Thursday, 9 July 2020

When creating is work and work is creating

My second run through of Swirls of Colour is now up and running, and everyone seems to be having a very good time! I am more than a little relieved that things are ticking along so well, and I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to my students. If someone had said a few months ago, that I would be up and running my own - successful! - online course by now, I wouldn't have believed you. 

Here's a video of some of the finished pieces from the first course - to be added to as more people finish. I'm blown away by the work that people have produced - it's so very different teaching online and not in person; I can't see what they're all up to until they show me! I'm already pondering what course to get filmed and running next, so there's going to be more stitching and thinking needed to do that over the next few months. 

 I've also spent a lot of time recently stitching some commissions, two completely different projects. The first piece was for a couple getting married, both with children already, who wanted to celebrate the coming together of two different families into one whole - but also represent their different natures and quirks. So we came up with the idea of one piece of work, split into puzzle pieces. Each colour represents each person, and features on each piece. The shapes are all different and quirky - but ultimately they can all fit together. Each piece will be framed separately. Here's one of the pieces: 

The other commission was for two cushion panels, based on a similar idea to my Swirls of Colour, but using a very neutral palette with hints of darker colours.

It's wonderful to be asked to do something, and in both cases, based on something I'd done previously, but it's also hard work trying to create something that fits with someone else's vision of what it should look like when it's finished!

So what with the course, and the commissions, I've been so busy it's felt like having a "proper" job! There's not been much of my own stitching or creating going on, that's for sure - I urgently need to find a way to make sure that time to experiment and develop my own ideas is written into my job description too. I'd love to know how other artists and creatives manage to do that. How do you find time to do the work, as well as the business of work? 


  1. Commissions can be very hard, but it sounds as though you are tackling them with vigour and success!

  2. How do I find time to do the work as well as the business... I don’t! As for this online course stuff, I have huge admiration for you. I have almost thrown in the towel after the first video but think I might have cracked it this afternoon, so have three days of intense filming planned for the latter half of the week. Love the jigsaw piece... what a fun idea!

  3. Can’t wait to see what you’re up to!


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