean that you invest a lot of time in making part of it a certain way only to get close to thinking that you're finished and then realize that you messed up and have to start all over again. In order to succeed you have to fail sometimes a lot and sometimes really badly.

I'll work and work and work and then hold up what I'm working on or try to connect it to another piece or if it's a clothing item I'll try it on, and I'll realize that it just doesn't work. Sometimes I can undo some of the work and salvage some of it but often I have to throw the whole thing away and start over again.

But that's just how it's meant to be. That work that is undone or completely thrown away was not a waste of time. It was a learning process. Those mistakes improved my skills enough to eventually do things the right way. When attempting a new original project or even recreating work that I've made many times before, I know that I could potentially fail and have to try again. Maybe even multiple times. And that's ok. I love making things enough to be ok with failing at it sometimes.

And that's what makes you good at anything, failure! If you're not willing to fail at something then you will never be good at it. Rarely are you going to succeed at something or get the exact results you want on your first try. You have to accept the inevitable failures, learn from your mistakes, and have the strength to try and try again. And that's beautiful.

I feel like making art makes people whole. I feel like every single person needs a creative outlet. It helps you get out your feelings, clear out your mind, it's like meditating on a really high level. It takes your natural human ingenuity and intelligence and applies it to something that expresses emotion and your personality and the end result is that you're left with something beautiful that you can share with the world.

When I am making art I feel like I am being the most myself I can be. There is no posing, no false pretense, no desire to look cool, just this pure creative drive to achieve a vision in my head. To have a concept for something I want to create in my mind and see it come to fruition by using my own hands is so satisfying that I feel like words cannot adequately describe the joy it gives me. It's like I'm fulfilling my life's purpose. I'm not going to be a world famous artist, my art won't make me rich, but the fact that I can imagine something and then create it gives me the most perfect feeling of peace and joy I've ever experienced.

My living room is a toy box combined with an arts and crafts room and it is a paradise. I put on music or something funny on tv for background noise, take out all the supplies and tools I need, and then I just disappear into my own mind and create freely. I lose track of time, I forget about reality, and I watch my hands take all the feelings I don't have words for in my mind and turn them into something beautiful.

I'm so happy to feel brave enough to fail and fail and fail and then eventually succeed at sewing something. This marks a turning point in my life. I have so many more ideas, so many more dreams, that have been stuck in my head that I didn't ever really think I would realize. But now that I've had one success I am hopeful for many many more. I'm going to make bags and dresses and toys and gifts! I'm going to day dream about things I want to make and I'm going to turn them into reality that I can hold in my hands and really feel!

It's not just a fun hobby to make art. It's fulfilling a greater purpose. It's becoming in tune with what it truly means to be human. Flawed but passionate. Hard working and determined. Creative and driven. Alive. Really and truly alive.

I'm in such a good place in my life right now. I'm in love. I have my friends and family really present in my life. I've been taking better care of my body than ever before and I feel the results. And my creative mind is sharp and ready to take risks and make mistakes.

I was helping sew some pockets into a jacket my boyfriend is wearing as one of his costumes for EDC. He said he wants to buy me a nicer sewing machine. I said he doesn't have to do that and a nice full size sewing machine can be upwards of $300. He said that doesn't matter and he wants to get me one because he knows I'd enjoy it and get good use out of it. I hope we get married.

Ok! I have to go back to reality and stop talking about my infinite universe of mushy feelings! I need to pack! Thank you internet for listening I guess? Haha. Peace and love peace and love peace and love go forth and smash the day punch the sun in the face and I hope you get everything you dream about and that love finds you <3 <3 <3 <3

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