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New Project/Thoughts on Originality

It's Wednesday and I absolutely intended to post a blog today but here it is, 9:15 pm and no blogging has been done. That's because of my new project. I have had the idea for quite some time, but I was not allowing myself to start anything new when I had so many old projects to finish up.

You may be wondering, then if I have finished all my old projects. The answer is OF COURSE NOT! But I did finish some of them, so I allowed myself a little treat. I think I starved myself too long, though, because I am completely obsessed with it. I worked on it all day, despite having many other things I should have been doing. Like taking a walk - I mean, we have had eight inches of rain in the last two weeks and it is absolutely gorgeous outside - green, lush and it's not even too hot.

But, but, but...I'm so excited about this piece! It has been going quite well - just challenging enough to keep me on my toes and to help practice being present and not losing my patience, and as usual, it's an experiment, so I don't know if it will actually turn out, but I'm down to the very last bit and I must say, it seems to be...It's not large, just about 30 x 36 inches or so - it's a wall hanging, and I'm using some of my favorite fabrics - the ones I got at the Houston Quilt Show last year - Sumi-e by Frond. You can get them at Delve MIY. This is one cool fabric store. You should definitely check it out sometime.

Here's what they look like before they are cut - so yummy, aren't they? I have so many ideas for these fabrics - they have really inspired me. Luckily even after I finish these piece I will still enough left for one more Sumi-e project!

I'm not actually ready to share the project yet. I'm just going to say that it involves triangles, which I seem to be a wee bit obsessed with lately.

Actually, I'm feeling a little protective of my work lately, with all the stuff that the MQG wrote about derivatives, etc. a month or two ago. It kind of makes me not want to share OR look at anyone else's work. I mean, I think my ideas are mine, but I also know that they are influenced and inspired by what I see other people doing. How could they not be? All I know is that what I make, I make on my own, or at least I create it from scratch. But in truth, I don't always know for certain where an idea came from.

Absolutely there are times when I know exactly what inspired my work. But there are many, many times when I can't point to where an idea came from. It just seemed to have popped into my head from the creative universe. I will say too that even if I create something that is inspired by something else I've seen, I consider it "mine." Unless it's an exact copy of someone else's work or from a pattern, which I rarely rarely do. Like almost never.

Not because I don't like other people's work, gosh, there are so many incredibly talented people out there putting out gorgeous stuff that I LOVE! It's just that I have so many things in my sketchbook, ideas in my head and already on the computer that I'm excited to make, and there's only so much time... And there's always more coming in, too. I just don't have enough time. (Sometimes it's not fun being a responsible adult is it?)

Also, who's to say who gets credit for an idea? Just because some people are more well-known than others doesn't mean they are the only ones coming up with certain ideas. I mean, sometimes, I even feel like I've shared something I've done and then I see someone else has done almost the same thing, and because they are well-known, they are given credit for the idea. But if I know I never saw what they were doing before I made my piece, in my book I feel that the idea equally was mine, too. I know we are all connected, and sometimes, more than one person gets the same exact idea at the same exact time. Hell, there are seven billion people living on this planet right now with largely the same biology and many of us are having very similar life experiences.. it seems pretty darn likely to me, anyway.

Even in the past when there weren't so many people, these kinds of things came up. Take airplanes for example - both in France and the US people were making airplanes at the same time. There are plenty of people who think that airplanes were actually first invented by a guy named Bleriot. (Granted, most of them are French but still...) And cars, too. There's always been some dispute about who actually first invented them. Probably everything one can think of, really, had more than one "inventor."

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I just don't really want to spend a ton of time worrying if someone comes up with the same idea as me, or if my work is somehow derivative of someone else's. If I say an idea came to me and I don't credit someone else's work - even it it somehow resembles it - it's because I a) didn't know about that person's work. or b) don't realize the piece is influenced by said work. The truth is - I'm not all that proud. I think that any and all creativity comes from the universe, anyway, and it just comes through us. We don't own it, we just get to see it become through our own efforts.

That said. if I absolutely know It was influenced by someone else's work, I will happily credit it. I actually think it's pretty cool how creativity really feeds on other creativity. That's why two heads (or more) are better than one. I also think there is enough abundance to go around, so I'm not all that fashed about it. Plus, quilters in general are a lovely, generous bunch who create a lot of good karma.

Upon closer examination of my thoughts, then, I have changed my mind - I WILL share my piece!

Above is what I have so far.

The second photo is a close-up of the small triangles - only had to do them twice, which I think is a victory considering some them are literally a quarter inch!

It was inspired by the challenge of the MQG for the charity quilts - the one about scale. As I said earlier I'm super into triangles at the moment, so I thought it would be cool to triangle it, since you can make so many different triangles inside of triangles inside of triangles...and so on.

Originally, I designed it for some beautiful chambray solids I have, but then I thought of the Sumi-e fabrics and - well. (Although I may do another with solids. It was THAT fun!)

I'm not sure of the name yet - still mulling it. It doesn't really matter, except I really love words and naming things is fun for me even though sometimes it seems a little pretentious sometimes - but hey, stuff has to be identified, right? Might as well have some fun with it.

I'm finished with the first part, but there is more to come. It's been really fun to create, albeit challenging. I was going to link up with the lovely Lorna at Sew Fresh, but as it's now Monday morning, I don't think that is going to happen. Oh well, it's better to be busy than not. See ya around the cyber world!

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