I kind of have a compulsive need to teach myself new things. I get bored/distracted/oblivious to the things going on around me and get really excited when I come across something new that I can concentrate on. It's been a bit like that with hand embroidery. I could basically just about sew a button on something before I actually put any effort in but now, after teaching myself lots of new stitches I'm bordering on obsessed with this new hobby. Also, I say I 'taught' myself, but really how invaluable is YouTube and Instagram for learning from other people? It baffles me that people can put that much time and energy into just putting something out there for free to help others entertain themselves or learn more. I really like Namaste Embroidery because she's really chill and fun to watch, also her style is modern and pretty, and Sarah Homfray in particular because she's so easy to understand and knows so much. It's fun to be able to draw in something other than pencil or paint and it's very addictive once you start. I mainly need to work on pace. I'm quite clearly very slow and the rate that other people can stitch is crazy to me but hopefully the more I carry on, the quicker I'll get.
Working faster and scribbling ideas down in this tiny notebook is working out much better than concentrating on tedious, large pieces.
Surface Pattern 5, yes I skipped 4! The reason for that is technically my fourth pattern was one made on Skillshare. I'm slightly obsessed with Skillshare by the way, it's full of video's from amazing people (teachers) that can help you learn new skills. For someone creative like myself that consistently wants to learn new things it's amazing. That pattern was centred around a Spring theme (set by SPD Elizabeth Olwen) and you can see it here.
I wasn't as happy with my Spring pattern. I don't tend to use bright colours to in a bid to take myself out of my comfort zone I did just that. It didn't really fit my aesthetic in the end so my fifth attempt (shown above) follows the same florals but is darker with some small mustard and teal highlights.
This is my third pattern attempt since starting and I'm feeling much better about my style coming out and my digital drawings ability to mimic my pencil. Since last time I've been to the Whitworth gallery in Manchester to see the Tibor Reich and wallpaper exhibitions and both of these greatly inspired me to try harder and but also to be a bit more relaxed about colour and mark making. I find it particularly hard to let go and want to make everything perfect (even in sketchbooks) but lately I've been literally scribbling ideas down and this is definitely helping me in the long run.
I'm in the middle of reading Vivienne Westwood's biography so random sentences make their way in to the middle of scribbles also. It's a bit departure from the way that I usually work when I'm drawing portraits, which is always in pencil and barely using a rubber because I'm so certain of the marks I'm making. I hate going back to something and erasing it because it gets messy and I would never ever use a pen in a sketchbook usually but since this little notebook is so small, I don't feel so bad about it.