I am inspired by creativity from many different mediums... not just quilting, not just fiber art, not just painting and drawing.... but also fashion, graphic design, cooking, and music.
One of my creative heroes is musician Jake Shimabukuro, who is performing in a few days here in Boulder. He grew up in the rich cultural sea of Hawaiian arts and traditional ukulele music, and completely reinvented the image of a previously maligned instrument. (think Tiny Tim and "Tiptoe Through the Tulips")
If you have some time, explore online videos with Jake playing jazz, flamenco, rock and classical music on his 4-string ukulele. It will blow open any preconceptions you might have had about this unassuming instrument.
From his first viral video, to his current rock star status, Jake took something something simple and traditional, and totally made it his own. And wow, does he OWN it!
I see it as a parallel to what has happened in the quilting world over the last few decades. First there was a recognition of the value of vintage patchwork and traditional applique quilts, and collectors began to drive up the value and appreciation of the artform. (Hawaiian quilts were coming on the collector's radar screen about that same time.)
Then a few pioneering creative people started using "quilting" as a medium to explore a new artform. Most of those early quilt artists are nearing retirement age, and we have lost a few of them already. There was a second wave of contemporary quilters who stretched out the term of "quilting" so far that they caused controversy, before being accepted and awarded. (Think the painted quilts of Hollis Chatelain, for instance.)
Now we have the third wave of quilters who seek a modern design aesthetic, and these days even their spare design movement is being reinterpreted and reinvented by creative textile artists.
It is a great time to be a fiber artist! For the most part we can have completely different artistic points of view, but we can all come together at the Houston Quilt Festival and celebrate our shared passion, while discussing our various quilting idiosyncracies with gusto.
Vive la difference!
or... Long live the Aloha Spirit!