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Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Art is Messy

This week it occurred to me that all creative things begin with The Mess. To create something beautiful, chaos is apparently required.

You want to paint something? Pull out the drop cloth, newspapers, and old paint clothes or smock.

Decide to cut some wood for a home improvement project? Pull out the vacuum.

Even creating a meal is messy!

I can only imagine how messy a sculptor’s studio would be during a project or how messy an author’s desk can be mid-book. (Oh wait, I don’t have to imagine that – I have a messy desk right in front of me and I’m not an author.)

Lest you get the wrong impression from previous posts that my sewing room is always neat & tidy, here’s The Mess currently loitering on my cutting table:

I have too many ideas trying to become reality right now. I need to spend a couple days of what I consider boring but completely necessary mockup making.

I will spare you the view of the unruly piles in my guest room. And I’ll show you the home improvement project when it is finished and no longer cluttering the den.

Making The Mess is easy. It’s the getting past the messy stage to produce the art that is the challenge!


21 responses to “Art is Messy

  1. Melissa August 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    That doesn’t look too bad! But I agree, messes are essential to creation. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I walk into my bedroom (still got stuff in there from cleaning the living room).

  2. agirlinwinter August 10, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Ah, that would explain why my living room (also my ‘sewing room’) looks like a tip then…

    • Brooke August 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

      When I first got married, I didn’t have a separate room for my projects and my machine took over my kitchen table. Even with a separate room, creativity is hard to contain and my house always looks a bit like it has been hit by a storm – on the inside! =)

    • Brooke August 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      LOL – I just got it! My silly American brain wasn’t understanding what exactly a “tip” was and I just thought to look it up in my copy of this handy reference book! It says that “The British tip their refuse into a refuse tip. Americans dump their garbage into a garbage dump.” Now that I completely understand what you wrote, it makes me laugh! =)

  3. caprimontgomery August 10, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Wow, this is so true. Art is messy. I think making the mess is fun because something great is going to come out of it. Making the project is fun, but cleaning up is not so fun ;).

  4. tracihutton August 10, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Oh yes, the dreaded mess when you are finished. I hate that part the most.

    I wish my sewing table looked as messy as yours. Currently I have moved to the dining table, only temporarily.:)

    • Brooke August 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

      Hehe – yes, I admit that this is one of my more tame messes. I’m trying to motivate myself to get in there and shove some stuff out of the way to start on some mockups this morning…

  5. Karen August 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Honestly, Brooke, sometimes I think you and I have mental telepathy! Just this week – no kidding – I came across this quote and of course immediately transferred it to sewing: “A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all great achievements.” (by Orison Swett Marden – not sure who he is). When my sewing room floor is littered with pins and scraps, it’s definitely inhospitable! (Although the “struggle” is almost always more fun than not!)

  6. Kirby Harlan August 10, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Creativity: order from chaos. Spread it out, mix it up, throw stuff at it, pour it on, see all of it then pick. All kind of mess doesn’t matter. Ideas are born when diamonds in the rough become recognized. Go for it.

  7. Athene August 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Choas. Udder choas.


  8. tlf August 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I’ll say. I used to make my kids’ Halloween costumes, but my husband always complained about the mess I would leave behind (and refuse to clean up lest I lose my spot). I just sorta gave up.

    • Brooke August 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      How sad – I hope you pick up the sewing projects again someday! Maybe you need a folding screen to hide the mess behind, hehe.

      Thanks for commenting!

  9. thevintagetraveler August 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    This makes me feel a lot better about my own mess…

  10. Cation Designs August 11, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Ever since school prep started, my sewing area’s been a complete disaster! I finally cleared some of it tonight so I could get to the machine…that’s how bad it is!

    • Brooke August 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

      I completely believe it! I think I had maybe an eight-inch path into my sewing room back when I was working full-time on a TV show for 6 or 7 months – and then it was impossible to move around in it unless I stepped over huge piles, hehe. It’s hard enough to keep a workspace clean when you use it, but it’s extra hard to keep a sewing space clean when you have to focus on another part of your life!

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