You follow me? You know what I'm talking about!
I had that happen to me this week, or has it been a month? It started with a sudden sinking feeling when I realized that I needed to make more money to sustain myself, and decided after 2 years of attempting to be a full-time freelancer, to look for a job. Something part-time, just to supplement the freelance work I've been fortunate enough to get. The universe shone their blessings on me that day because, literally, 30 seconds on Craigslist produced exactly what I was looking for. Gaia Conceptions, a business that I have greatly admired (and spoken-of on this blog here) was looking for a seamstress for 2 days-a-week. PERFECT! I started work the next Monday.
Check out my next desk!! Window and all.
Now here's where the thought started.
One of the reasons that I was really interested in working with Gaia Conceptions is their incredibly sustainable business practices, in regards to the environment. All the fabrics for their garments are organic and consciously manufactured, dyed in the studio using natural or low-impact dyes, and made-to-order, eliminating unwanted stock. With an emphasis on quality craftsmanship and made-in-America, Andrea basically built the business that I would want to build. It's still fashion, we're not saving lives here, but she's thinking responsibly about every aspect of doing what she loves doing, designing and making clothes. She's not compromising.
I feel like as I get older, I slowly become aware of ways I can apply my morals into every action I take. I think the Slow Food Movement has been great to bring awareness to food choices we make but we need to start bringing awareness to all aspects of our lives. Every thing we put on our body, in our mouths, in our environments, and what we choose to spend our money on.
SO, working at Gaia gets me thinking about the materials I use in my art and where they come from. And, as crunchy as I am already, I hate to admit that I haven't considered it much. My focus is color then price, and where the yarn comes from or who's making it hadn't even been a thought in my mind. God.....I'm a monster!! Not to mention, the tools I use. I do gather the wood I use for my frames in the off-cut bin at work (aka Skram Furniture), so that's good, but the plywood is usually Home Depot new. How do I rectify this situation??
SYNERGISTIC SUCCESSION OF EVENTS
-- listening to this podcast ----> Woolful episode 1 (if you are interested in brevity or not a total fiber nerd, I'd say pass on listening to this)
...which introduced me to...
-- Ton Of Wool, a new company based out of Australia that is providing to the commercial market an ethically and sustainably produced yarn.
They only sell their yarn in the natural color of the sheep's hair (white, grey, black) so this got me thinking about the possibility of buying their yarn and dying it myself. This would change my color palette significantly. I would say that a signature of my work is bright color and there's limitations if you're not using powerful chemicals or synthetic fibers. Am I willing to make that change? Well, if you think about all aspects of the modern American life, there's very little of our habits that are ultimately sustainable. That means to create real change, we have to either use our amazing brains to figure out how to have it all in a sustainable way, or learn to reduce. Live with less. There's no time like the present for me to start to adapt more environmental practices into my art and, who knows, maybe it could push to an even cooler place with my work. The greatest place I could find would be to create the product I want and maintain the sustainable habits. No compromises. But, I'll never know until I start.
The studio table this week. My figure skating poster competition entry got mounted (left) and my first art commission in progress (right). Can't wait to share the finished project soon! I do love those bright colors...
The second episode of Woolful brought even more ideas for converting to a sustainable art practice. In this podcast, Ashley discusses methods for recycling yarn from unwanted garments with Jerome Sevilla, aka Grid Junky. What a fabulous idea!! I love recycling!! I'm totally in love with this idea. There's a possibility here to find more color options outside of what is dyeable in the domestic studio if you're good for the hunt. I'm certainly willing to try.
So what's your destiny?
Are you hoping it will find you or are you willing to cultivate it? To mold it into exactly the person that you want to be. I want my destiny to be an environmentally-conscious one, a destiny that can fulfill my creative dreams and stand by my ethical morals, and I'm starting now to make that happen. And maybe it will lead me to something that I never even knew was possible. I can't wait to find out.