It's wonderful to round off this month's exploration of Creative Identity with a guest post from someone who has really inspired me creatively. Today, I would like you to meet Isabelle of Fluffy Fibers:
"Looking back at the past ten years since I started building a handmade wardrobe, I realise my creative life and my personality have been nurturing one another organically from the start. It really goes both ways. Building a handmade style may start with a certain idea you have of yourself; but when you give your creativity free reign and allow yourself to gravitate naturally towards certain shapes, certain colours and styles, what you end up making turns out to be more truly you than the story you might have more or less consciously be planning to tell about yourself.
Before I started making my clothes, I believe I had a pretty standard style for a young woman of my age and cultural background (i.e. France in the early 2000s). I didn’t have many distinctive pieces that truly defined me, except for a dress that my grandmother had made for my mum when she was my age, and that I adored wearing... I was utterly awed by my grandmother’s ability to create beautiful shapes out of a piece of fabric. That handmade dress is of course where it all started.
Creating a handmade wardrobe has allowed me to define myself in a way I had never achieved before. I have long stopped to feel self-conscious when I wear a handmade piece – because that happens about every day! With time my sense of style has fine-tuned itself to reflect exactly the way I wish to appear. It is only in retrospect that I can say, I am all for simple lines with one or two special details; I gravitate towards solid colours rather than prints, with the exception of florals. There can never be too many botanical motifs in my book - and in my wardrobe!
I was recently inspired by the Design Along and the #aninspired2015 to design a shawl that I had been dreaming of for a while... What makes me happiest about it is that it conveys so perfectly the style I feel is my own.
Creative identity does not just stop at the aesthetics. For me, it is also part of an ethics. Building a handmade life for yourself is certainly about creating beauty around you - and I am utterly convinced that contributing to the world’s beauty is a kindness of its own. But it can also be a means towards a more responsible, sustainable life. Our relationship to artefacts, to things, is so different when we have created them. We care for them differently. The pieces I made ten years ago are still like new, and remain among my favourite to wear today. I love the continuity they offer me in my creative process and self-construction - because one is inseparable from the other. They may not be as well finished as my current projects, but I cherish them for reminding me of the path covered.
As time goes by, I have been increasingly concerned about finding supplies that are ecologically responsible. The wonderful thing about producing your own clothes is that you get to control everything from the very start. This year I knit a cardigan out of British Blue-Faced Leicester that I had spun, and left undyed. It is safe to say this piece is entirely biodegradable!
One of my creative goals for this year is to learn how to dye yarn and fabric with plants, to guarantee a raw material that is ever gentler for the Earth. The journey is endless... and the wonderful encouragement and stimulation we can find within the fibery community allow us to always find more inspiration, and to feel increasingly confident about making individual choices."
Do you have any thoughts on #Creative_Identity? Join the conversation (@aplayfulday)