31 December 2015

End of the Year - Q&A style

Hey hey folks. Well it's time for the obligatory 'end of the year' post. 2015 certainly was an interesting one, but rather than looking back at what I got up to over the past year, I figured I'd try something a little different for me.

I generally try and keep a degree of separation between my personal life and what I write about on my blog. I think to a degree everyone does this and creates a persona that they want to project (normally focusing on the more positive aspects of their life or personality). So with this in mind I thought I would try and answer some of the more common questions that I get asked about myself and my crochet, to give you a little glimpse of the man behind the hook. I'll try to be honest, but sometimes being completely honest can mean it can't all be positive. I'm fully aware that whilst some of you might find this interesting or revelatory, others might see it as narcissistic self-indulgent hog-wash...if you're the latter then don't worry, I'll go back to my usual crochet ramblings soon enough. Here's a picture of me at work before the mass of text.


Anyway, let's give it a go.

1. How are you?
Standard answer: Not too bad thanks
People rarely want to hear the real answer, it's something we ask as a greeting rather than a question. Throughout 2015 I've struggled with this most basic of questions, as the year has been an emotional roller-coaster. The year started off with one of the hardest experiences of my life. I'm not going to say what it was, as I don't want this to turn into a 'poor me' sympathy post, but it was something that broke me. I've had to learn how to carry on, had to reassess my life and who I am, and had to know when to ask for help. Throughout this, crochet and my creativity has helped keep me going forward, and the support I get has been the encouragement and affirmation that I've needed. In my lowest moments there have been comments or emails that I've received just at the right time to pick me back up. Crochet has been a real driving force for me this year, and although it's been a hard year I've achieved many personal milestones.

2. Why aren't you on instagram/facebook/pinterest/whatever else is popular nowadays?
Standard answer: Because I'm a grumpy man, not a teenage girl!
That standard answer is a joke by the way. I've got nothing against social media/networking when it's used in the right way...it's just personally, I'd rather be crocheting. This is also connected to the reason I don't post as often as other bloggers. As much as the internet is an incredibly useful and valuable part of modern life, I also view it as somewhat of a time burglar. I try and set myself time periods for going online and blogging, as I know it's important but I prefer to minimise my distractions and focus on my craft. I succumbed and joined twitter as I find it a very good way of making connections and that initial point of contact, but as a blogger I don't personally see the need to be on every single kind of social media platform. You know where I am if you want to find me - right here! This is just my personal view on things, and of course that may change.

3. Do you sell your crochet/how do you make your money?
Standard answer: Not really, at least not for now anyway
This is a very tricky question to answer. The question of do I sell what I make...well the real answer is 'not yet'. It's been clear in my mind from day one that I didn't want to end up making the same thing over and over again, which is why the whole Etsy thing isn't something I do at the moment. I really respect those that can do it, but I'm too fickle for it. I like to explore my ideas, then move on to the next thing. Pattern writing fits well into this, and it also appeals to the perfectionist and creative sides of my personality. But the ultimate dream is to progress with the idea of being a crochet artist. I've mentioned many times that I'm working on a collection of crochet artworks at the moment, and maybe in the next year there will come a point where I put a price tag on them...but making a living off art is always going to be difficult. So, how do I pay the bills? Well I work a 9-5 like most people in an office admin job....BUT, change is in the future. This job will be ending at some point in the next year, so I will have to reassess how I make my living. There are a couple of options, I'm aware that I could take the risk and up my freelance work, but I do like the security that having a full time job brings (as much as it bites into my crochet time). The logical thing would be to get a job that makes use of my skills and is in the creative sector, but I need to put some work in to make that happen. Either way something's gotta happen. New year, new challenges!

4. I like that thing you made, do you have a pattern for it?
Standard answer: No sorry, haven't got around to writing it up
I make so many things, and I hardly ever follow patterns anymore, but I rarely get around to writing my own patterns down. At the moment I'm trying to keep my focus and get those arty pieces completed, but once they're done I plan on getting around to writing up patterns for a couple of things that I've had on the back burner. When I make something new or come up with an idea, I always keep notes in my sketchbook. This is not only so that if I make a mistake I can go back rather than starting from scratch, but also so that if I ever want to make it again I've got something to reference. If I'm going to make a pattern I want it (a) to be unique and (b) to be absolutely perfect, and I think this is what holds me back when actually completing and publishing them. Pattern writing is however something that I thoroughly enjoy and want to do more of. I'm in awe of crochet designers that seem to churn out fresh and interesting designs on a regular basis. So what I'm saying is, more to come. Who knows, that thing you liked might become a pattern eventually, it might take years but it's all in the sketchbook!

5. What does the future hold/what do you want to do?
Standard answer: *shrugs shoulders* I dunno
As you've probably gathered from my previous answers, I kind of feel like I'm at the edge of a cross roads. It's clear that crochet is my passion, but where I go from here is a little unknown. When I started crocheting I had no idea that it would become such a prominent part of my life, so trying to guess what it will lead to now is kinda hard. I know I want to do more with it. I have so many ideas, some aren't even possible at the moment, but I''m going to keep trying. As I've said, the dream is to pursue crochet art and that's what I'm really pushing at right now. Hopefully I will complete my work and we'll see how well I can do with it in the next year. What I do know is that the positive comments I get from you guys really helps me (even if I often don't reply). Whenever someone tells me that they've been inspired by my crochet, or even just that it made them smile, I know that it was all worthwhile.

So there you go, five answers to five questions you never knew you asked. Maybe you feel you know me a little better now, maybe you feel like I've wasted your time....all I know is I've got some crochet to do!

Peace out everyone, and have a great new year :)

4 comments:

  1. Hi Matt, Happy New Year to you and your family!
    I found this post really refreshing. You said alot of things that echoed my line of thinking as well, although I tend to concentrate on pattern design which I've started to dip my toe into for the first time in 2015. Nothing more annoying than people saying, "You should make more of those to sell!" when I've already mentally moved to creating something else.
    Anywho since I started following your blog a year or so ago, I've found your crochet inspiring and amazing. Keep following your crochet path and doing what resonates the most strongly to you as you are one of the innovators of modern fibre art. Everytime you show us a new project, I mentally fist pump and say, "Yes! That's bloody awesome!" (Sorry for the swear word. I'm Aussie. We do that.)
    Cheers, Louise

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  2. happy new crochets! love your honesty here: looks like you're heading in the right direction even though it seems a little unclear to you right now: I'm a great believer in those threads the universe throws out ~ grab the one colours your way and see where it takes you: can't wait to see! love & light and hooky goodness as ever x

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  3. Hi ! I'm french canadian so pardon my english hehe
    I wanted to write you because i find that your voice is really inspiring. This Q&A is full of real feelings and sensible thoughts. I think that anyone who read this can tell that you are an authentic person, and so passionate of course. It's hard sometimes to be in a world where people makes you feel like you absolutely need to think about a way to make money with your passion. I admire the concentration you have on your work, i think it is powerful. Continue your creativity :)
    Au plaisir !
    // GOME

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  4. HI, just found you through Simply Crochet instagramming you yesterday and love (totally lurve) your bright and awesome work. I know what you mean about the time hoovering aspect of all things online but MAN I would love to see what your instagram account would look like if you had one :))) Hope to see some more of you around soon, from one cropro (yeah, I just did that) to another....Emma x

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