I was quite surprised when the site which I created just over a fornight ago had so many members in such a short space of time. People are still joining even today we have a new member. (You can click on the button at base of page to join)
I am hoping that I will be offering something a little different if I can. There are loads of these challenge sites out there but to do something different is important if members are going to feel challenged, that is after all the kind of site it is.
I said we would be quite a laid back site, as I don't want to put anyone under any pressure. I don't do pressure, not anymore anyway. Well, how do you make something challenging without pressure? You make it stimulating, well that's my theory anyway.
I want the site to make members think, I want them to think about the way they work, I want them to think about how they fit into the big creative world. This is something I am constantly thinking about. It's not an easy one this, it chucks up all sorts of questions, like why do we create? Who do we create for? Is it for our own pleasure? Is it to try to make money? Is it to give other's pleasure? Do we share what we make? The questions are endless.
That last one though makes me think, I was reading something that someone posted on Stitchin fingers it was about principles of Art and it talked about, amongst others things, intellectual copyright. Well, anyone who has ever thought about this must realise it says that designs are all around us, ideas are all around us too. There are obviously some things that are protected but anyone who has been through art school would realise that artists have been borrowing from each other for centuries. Infact, at art school you are openly encouraged to copy from the "masters", this is how we learn, we learn either to follow their ideas or take parts of what we learn and make them into our own. I find inspiration everywhere, I am never short of ideas, that's what art is all about. That's why on this blog I am happy to share my ideas, obviously if someone was to copy my exact work and try to carry it off as their own I would not be happy, but if I can share my techniques or ideas so that other's might find it easier to get to where they are heading then that's great.
The reason why I bring this up is because I want my textile challenge site to also be a buzzing place where everyone is glad to share and exchange ideas about their own and other's work. I will be working to encourage this. It takes a while to work out how best to use the site and I am only now beginning to realise that there are probably more possibilities than I have tried so far, so watch this space and the site as I do my best to develop what is there.
I am adding some further challenges to the site as optional extras. One of these is going to be a monthly challenge entitled: Research an Artist. Initially, I will be going through many fine art artists to see what we can do with their work, in order to inspire us when we create something. I do hope those members who do have plenty of time will sometimes dip into this extra challenge and see what they can do with it. Eventually, if this idea works for a while, we might be able to start to explore textile artists over the ages and research how they have worked and perhaps use some of their methods to create modern pieces. Who knows, it's early days yet.
When I was teaching art in schools, I found that I had inspiration happening to me everyday from my students as we all see the world through different eyes. It's quite amazing sometimes when you see a youngster create something and suddenly you get a buzz about how you can go ahead with your own work. It might be a combination of colours that they are using, the way they are working with the media, or just the subject matter that they have chosen. It can all give a person inspiration. So I hope that anyone who is a member of my challenge site now or in the future will be glad to share our talents to help everyone in the group to move forward on their own creative journey.