“My work is as much a physical feat of endurance as much as it is a loving creative respite.” ~ Jacqueline Fink
Jacqueline Fink is a knitter, and some. She is also a crafter, a dreamer, and an artist. And a mother.
Jacqueline learned to knit, like so many others, from her own mother. She told Trend Tablet magazine that as a child, she was “too impatient to commit to the language of knitting” to be able to follow a pattern. But five years ago, after her mother received a double lung transplant that saved her life, Jacqueline had a dream that heralded the beginning of her creative brand, Little Dandelion.
Now, she creates large-scale knitted works that range from gorgeous, textural blankets to chair covers and enormous ‘pure art’ installations.
From time to time, as a creative person, I struggle to find inspiration. I also struggle to manage my work-life balance. And I feel overwhelmed, stifled even, by burnout and writer’s block (that’s been happening lately).
But somehow in my mind I put creative professionals – “real artists” as opposed to hobby creatives like me – up on a pedestal when it comes to the creative process. Subconsciously, I imagine this is all seamless for them. Which is untrue, and probably rather unfair of me. Professional artists, designers, crafters, writers and every manner of other creative folks have to find inspiration, balance priorities and beat burnout, too. Duh. Of course.
So… I figured we might all be able to learn a little something from how other artists approach these challenges, and Jacqueline was kind enough to share a little from her own experience.
ON SEARCHING FOR INSPIRATION…
My process is perhaps a little unusual. I don’t draw on external references for inspiration: I’m not one to trawl through magazines or the internet and while the natural world may influence my preference for a natural colour palette I create purely to please myself.
Inspiration typically finds me via a subconscious thought stream when I am engaged in something completely unconnected with my work or via a dream. I see the creation in my mind’s eye and, because I cannot draw, then have to hold it there while I work out a way to make the piece.
ON OVERCOMING CREATIVE BLOCK…
I have learned to do the following:
1. Just park the problem in the too hard basket and do something completely unconnected with your craft for a while
2. Spend time in the company of elbow creatives whom I love and admire. Their energy always reinvigorates me propels me on
3. Keep creating. I’ve often overcome great difficulties with one project through the process of making another
ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE…
I gave up on trying to achieve a work/life balance long ago and I don’t beat myself up about it. It is what it is. I work in our living room and so there is no separation of space for any of us and our life is pretty much chaotic most of the time. But we are a very flexible bunch and can tolerate mess so we just do the best we can with what we’ve got. When you have something you want to achieve it is very important that you don’t place roadblocks in your path as an excuse not to give it everything you’ve got.
And one last (exciting) thing…
Jacqueline is now developing her own oversized knitting yarn “so that others can experience the joy of slow craft and this rather unusual method of knitting.” Hooray! If you want to stay tuned, or take a look at more of her lovely work, Jacqueline’s website is at LittleDandelion.com, and you can follow her on Instagram at http://instagram.com/jacquifink.
All images here are used with Jacqueline’s kind permission, and taken from the Little Dandelion website. Photography credits are as follows (top to bottom): 1. Sharyn Cairns 2. Jacqueline Fink 3. Jacqueline Fink 4. Jacqueline Fink 5. Sharyn Cairns 6. Jacqueline Fink 7. Jacqueline Fink 8. Jacqueline Fink 9. Paul Westlake