I decided to share some of my inspirations outside of sewing this year. I’m not sure if any of these will found their way into my sewing but all of them have changed me in some way this year.
1. The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, by Lewis Hyde
This book really changed how I thought about creativity, economy and mythology. It’s hard to imagine a book that can say so much on such broad topics, while still being specific and well-researched, but it does. (The book was so good, in fact, that Orson ate some chunks out of the cover.)
2. Fiona Apple’s “The Idler Wheel…”
I’ve been listening to “The Idler Wheel…” non-stop for the entire year (it came out in the spring of 2012). I liked and loved her previous albums but this one is a work of genius (and I don’t say that lightly). Musically and lyrically, it’s sad, funny, bitter and jubilant. Lyrics I didn’t fully grasp from listening will pop into my head at appropriate moments in life.
This was my #3 inspiration last year, too, but I mean it in a different way. Last year, stylistic minimalism was on my mind. This year, I started focusing more on de-cluttering, organizing, and focusing on exactly what it is I need to live happily and creatively. Philippa introduced me to some excellent minimalist blogs that I refer to frequently for inspiration. I still tend to attract clutter, and my scrap stash is contained but large, so this will continue to be an area of focus in 2014 for me!
I’m pretty surprised to find dance on my list of inspirations this year. I danced ballet throughout my childhood and dabbled in modern at college, but could never learn choreography quickly. Nonetheless, I found myself very drawn to dance this year as a spectator. I saw Compagnie Marie Chouinard and Les Ballets Trockaderos live, and watched documentaries (Pina, Ballets Russe, Paris is Burning). I’m probably not going to start up any kind of dance practice, but I’m starting to appreciate the creative language and possibilities of dance.
5. Kiki Smith’s drawings
I had become familiar with Kiki Smith’s sculptural work in college but hadn’t realized how much she worked on paper until I found the book “Kiki Smith: Prints, Books, and Things” at Powell’s last January. Her work is really visceral, sometimes confrontational, but always compelling to look at. I also learned that she silkscreened her drawings onto fabric and clothing when she was younger.
Back soon with my last Top 5 post: learnings and goals!