Today's blog will begin with a little story I want to share about how I got so deep into the crochet/knit world over the past year. It all actually started many many years ago when I was a young girl, probably 8 or 9. My mom had a friend named "LaMesa" (my sisters and I also referred to her as "The table" for some reason, since that is "la mesa" in Spanish). I remember very little about this lady other than she had a very distinct raspy voice, and she taught me how to crochet and knit. She even gave me my very first crochet needle (which I still have today). Every once in a while over the years, if I found some yarn, I try and make a headband or scarf or something. As I got older, I forgot all about crochet and got into other things. Skip ahead to October 2016, and I found myself In Seattle visiting my big sister. While spending the day at her job, she told me about the arts and crafts room, to which I nostalgically discovered some yarn and knitting needles. I did the simple stitches that I could remember and came up with a nice little headband. I thought it was pretty darn cute, so I put it up on my website store, just for kicks (and because I'm still loosely trying to figure out how I can make some sustainable income from my creations). A little while later, I got an email notification that someone had bought my headband! Someone actually wanted what I had to offer... a thing that I made and put out into the world. In retrospect, it was one of the most motivating things that have ever happened to me in my life.
After the purchase of my very first knit piece, I figured, well, what if people want more, I should make some more. I began buying more yarn, more needles, looking up patterns online, practicing new stitches, making so many new things each week, I ended up doing a whole pop up shop to showcase my work this past Christmas! It all started with that one purchase from someone who liked what I was doing. It somehow inspired me to be better...to do more. When I really sit down and think about it all, it looks as though the best way an artist gets inspiration is through the feedback they receive. When I say feedback, I'm speaking of it in multiple ways. It could be as simple as a "like", all the way up to ultimate praises shout from the mountain tops adoringly by a fan to the rest of the world. In some ways, I feel as though the level of feedback has a correlation to a persons future creative work ethic.
If more than one person tells me I'm really good at something, it will naturally make me want to keep doing that particular thing. If no one says it, even if I really like doing that thing, I will probably start to do it a little bit less. Eventually, perhaps not at all anymore. Even as far as writing and my videos go, if it weren't for the encouraging words that I DO get every once in a while, I honestly don't know if I would continue doing them (definitely not as much, or with very little effort in improving). I remember back when I first started Gettin' By, my camera was crap! But everyone seemed to love the show so much, I worked hard to get better equipment, do more precise editing, and achieve overall improved quality. After my support system seemed to fall off, I stopped making videos for a very long time. I've never even pegged myself as a people pleaser or someone who creates content mainly for others, but lack of genuine encouragement is just such a... buzzkill. In today's society, there is so much going on; so many things to look at, read, wear, watch, and buy, that it's quite impossible to actively root for it all. How do we choose the things that we "stan" for? What moves us to take that extra step from sideline supporter to enthusiastic cheerleader?
As I'm sure by now most of you all have either seen or heard about the recent Beyonce' performance at Coachella... I just finished watching... for research purposes! I'm always very interested in all the inter-workings of popular artist development (and successful people in general) in relation to societal reception. I actually heard about this performance before I even saw it thanks in part to many people live tweeting and singing the ethereal praises of B. It just made me wonder if anybody else in this world were to receive even half of the beaming adoration that she does, would they too be motivated in the same sense to create something equally as great in their lifetime?
All of this is actually giving me a super interesting idea. I just thought of a concept in which a group of people are constantly and actively rooting for each other. Hmm, Circle Fans (working title)? It would be a place where we would ALL be each other's biggest fans and just see what greatness ensues. Another thing that I think I'm going to stop doing is comparing everything to everything else. Terms like "better than", "best", or "greatest of all time" just seems a lot more harmful than helpful. Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Why can't we all just strive to be the greatest versions of ourselves, and not necessarily OVER one another? All my life I've realized that I'm probably most supportive of the underdog. In every circumstance. Perhaps that's where my devil's advocate side stems from. I feel as though if mostly everyone is getting caught up in the rapture of the more popular contender, in a sense, they don't really need my "help". I like to be where there's a greater need, ya know? One thing I've been trying to do more of lately is to be there as a hype man for my friends and actual people I know in the same way that stans go hard for someone like Beyonce'. ESPECIALLY if I think they are doing something really well. It's great to appreciate what's already established as amazing. We should definitely also help cultivate the ones around us who have YET to realize they too can be beautiful diamonds.
P.s. That performance REALLY made me miss being in a marching band. Marching bands are awesome. I totally coulda been the baton twirler. I'm just sayin.
P.p.s. Another interesting yarn fact about me... when I first moved to New Jersey from Detroit, one of my first jobs was working in the Lion Brand yarn factory packing boxes on an assembly line! (For 8 dollars an hour though, blah.)
P.p.p.s. I had no idea Coachella was TWO weekends! What the heck do people do in between?