Lockdown 2.0 & creative block.
It’s the second week of the second lockdown and I don’t know about you, but this time around it feels a bit heavier on my shoulders? Not being allowed to tattoo again feels rubbish, even more so as the studio was only open for a couple of weeks prior, and now it’s just 50 metres away, it’s almost rubbing salt in the wound. I just completed my bookings for the first three months of 2021 and now have a month worth of November clients to fit in somewhere, and there’s always the worry that lockdown won’t be lifted after just one month..the grey skies and the short days aren’t helping either are they? It suddenly feels like the window of sun or even daylight some days, is tiny.
But! It’s not all doom and gloom. I‘ve been spending my time in the other side of the studio. Practising taxidermy and for the main part, creating floral wreaths and hoops. At the beginning of lockdown I felt seriously uninspired. The first creative block I’ve had since the studio was complete and useable. It was horrible! I just couldn’t get a feel for what to work on. I was getting sucked in to ’comparison-itus’ over on the gram. The dried flower scene has seen such an increase in popularity over the last year, which is great, I love to see peoples creations and it warms my heart when my work has inspired someone to give creating a go, but too much consuming on social media can really get inside your brain and I’m pretty sure this was part of my block. I deleted the apps off my phone a week ago and I feel SO much better, it was actually pretty liberating and surprisingly easy to suddenly not spend my time scrolling in gaps ’here and there’ which add up to a sickening number of minutes per day!
So with the apps gone, and a dedicated slot of time to post and have a quick scan decided, I found myself standing in my studio still without a firm idea on what to do. I looked around, took the constant stream of dried flowers that cover the entire distance of the wall in and picked up one the vintage embroidery hoops I’d been ‘saving’ (‘does anyone else do that?!) and honestly it was like a free fall from there as I made 3 hoops in a row, without taking a break. It felt so good, and it’s always a bit of a relief to see my hands work on something that’s come completely out of my head and into real life.
The lesson as always, was to just begin. Those two words have almost become my life motto as I find myself applying it to any situation where there is an unknown. Once you start, the rest follows. There’s no way of knowing exactly what the end result will be, but the magic happens in the process and I’ve really learnt to love that.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by lockdown life, I really advocate taking a digital detox, it clears your mind and opens up time you think you don’t have. We all have the same amount of hours in the day, it’s just how we chose to prioritise things throughout that makes a difference to feeling productive and accomplished. My hoops are available in the shop, I hope you like them. There’s a mixture of small copper hoops and large wooden embroidery hoops and I’ve used a whole variety of dried flowers, many grown and cut from my garden. If you look carefully at some of my work, you will see the ‘mechanics’ of the piece, ultimately parts of the process in which I deliberately leave on show. I find it endearing to see little snippets of this left in the final piece, a nod to the structures and delicate build of the piece, it feels organic and fluid and those are important values for me with my work. The hoops are all finished with beautiful naturally dyed silk ribbons and velvet from lovely Cheryl @silkandpurl (another lovely small business to support).