Building creative community should be easy, and in many ways it is. You find your tribe if you’re lucky on Instagram (hey y’all!!!!), on Pinterest or Facebook, from sewing blogs, or in online communities. There are many places to look and the Tribe is repeated in many places. For example, my main Tribe Hang is on Instagram but you’ll find me inside Facebook Groups, on Pinterest, in places like Kollabora or Textillia. Just like you. If you have not found your tribe, I suggest you search by hashtag and you’ll come up with more people than you could possibly meet IRL. Look to see who people you feel a kindred spirit with online– follow, and continue on down that rabbit hole. You’ll meet your Tribe for sure!
But HERE is where I think we just might miss the mark. AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY. The place where we don’t just share the pretty pictures and the polished feed—- but the place where we tell our stories. When we tell OUR creative story, then other creatives are free to tell theirs. Sewists, knitters, embroiderers, cross stitchers, crocheters,and creatives in general know so much more than they share! They KNOW things that were forged in frustration, often in pain, sometimes against every rule they learned. And applying the creative filter, we as a community are sometimes afraid to show the whole deal.
We might show a ‘wadder’, a garment that is so bad and beyond redemption that it ends up in the trash bin. Or we show a sweater that is given away because we muffed up the gauge. Or a cross stitch project that we lost interest in, or a creative endeavor that we just hated. BUT, we may not say the whole thing. I’ll go first. I’m 62 and learning to love myself. Learning that I am enough. Um, it’s a process y’all! Learning that sometimes good enough is good enough and I don’t have to be perfect or create perfect! As I said in an earlier blog post about my weight loss journey, I’ve lost 115 pounds and the upside is I like myself in clothes but man oh man do I hate myself in less than those comfort garments I’ve created to work with what I have. (Yes Mara and Meetra leggings, I’m talking to you!) I love so many of the garments I see online, in catalogs, on websites but I can’t wear them. Well I can……………. but people would laugh. And sugar, I am NOT that old lady quite yet!!!
I love to hear why someone created something…………. what made them use that pattern in that color and for who. It’s a map really of who a person IS inside the pretty photo we see. I want to lean in, to listen hard, to really hear who someone is. Maybe not just their creative side. And pull alongside.
Find. Your. Community!
Popular Hashtags: #sew #isew #memade #handmadewardrobe #Ilovetosew #sewing #sewersofinstagram #knittersofinstagram #imakemyclothes #sewcialists and a bazilion more.
So how do we build Authentic Community?
How do we tell our truth?
And, should our truth encompass MORE than our creative side? Can we relax enough, trust enough, hope enough and encourage enough to build the place where we keep each other safe? Where we banish trolls and foster honest expressions of (dare I say it) love?
As Glynnon Doyle Melton says can we be “brave enough to be honest and kind enough to accept others when they’re honest”?
I say we can!
- When you hear another creative speak truth, applaud, comment, encourage.
- As we see that happen within our community, we can learn to be brave enough to speak as well.
- Don’t engage in snark or mean spirited anything! Mama was right, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
- Be the person that defines the community you want.
- Be open, sharing and honest.
- Make the pretty pictures and perfect projects but don’t be afraid to share the knitty gritty.
LISTEN. ENGAGE. REPEAT.
C’mon sugar. Come be a part of an authentic community of creatives. Of grown ass women who rock the world.
So, are you in?