Ok, so todays' question 'How much, if at all, does your geographical location affect your art/craft?' has made me think... I have lived both in London and Devon whilst being a fibre artist and supplier. How have these changes afftected me and my business Sara's Texture Crafts?
I think I will start by drawing a comparision, London vs. Devon...
Mind set (as in how I have changed)
London I enjoyed more when I was younger… the hustle, bustle and general commotion of living in a capitol city excited me and I enjoyed crafting in London for a long time. As I got older this changed and as I craved a more natural surrounding from the concrete jungle I would say my personal ‘art’ work probably suffered and this is when I started to move more into supply.
Now in Devon, I feel much more at peace and after a year’s hard work establishing my new base of business; I’m starting to go back to making and crafting.
This was more of a personal thing though and in no way reflects on geographical location for fibre art in the UK…
London has many of our national museums and art galleries and so from that point of view, ‘cutting edge’ inspiration, trends and artists tend to stem from there, or gravitate towards there. So this ‘fashion’ aspect is what I drew on mostly for my work, especially when I was freelancing as a fashion and textile designer. However, it lacked (for me) the essence of fibre art, the part that the geek inside me wanted more of… which was concentrating on the fibre it’s self, in terms of where it came from and more historical references to its production into yarn, or fabric.
Now down in Devon I feel I’m more inspired by Mastercraftsmen and the farmers who rear the sheep’s fleece I use. I’m learning to understand the origin of the fibre I use and how to produce different forms/products from it. This has given me a new angle and a new craving to learn more. Rather than producing fashion items based purely on colour, or trend, I’m much more into producing items/products based on learning more technical aspects of fibre and selling these to others to make the more 'fashionable', or 'arty' finished pieces from.
I guess for me this change was key, as after all first and foremost I am a fibre supplier. However, this again is quite a personal thing, as I know many successful fibre artists who live in and around Capitol cities.
Customers, Supply and Competition
When you sell on the world wide web, location tends not to be such an issue with customers, competitors and suppliers. However, being closer to some of the farmers I work with helps me select the fibre I wish to sell and work with more easily. Having said that I do travel!
I guess the effects of my geographical location therefore have mostly affected me personally and my development into the type of crafter I want to become... I've always been fascinated with the more technical stuff, even as a fashion designer. So for me, my move to Devon helped me concerntrate on that and essentially remains a personal choice as a pose to a business need... although the 'influence' of living in Devon has certainly helped improve business!
This post was part of a blog Merry go Around, where I have got together with some friends to talk about a similar subject on the same day... a nice way to meet people!
Alison at Tweed Delights - http://idreamoftweed.blogspot.com/
Mitsy at MindArt - http://artmind-etcetera.blogspot.com/
Kim at Vilt a la Kim - http://viltalakim.blogspot.com/
Sara at Crafts of Texture - http://sarastexturecrafts.blogspot.com/
Fabienne at Easterya Jewellery Creations - http://easterya.blogspot.com/
Mariana at Florcita - http://www./florcita.eu/
Agathe at Le Bar du Vent - http://lebarduvent.blogspot.com/
Lily at Lily Pang Art and Design - http://lilypangart.blogspot.com/
Wendren at Wren Design - http://thewrendesign.com/
Ruth at Birdland Creations - http://insidetheartisan.blogspot.com/