Friday, December 18, 2015

Does Our Work Define Who & What We Are?

Dear fellow Blogger, Quilter, or poor soul who stumbled onto this funky blog titled Pink Doxies:

2015 year is winding down, and some of us feel the need to finish up loose ends. While wrapping up projects, I'm pleasantly surprised to see my work has come full circle. 

The Brief Explanation of Blogging

We start a blog with the intention of showing what we do, and because it draws us out of ourselves to write, photograph, and creatively produce it, it begins to show, and even perhaps defines who we are. We see our true selves mirrored in our posts. That leads us to the existential questions such as...

Who am I?
What am I doing?
What do I stand for?

and on to...

Do people like my work?
Do they like me?
Do I like me, the person out here?

Am I making a difference?
Am I growing?

Where am I going?
Is it the right direction?

...and so on, and so on.

This piece was one of the first I worked on as a new blogger. The soft finish, or final piecing, was just 12 weeks into my blogging career, and from there on it sat on a shelf. The work was intense and heartfelt, but it was nothing like I was seeing in the blogging world. Modern Improv Top Assembled.

The need to be accepted as a blogger was perhaps stronger than the need to express who I was. It took many projects over long months for me to finally say, "I am terrible at making cute things." And by this I mean, my heart isn't in things that tend to be symetrical, mainstream, or warm and fuzzy. I have friends who are amazing at making those things, and I admire them, but it's not my thing. I want to make things that make me crazy-happy, laugh out loud, or bring tears to my eyes while I'm making it. I need to passionately feel my work, and not make something I may only be pleasantly okay with.

In turn, this means that the work I make and love is not likely to be equally loved by most people. I'm okay with that. They may even hate it, but I'm just as well okay with that because I know they have an emotional response to it, just not the same as I do. I only wish my work could convey more about how I felt while I was making it. 

It's not about the finished piece 
as much as the process.

Does this mean I don't value someone else's work that has  ____  in it? (I'll be villified for anything I insert, so feel free to guess.) Certainly, Yes! I value their work, but I value their process even more. 

We should all make what we love, 
not what makes other people happy or like us.

"Just because I like something at one point in time doesn't mean I'll always like it, or that I have to go on liking it at all points in time as an unthinking act of loyalty to who I am as a person, based soley on who I was as a person. To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think. The only thing I am for sure is unsure, and this means I'm growing, and not stagnant or shrinking."

--Jarold Kintz

A Portion of My Original Work from 


and above all have fun!"
--Julia Child


Angie said...

Love this post---love your work---love that you have doxies---and I am TOTALLY in love with that HST tree quilt with the!!! Just found you today via Instagram and I'm so glad that I did. :) From one long-haired doxie-owned person to another, Happy Holidays to you and yours.

LA Paylor said...

thoughtful.... good questions and I have no answers for myself. I do what I do. I make what jazzes me. I am not just what I make but it's a large part of what makes me me. Is this a common end of year summing up or are you about to go through some kind of metamorphosis? Have you chosen your word for 2016? I am glad we're blogging buddies so thank you for investing the time and effort to reach out in this world! Happy New Year to you and the pups. LeeAnna

Iris said...

great boast in inspiration, thanks for linking to TGIFF!

Quilt Rat said...

We all blog for a variety of reasons I think. I know that I started my blog really as a way to document my is interesting to go back several years and see how my work and art has evolved. For most certainly is all about the process!

Live a Colorful Life said...

Oh how I love the trees with the cardinals!

Lisa J. said...

I often wonder who I am and what the heck I'm doing. Blogging sometimes helps me with this and sometimes not. We definitely do grow and change and change again just as our work does.

QuiltShopGal said...

Inspirational post. Life is definitely too short to spend time not doing what we enjoy doing. But personally, I think you are very creative and I always find inspiration in it including all of your projects you showcased today. Be proud of your creativity.


PaulaB quilts said...

You are right, it is the process that's most rewarding, even with or maybe because of the mistakes. I'm just completing my first year of blogging, a frustrating thing, but the friendships are the reward, and exposure to a whole new world. I'm 74 and still growing and having a great time.

A Nudge said...

Your stained glass piece is exceptional and inspiring. Keep doing what you're called to do, Julie. I feel you are in the right path. A colorful review of your great work this year. Thank you for sharing it.

Kaja said...

A great, thought-provoking post. It is interesting to watch as you evolve, both in your quilting and the thinking behind it.

Stitchin At Home said...

Julie we should all try to make something that appeals to us. This is our creative outlet. We as individuals can and should express what pleases us and not necessarily is everyone going to like it. I do like your stained glass quilt.

Laney said...

I love your modern improv quilt and several of the other works you shared. I definitely think we need to create what makes us happy and inspired to keep going vs trying to fit in. I have been blogging as a way to document what I make and because I want to connect with other creative people. I love seeing what other people are making.

Jayne said...

So well said and written Julie! This year I decided I am not going to categorize myself with a style. I do what I do. I have times when I swerve to the left or veer to the right. Looking forward to a new year of new ideas!

Jennie Wallick said...

Julie you are absolutely right! It's the process, the learning, the technique that you thought you'd never learn, or would never ever want to use. I might want to try something new, just to figure it out, but it doesn't define my work. I tend to get bored easily, so chances are that nothing is going to be the same quilt, the same glass mosaic, the same carved print block, or the same polymer clay piece twice. Oh, and the Doxie is adorable, mine is a Chiweenie, with a doxie personality and a Chihuahua... Yea she really has so many Doxie traits.

em's scrapbag said...

I totally agree. Love your creative style. Keep it up!

V dixie said...

You are truly an artist.

Angela Atkins said...

I definitely believe in making what you love. I have made a couple of quilts that I was just finishing for the money at the end, but I make quilts for the artistic and creative expression. Even if the pattern design is not my idea, I can always make it mine in other ways. Keep at it. Your quilts are beautiful and I love you designs. Someday I hope to get there. I'm a little surprised at the negative feedback you mention. I'm assuming through the blog comments?

Cathy Perlmutter said...

This post speaks to my heart. And the gallery of your work is just wonderful. Thank you for sharing these thoughts.

dq said...

This is such a fabulous post! I think it says so much what I feel. You are a wonderful writer and quilter. I just found you from a linky party but will be back.

As for your quilts, they speak to me. I am a cross between traditional, modern, and artistic. I think I truly want to be an artist but don't have all the skills and knowledge to really pull it off. Love your black and white perspective quilt! I am also drawn to the colors in the purple/green/blue quilt. It makes me feel happy. The trees made from half square triangles is to die for. It creates movement and gives a cold feeling that it is winter. I also am in love with and covet the bag you made. Wish I would make bags because I would certainly love to tote them around.