A designer, a photographer and a jeweller...Wednesday, June 08, 2011
No, that is not the first line of the lamest, art-schooliest joke in the world. (Well, it might be. You never know with these art school types. Best punchline wins a prize.)
It's actually everything that is going on in those pictures up there. That is the super talented jeweller Jane Gowans modelling scarves by the super talented textiles designer Hilary Grant, as photographed by the suuuuuper talented (and generous, and lovely) Kristen of What Kristen Saw (who is also, by the way, a very talented designer herself, and not a bad knitter either).
I first came across Hilary Grant, she of the fabulous mountain cushions, via (I think) that purveyor of all things quirky and designy Conversation Pieces, and I have always thought her work was just the clever balance between chic and snuggly. Then when I found out my very own friend Kristen not only knew her but was going to be shooting her new collection, I was excited. Add in the willowy and beautiful Jane, and you have a triple design threat of epic proportions.
I am so in awe of these three. They are each devoting themselves to their respective crafts, and working so hard to DO something, MAKE something... just bring something beautiful into the world that wasn't there before. Which, to me, is the very definition of creativity. (I know this is true of Kristen and Jane but I'm completely hypothesising about Hilary Grant here - I've never met her and know nothing about her, but hey, it can't be easy to make pom poms look that sophisticated. Plus anyone who makes a career basically out of knitting has to be badass.)
It's not unlike how I felt reading this post from Lauren yesterday, in which she announced that she is (finally! Yay!) going to be able to ditch her dull temp job and focus on being the writer that she is, full time, 100%. Bringing something beautiful into the world. I am, once again, in awe.
You know what's hilarious? I used to be creative. My art teacher in high school told me that I was one of only two people in a class of 30 in whom he saw potential. My music teacher made me promise I would keep writing music after I left school, because, he said, I had a gift. I won the school creative writing prize, with an actual cup and everything (fine, it was a quaich, but whatever). And yet, when it came time to choose a degree course, a job, a career, I turned my back on all of these things and chose the straight-up academic option. The respectable profession. And, yes, the financial security. I grabbed *that* with both hands.
Perhaps it's only from the nice safe vantage point of that financial security, that respectable profession, that the idea of basing a life upon the creation of beautiful things seems so alluring. I suspect the reality - neverending slog, writer's/artist's/whatever's block, no recognition, precarious finances - would be somewhat less appealing. And so I am reduced to the occasional rambling blog post and the odd lame DIY project*. For now, that's enough. It has to be. But I do, sometimes, wonder about the road not taken.
Of course, people (read: lawyers) like to claim that "corporate law can be creative too".
For those people, one word: Enron.
*Speaking of which, I have a little crafty project up my sleeve to share with you this week. If I can find some time in between packing and obsessively checking the weather forecast for California (it's been fun, rain, but it's time for you to fuck off now).