You have probably heard that when someone teach you something you forget it faster than when you learn it by yourself. Although learning it by yourself takes more time, no doubt.
But there is something even more important that you should know: when you learn something by yourself, you discover things that no one could have taught you, because you connect what you are learning with your own history.
What do I mean?
That the greater your collection of experiences, conversations and learning during life are, the greater the possible connections you make when you learn something new, the number and quality of the ideas that you get!
It will be easier for you to make changes, innovations, get out of the box, as it is said.
And I have not invented this, I have experienced it through these 13 years of constant weaving.
Also, I saw it excellently explained in this Ted Talk by Bill Stainton that I invite you to watch and that inspired me to write this post.
Watch it! It will surely show you the way (like me) to get out of the “cocoon” and dare to have new ideas for whatever you do in life.
I am not reducing this to being creative artistically, but to facing life creatively: problems, crises, surprises, etc.
Therefore creativity will be like your right hand, always there, ready to help and fundamental.
CREATIVITY AS A PRIORITY
So, as I was telling you, during these 13 years of weaving I have been able to discover many new ideas and prove to myself that I can move forward, creating without stopping and that creativity is truly infinite.
Sometimes I feel like I am doing more of the same, a constant déjà vu, until I go for a walk or look for new Instagram profiles that inspire me and something new connects, giving rise to a new, totally unexpected idea.
I’m a long way from achieving a foolproof formula (and not getting frustrated from time to time).
In fact, I still spend many days in my home-office, concentrating on the mundane matters of my business (taking accounts, answering emails, doing marketing), fully aware that this path perpetuates a low creative level.
However, I trust that in the long run I will be able to systematize the creative process in my life.
What I can summarize for now and I hope will help you are the 2 formulas that I have followed to be able to be creative so far, which are complementary and that continually lead me to put creativity at the center of my life, as a fundamental tool for life in all its facets.
1.- NEVER STOP EXPLORING
Which simply means learning how to do things by yourself.
When you want to learn something, you can watch video-tutorials, someone can teach you, yes, but those are just starting points, then you have to continue exploring everything on your own: Testing, assembling and disassembling, trying to understand that technique that you want to achieve, which seems simple but does not work for you.
As an example, I want to tell you about my 3D loom adventure.
Some years ago, I was weaving on a daily basis on a very large rectangular pin loom, made by myself. It allowed me to make larger pieces, which was very useful for shaping my garment designs.
But it was exhausting because it meant being in a very uncomfortable position, moving from side to side without being able to sit or acquire a single position.
Also, it brought me back pain, horrible!
So I had the idea of creating a 3D loom. What thing? Well that, a rectangular pin loom, but turned into a cube, which when turned allowed me to weave it.
Long story short, I made it and tried it, and it worked, but it had other problems.
The truth is that it required a lot more engineering to work well and perform better than my large rectangular loom, so I just forget about it.
But… I posted the photos of my experiment somewhere and it turned out that a lot of people were curious about it.
Until a few months ago I was still receiving emails from people asking if I was selling it. One girl even asked me once if she could interview me about that “invention” for a school investigation of hers! Haha.
So, the value of experimenting also lies in the fact that we “enthusiasm” more people, who are interested in our discoveries and who can also suggest changes or more ideas.
2.- GET OUT OF THE BOX, GET OUT OF THE LOOM
The second formula has more to do with the video I mentioned at the beginning of the post.
When I get creative blocks, I try my best to find new ideas, obviously.
There are 2 paths I have found useful to follow.
One is less risky, therefore less innovative. It consists of “solving” other weaving techniques through my loom.
For example, I look for vests that I like on Pinterest and then I find a way to “solve” them on the loom that I want to use, for example, a square loom. Then I ask myself:
How many pieces would I need?
What technique would I use to weave it?
What other geometric pin loom shapes would I need?
What patterns or stitches would I use? Should I develop a new one?
And of course, my design finally turns out different than the original vest I saw on Pinterest, but that is precisely the purpose! To achieve a completely new design, different from what I always do.
This picture is from a children’s poncho that I designed a few years ago, which is a usually knitted or crocheted garment, easily to be “solved” on a pin loom.
Yesterday, as another example, I wanted to adapt the warp of the circular pin loom on my Kayu multi loom, which is square, and see if it worked.
So it did! I’m still weaving the easily resulting mandala that I hadn’t imagined doing on a square loom until now (by the way, I think mandalas will be a great topic for my next post).
Another example of taking small risks I talked about in the previous post and it is about how to adapt patterns from 4×4″ looms to larger pin looms that have the same spacing between pins/nails.
In that case, the idea was born directly from users of my Kayu multi loom. I was constantly getting emails asking me how to make the patterns from my books on this pin loom or just how to weave 4×4″ patterns on larger pin looms.
As you can see, sometimes you look for a way to innovate by adapting other techniques or designs to your own technique, other times you are “forced” to make changes or try to solve what someone asks you for.
The other way to create is more risky, but the results are much more disruptive from my point of view.
It consists of leaving the crafts, the loom, the knitting sticks, crochet, the yarn, etc. and look for a completely different discipline that can “connect” with what you do.
For example, what if I forget about the physical loom, yarn, needles, crochet…
Then I also discard from my mind the objects that I would normally make with a pin loom woven piece: cushions, decorative objects, clothes..
I stay only the most basic principle: a woven piece.
Finally, I think of areas that would normally seem unreasonable to me to connect with pin loom weaving: agriculture, automotive, publishing, mining, etc. They can be more specific, so that you can visualize clearer and more everyday possibilities.
Then I randomly connect any of them with “woven piece”: Ex. Agriculture + woven piece
And this is what comes to my mind: A sort of mesh to support fruits, outdoor, made of strips of colored, recycled plastic, which decorated, also contains, but is ephemeral, since, once the fruit is finished, I can fold and store, so it disappears is desuse..
And I start sketching ideas, polishing my idea.
You can go much further! As Bill says, collect various points from your different experiences and then find a way to connect them, as irrational as it may seem!
My invitation is to explore by yourself what you want to learn and to get out of your cocoon. I promise you will surprise yourself with new ideas and solutions.
They can be ideas so relevant that they change the world! As a great disruptive innovation. Or just a new gift idea for someone you love who will be wonderfully surprised.
Go ahead, create!
A creative hug!