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Am I a quitter?

Some more weaving real-talk.

Looms ready for weaving at a backstrap weaving workshop. More on that at the end!

A lot of things have happened in my life in the last week or so. I turned 30, I ran my first half marathon and I also got a new full-time job. I’ve suddenly adulted hard. And yes, I’m a little overwhelmed.

Turning 30 is a bit of a pivotal moment in our lives. It made me consider what I have achieved so far and made me conscious of time and how as you get older, you have less of it as more responsibilities head your way.

For a while I’ve been looking for full-time jobs (I’ve been working part-time) and coming to that decision has been hard. It felt in many ways like I’m a quitter. In the last couple of years, I started putting more of my time into my weaving work and I’ve really enjoyed it. My work has grown and I feel like I’ve found my voice more in what I’m doing. I’m so proud to have started teaching backstrap weaving workshops and have had commissions as well as sold some of my pieces, and my work was featured in publications online. One of my Instagram Reels even went very mildly viral. But the reality is, that at the moment, I’m not making enough money from it, and London-living means that I have to bite the bullet and get a full-time job.

So am I a quitter? It can certainly feel that way when I’m in a darker headspace. But, the reality is, no. At least, I’m aiming not to be.

You may have heard of Van Neistat, a YouTuber with the channel called “The Spirited Man” (if you haven’t heard of him, I need you to stop what you’re doing and check it out!). I was watching one of his videos today called “Why Veteran Artists Don’t Quit”. He had his pal Tom Sachs on it (no big deal lol), and they made this super helpful graph, comparing an artist that is inexperienced (probationary), with an artist that is experienced (a veteran).

Screenshot from Van Neistat's "Why Veteran Artists Don't Quit"

The main difference was, that the inexperienced artist, would have inspiration for the Thing, would start making the Thing, would then hit a Wall and quit. Then they would resent the whole process, including the inspiration itself.

The veteran artist however, starts with the commitment to making the Thing, they prepare, then they resent it, then they hit the Wall and work through it. That’s when the inspiration hits, and they actually finish it. They are the ones who experience gratitude, even for the resentment stage when making the Thing.

I found this so extremely helpful. The reality is, I need my new job to make my Thing. I’ve started resenting the Thing because it wasn’t making me enough money. So I’ve hit the Wall. And my new job is part of breaking through that Wall. At least, that’s the plan.

So here’s to pushing on. I’m looking forward to continuing my weaving practice in a new way, and making sure I just keep making. I might have less pieces to show, but I’m looking forward to spending quality time making them. Thanks for being along for the ride, let’s see where it takes us!

Backstrap Weaving Workshops

I’m sad to say, that my workshop at Make Town has been cancelled because they’re being evicted from their workshop space. To read more about it and support them finding a new place, go here.

BUT! I’ve got 2 backstrap weaving workshops coming up this summer with Yiran from YiCrafts. I can’t wait!

Sunday July 9th

Saturday August 19th: more booking info to come!

Both are full day workshops for £95! Absolute steal. Based in Camden Road in London.

I really hope to see you there!

As always, thanks so much for reading. Have a fabulous week and I’m looking forward to writing to you next time!

Alex

Backstrap Loom Kit 

Access to Teaching Video coming late July 2023

BUY HERE

Next

The dawn of the Textile Cyborg

Work In Progress