I've been reading about the quilt makers who each won a major prize at the IQA show in Houston this year. I was struck that it was important for many of them to work in solitude. I'd really encourage you to comment on this.
I'm referring to the short profiles of the winning quilters in International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene magazine. Caryl Bryer Fallert (Best of Show winner) said: "While I love the whole quilting subculture and all of the great friends it brings into my life, the actual making of a quilt is, for me, a solitary activity."
Fusako Takido (The Founders Award winner) said: "Quilting is a solitary activity for me, although I do attend Keiko Miyauchi's lectures."
Liz Jones (The World of Beauty Award winner) said: "Quilt making is not a social occupation for me as I find I have to concentrate fully when doing machine applique or quilting."
Denise Havlan (The Fairfield Award for Contemporary Artistry winner) said: "...my creative spirit is most alive when I am alone, with no distractions other than the sounds of the lake, fresh air, and sometimes music."
Hollis Chatelain (Superior Threads Master Award for Thread Artistry winner) said: "Quilt making itself is more private, but once the quilts are out there, it's a very social thing."
I relate strongly to these comments. Thinking, designing, drawing and more thinking - these are very private parts of my process. I can't bear distractions, like music or other noise. Once I start cutting and sewing, I can lose myself in the activity. After I have prepared pieces for sewing, I can become social, but until that happens, it's a private process. It's only after I feel that my idea or project is fairly developed in my mind that I can let it become public.
Writing is the same for me. The process can sometimes be easy and free-flowing. Other times, it can be laborious and every word is wrung out of my mind. For me, creating is an intensely personal and precious activity and it requires focus.
If you're still reading, thanks! I find the creative process endlessly fascinating. I'd love to know more about yours, so I invite you to leave a comment.