13 August, 2015

Looking for the Light

We often hear about people feeling more down from looking at the beauty in abundance now shared via the internet (and our phones) than inspired. I remember the first time I heard these discussions. It was in reference to Martha Stewart and her magazine. People tried so hard to emulate her and felt left down when they didn't achieve her level of perfection. They did so forgetting that she has staff and a whole lot of money behind her. When blogs were really big and now with Instagram this has grown. Sure, we might understand that there are real people behind our feeds, but we still think the grass is greener for them. Only now instead of money and staff we have filters and easy photo editors. And we forget that they are likely standing with their back to the mess and only giving us the good stuff.

Other people's lives haven't made me all that jealous or even grumpy with my own life. (Other things impact that, but I'll save that therapy session for another time.) I am, by nature, competitive. That means when I see the gorgeousness of other people's feeds I am, more often than not, trying to figure out how to make a shot like that or style like that. Full confession: I will certainly admit to jealousy over success. But other than a having a kitchen that isn't falling apart, I'm not jealous of other people's lives. No, I just want to be better or as good as them.

To that end, I do try to seek out beauty and aspiration. Not inspiration, but something in the way of technique, skill, or even eye that I aspire to mimic, learn more about, or learn from. So I still read blogs, I gather gorgeous magazines around me, and I seek out sigh worthy Instagram feeds.

Here are a few of my favourite spots of late.

Geninne... I learned about her when her first fabric line with Cloud 9 launched. Since then I am daily captivated by her Instagram feed.

Me & Orla... Sara first popped into my email via an automatic update I get for tags with A Month of Sundays, my book title. I won't lie, I was a bit annoyed at her Month of Sundays photo project, but that quickly passed. Instead I've been captivated by her style and approach to sharing. 

True Bias... My need to sew clothes continues to be fed. Up currently is the Mini Southport from Kelli at True Bias. I adore her honesty in making clothes, her style, and her patterns are so easy to work with. From this mostly beginner garment maker here I can say her patterns are incredibly well written.

Completely Cauchy... Chawne Kimber is a genius. I've had the pleasure of a too short sit down with her to discuss making statements with our quilts, otherwise I only know her genius from what she shares on line. You should definitely watch what she does with tiny piecing, making a statement, and simply being creative.  

What about you? What are the just beautiful spots on line that you like to visit? Not just informative, but gorgeous. Not necessarily sewing or even quilting, but the ones that bring beauty to life? Share the links in the comments. 


Suzanne said...

I just told a friend yesterday about this same idea in reference to something somewhat similar. The bottom line is that people show you what they want you to see. I have to be careful not to zoom too far in. Inspiration is great and I need and value it but what I do with it is more important. I appreciate your take on this today, Cheryl.

cauchy09 said...

Aw, thanks Cheryl, and right back at ya! You have the total package--art, creativity, family, freedom. It's all good the way it is.

It's difficult when we keep thinking the grass is greener "over there" and we just need to keep inching to get to "over there." I had to pull back from social media to realize how futile this was and open myself to trusting my own instincts. I still get twinges of envy, but I'm only human.

We'll both be in Pasadena! I hope to get a moment to chat again.


Kali said...

SO yes. Living alone it's hard to disconnect because that online socialization hits the right spot some days, but the social media comparison is hitting hard. I've been following more local nature photo "best of" type accounts recently, and museums! Remembering that the world is bigger than the screen in front of me, and seeing the art that is out there from all points in history give a different perspective.

Sara said...

Firstly, thank you for the compliment of linking to me and your kind words - I found you by following the traffic you sent my way.
Your perspective is honest and refreshing; in my drafts blog post folder I have a 'the truth behind the instagram' post that I waver over publishing, because it admits the ridiculous lengths I sometimes go to in order to get the shot I want. I hesitate because I'm nervous that shattering the illusion that people seem to quite enjoy, I suppose - but of course it only really takes someone looking objectively, like yourself, to guess it all anyway!
I definitely still suffer from the comparison blues from time to time - its truly the thief of joy. But mostly I use that to motivate myself to try harder and push myself, so I wouldn't want to be without it in the end.

Finally, my sincere apologies for so rudely stepping on your toes with the Month of Sundays project - I admit I never even thought about how it might be being used outside of my little Instagram bubble. The hashtag was free, and so few good ones are on Instagram, so I just grabbed it! Perhaps it would muddy the waters further, but if you ever fancy it, it would be ace to offer your book as one of the monthly prizes we do. We could link it to your profile, and explain about the name crossover too - clearly great minds think alike and I'm sure a lot of the people posting to #mymonthofSundays are the same people who would love your work! No pressure at all, just a thought.

Anyway, hope all this is taken as intended. Thanks again! Keep up the awesome work.
Sara x

Sandra W said...

In order to appreciate beauty I think it is necessary to train your eye "to see." One of the best ways to do this is by studying photography. It trains the eye to look for composition, line, movement, and to search the "frame" for what is really there, not what you think is there.

For example--the photo you have posted--from a graphic point of view you have design, repetition, and so on. The image of the shadow of the panes and the texture of the worn paint gives us insight into another level of thought. And, of course, the metaphors presented by the window itself, contrasted with the emptiness of the image in general. I hope this isn't the kitchen you are referring to!

That said, too much introspection, is not necessarily a positive thing.
I think you should celebrate the successes you have achieved (they are many). Let the "others" celebrate theirs.

CapitolaQuilter said...

Seek out Beauty and Aspiration - I'm tucking that phrase away, thanks for the perspective and insight.

Sue said...

I loved this post (when I finally read it). Like you I look for inspirational and aspirational images, I felt like I could have written this post. Most of my blog following is in the home dec and quilting arena but I recently found this fairly inactive one http://79ideas.org/. I am particularly in love with this 'world in a cup of coffee' image (http://79ideas.org/2015/05/hello-im-back.html) and found myself squinting sideways into a cup of coffee. Blow me down it works even if it's milky! The things you never notice!

Anonymous said...

I recently started following Helen_Dardik on instagram, her illustrations are so fun and I love the colours she uses. Plus I'm a sucker for Canadian artists!