Wednesday, December 6, 2017

crochet and embroidery artist

my passion for textile arts began, for me, right from childhood. it was my mother who influenced me in this department. i would always see her working on some project and be inspired to beg for scrap pieces of fabric and leftover strings to play with on my own. 
the first memory i have is sitting on the couch beside my mom, too young to know how to tie my shoe laces, but i somehow convinced myself that i could emulate her wiggling action of the crochet hook next to the string and would therefore be crocheting. even her efficient speed was emulated. apparently this was pretty funny to all onlookers, and me, being such a ham, loved the attention probably a little too much..considering the fact that my work was not growing or ‘getting bigger’ like my mother’s would in a seeming instant of time. 
starting at such an early age really set the groundwork for this love of working with strings and fibres, almost like they had interwoven themselves directly in with my heart strings…and there was no turning back. i was hooked.
how this passion develops
first comes technique, things like how you are supposed to hold the needle and wrap strings around your fingers, then comes accuracy, learning to not miss stitches and tension management, and that annoying aspect of ripping things apart when it’s just not looking like it’s supposed to; then comes speed, working faster while maintaining the works’ integrity. all of this development happens over time and with a lot of practice. 
i learned to read patterns, which was fun for a while…. and then i learned to make my own, designing and writing them up. that crochet coded lingo can be a bit foreign to your average non-crocheting person, am i right? But honestly, i found that, over time, this wasn’t enough of a challenge for me anymore…’s funny where creative evolution takes you. 
i now approach my work with a more random, free-form style. i find the results more unique to my vision, different every time from one project to the next, because i’m not worried about counting exact stitches. i think i say it became boring because it was monotonous to go round and round in such a predictable manner. i’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, it is actually very soothing and therapeutic to just fall into the easy rhythm of creating a beautifully and intricately made doily.  
however, i think i have come to the next stage of my creative crocheting journey. let’s just say that i’m into unpredictability now, while remaining highly recognizable with my signature style. it excites me to no end, to be able to work on a piece from the beginning and not know what it is going to be by the time i deem it complete. i just look for a pleasing shape before i tie off my strings.
you can see here in this video some of my latest pieces. as an artist, it’s never enough for me to just do one thing at a time. i have combined my love of line drawing with embroidery, and then added the delicate outer border of free form crochet. it has become what i do….and i also do this with paper creations, but maybe i’ll talk about that in a future video. 
so, the next time you look at something handmade, whether it is my own work or from any other talent….try to remember the deeper story that lies behind the work. with every stitch artists everywhere are weaving passions and memories and traditions…and adding their own unique touches of creative flair. i’m carmelina lounsbury and my passions for textile arts began right from  childhood.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

how to find your artistic voice

finding your own creative voice is something that takes time. the process involves many aspects and many questions. let's start with what mediums you enjoy working with. in the beginning stages of exploring your own creativity, you should probably try a little of everything. otherwise, how will you really know you've settled on your most favourite. after this trial period you should have a pretty clear instinctual  feeling about what you love working with, and also what materials you absolutely cannot stand. at this point it is time to choose your field of focus.

once you choose which media or mediums you love working with (it most certainly does not have to be just one), what follows is probably the hardest part, and that is figuring out what sort of art you should be making. ask yourself questions like: what subjects are you personally passionate about. you can get a good handle on your taste by looking at what other artist's are doing. pay attention to the subjects that they may be exploring and see what resonates with you. maybe there is a powerful message that you need to express visually. be sure to look within. one caveat about the internet is that it is way too easy to emulate what others are doing, and compare yourself to the point of forgetting your own originality and artistic vision. so turn your attention inward. think of what makes you tick, what makes you happy, or what gives you the perfect emotional response that would translate brilliantly as a body of artwork.

the third point i think is worth mentioning would be to keep a working sketchbook. this is where your tests and experiments  happen. you need a place to house your progress. it can become a much needed visual aid to the development  of your unique style. if you make it a habit to keep adding to this collection, you will most likely start seeing your signature style, or voice, emerge. and that can be a good take-off point on your journey to becoming the kind of artist you need to be. in the event that you don't see this happening, however, it is still a helpful process because it becomes easier at this point to ask yourself why. ask yourself what is missing in your work. what would make this artistic mission complete. sometimes when you can see the elements that are missing, we can more easily see exactly what it is we need to adopt into our style.

it literally has taken me years to hone in on what it is i, as a multi-passionate artist, should be doing with my varied skills, talents and interests. i work with acrylic, watercolour and gouache paints, i draw with pen and ink and graphite pencils, i enjoy fibre arts as well, working with crochet and embroidery...and it's safe to throw a little sewing and fabric love in there as well. writing and poetry are very important aspects of my creations. another thing you will definitely recognize about me is that i am a lover of all things monochromatic. working in a controlled, neutral palette makes me happy. it's not because i don't love colours, truth be told i love them all (almost equally), but the enjoyment that comes from a colourless aesthetic gives me this tremendous feeling of instant serenity. this neutral palette also lends itself perfectly to the tone of my poetic writings.

i had to figure out what element or subject to explore. something emotional and free and flowing. where patience is concerned, i am pretty sure that none was dealt me, so more of an informal approach to my art became necessary. although i do possess the skill to work on more meticulous pieces, as an impatient artist, it does not bring out the best in me as a person to strive for that level of perfection. instead, i create pieces that are more emotionally based on feelings and moods.

deciding to work with a botanical theme in whatever medium was something that just evolved organically over time. the challenge of writing about love and life using this botanical theme is working for me. in order to keep a cohesive thread through my work, everything carries either a floral reference or visual. the most important aspect however, is how my work makes me feel. and it should be the same for you as well. so if you are just starting out on this artsy journey in your life, keep these points in mind, and hopefully they will help you get to where you need to be just that much quicker than i got there myself. after all, i have only written what the younger me would have liked to have been told.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

art studio tour

today i wanted to share more of my workspace and creative life. i love spending time in my studio because it houses everything i like to work with. being a multi-faceted artist, i divided everything i do into separate stations. you'll see my writing and computer desk, my painting corner with my easel and acrylic paint caddy, my art desk where i draw and paint with gouache and pen and ink, and finally my sewing and crochet table. the one side of the studio houses two giant storage shelves which at the moment lay empty and in wait. when i begin to produce anything for my etsy shop, all of my products will be displayed there....and at that point i will definitely be sharing it with all of you. my neutral palette makes for a serene workspace, so even when things are moved around and in use, it still feels uncluttered and organized. enjoy the studio tour.

life as an artist

i know how much i love seeing what other creatives are up to in their workspaces, so today i'm sharing a glimpse of my own creative environment. my home studio is my happy place. i need the solitude that comes from spending time in here. today's video includes some of my typewritten poetry, crocheting, and artworks in my current sketchbook, as well as a sneak peek into my creative space. enjoy.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

creative planning

after a long day of thinking and planning and figuring things out, i can happily say that i feel good and happy with my progress. there is something about working in my art studio that just seems to fit. i suppose that's how it is when you're a creative type of person. in the days to come i'll be sharing my etsy projects here on this blog. until then....goodnight.

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