Artist, Maker or Imposter?


My husband and I recently joined an Artists and Makers non profit group in our town. In a short time, I developed a case of Imposter syndrome, thinking I shouldn’t be in the group. (More on that later.) So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the definitions for artist and maker. Is there any difference? 

My first hunch is that a maker is someone who follows another’s pattern or design, whereas an artist creates the design or pattern. (I was going to say from scratch, but that’s not really possible is it? Everyone’s designs are influenced from somewhere, right?) And an artist is a maker too. Maybe the terms’ definitions change with the object created? I’m sure there are plenty of definitions  out there in Google land. But not having attended any meetings of the group yet, I don’t know what their definitions are. Maybe they will decide I don’t fit the definition. 

The imposter syndrome thing is really starting to ramp up. When  I saw some of the members’ work the unhelpful comparisons started flowing. “There’s no one doing fiber arts.” “All their works are original.”  “They’ve probably worked such a long time at their craft.”  “They will wonder what I’m doing in the group.” On and on it goes.

It doesn’t help that I’m not completely aware of why I joined. I know it was nice to be asked, I know I like to get in on the start of creating something, I know I am needing more socialization due to the restrictions of the pandemic, but I don’t have a crystal clear idea or intention.  It would help if I could define that because we’re hosting a meeting in a little over a week. Ugh… I just know I was excited by the idea and would like some face-to-face community to augment the online community. The online peeps are great, but it’s not enough. 

What are your thoughts on the definitions of artist and maker? How do you deal with imposter syndrome? Or how do you find others of like mind and talent? 

Learning Something New–Tapestry Crochet

So far, I am really enjoying the fall season this year. I tend to appreciate it every year, even though I am always sad to bid summer goodbye. One of the things I like about it is experiencing a renewed sense of energy with the change of seasons. This translates for me into organizing, planning and a desire for new learning–like this little pot holder I recently finished.

This is the Pumpkin Potholder by Rafaella at Raffamusa Designs. It is a Tapestry Crochet pattern, which is something I had not done before. I am usually cautious about trying new things in crochet because I like the anxiety and stress relief I experience when crocheting.  Learning a new stitch can sometimes be stressful for me. But I REALLY wanted to do this pattern. Plus, she has several more adorable tapestry potholder patterns I would like to try in her Farmhouse Collection.

It was a bit challenging as Tapestry Crochet requires using two or more yarns at one time.  The non-working yarn or the one you’re not currently stitching with is carried behind the working yarn and enclosed in the stitches. I am not a big fan of this method because the yarn can get so twisty and globbed up. But I never stop feeling surprised at what I will endure if I really want something. *chuckle*  Rafaella has a link on her blog, under the Tapestry Crochet tab, to a method on keeping yarn tangle free, but I didn’t understand it. To be fair, I read through it and didn’t try it, but I didn’t quite track with the directions. I just had to adapt to the fact I wasn’t going to crochet as quickly as I normally would. Once I adjusted to the slower pacing, I had a good time! 

 I am quite proud I stuck with it as I’m extremely happy with the result! It’s elegant and eye-catching.  (I just need to block it.) In fact, I liked the process and result so much, I started another one right away! This interfered with my plans for finishing up other projects, but I couldn’t help myself.  I am excited to try her other Tapestry designs, including the Christmas Tree Potholder.

I think the only thing I would have liked more, would have been a YouTube tutorial for this pattern. I see she has a YouTube channel. She does have a couple of photos on the printed pattern, but photos, unless there are lots of them and they are large, are not enough for me. I am one of those people that needs things spelled out in detail. Also, I have mature eyes and the finer points in small photos are almost impossible for me to really see.  There are other YouTube tutorials on Tapestry Crochet, but the ones I found tended to be specific to a certain pattern.

Other than that, I consider the experience overall to be an enjoyable one. If you’re looking to improve your crochet skills or would like to learn something new, I would recommend trying Tapestry Crochet in a small project like these potholders. . 

What new skills or stitches have you tried recently?

Lost Your Crojo?

#OrganisedOctober21 and #WIPalong21 on Instagram

Sometimes, even for the hardcore crochet enthusiast, the motivation slips and one finds it difficult to pick up the hook. This can be baffling and frustrating. Maybe the cause is going through extra stress and feeling low or maybe your current stash of WIPs (works in progress) suddenly seem uninspiring. Whatever the reason, it can be helpful to understand motivation and where it could use some sparking up. 

There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. There is lots of content out there defining what they are and their differences, but simply put, intrinsic motivation is when you would do the work simply because you enjoy it and extrinsic motivation involves something outside of yourself compelling you to do the work or complete the task. There are many types of extrinsic motivation: reward, compensation, threat of punishment or negative consequences, disapproval, etc. For myself, one of the best extrinsinc or external motivators is the response or support I receive from others and being accountable to them.

As I reflect back on my accomplishments, I’ve achieved the most challenging goals when I was experiencing this type of extrinsic motivator. It helps me to keep on keeping on when the emotional thread to my intrinsic motivation has gone missing. So I was quite excited to find a group of Instagram crocheters who are hosting, #OrganisedOctober21 and #WIPalong21 to address those abandoned crochet WIPs.

My WIPS had recently begun to pile up. Usually, I try to stick with no more than 2 or 3 projects in progress, but for some reason this fall, that flew out the window. I got distracted by too many CALs and MALs (crochet along or make a long) or feeling overwhelmed by projects that weren’t going well.  Then I started feeling scattery and guilty. (If you saw my blog post Organization, you know I’ve been on a mission to be better organized as feeling unfocused reduces the satisfaction I get from crocheting.) So, finding a group of like minded souls working with the same goal was just the kickstart I needed! Plus, it’s fun cheering others on and seeing their projects take shape.

If you’re on Instagram, you can find directions for the WIP along on the bio page of one of the following host accounts: @andintothetrees (Hannah), @goslingandplumb (Laura), @laboursoflovecrochet (Ruth), @marta.mitchell.designs (Marta Mitchell), or @sewcraftynaz (Nasreen). They’re providing fun weekly prompts, tips and Live IGTV episodes to keep you going. Laura @goslingand plumb even has several free printouts to help you plan your goals for the month. I find the Bingo sheet, pictured above, to be especially motivating as I chose rewards for myself based on how many bingos I complete. You can also add in a few other projects you’re wanting to keep up on, such as exercise, reading, or whatever!

If you’re missing your inspiration to create, it’s not too late to join in. You’ve still got almost 4 solid weeks to participate and I’m finding it to be a lovely, welcoming community.

I love hearing about methods for boosting productivity/creativity. Let me know what you have tried.