Jan 19, 2010

Banishing creative blocks with randomness: generated art yarn win

Art Yarn Mosaic 2

1. Art yarn: Dragons in the Playground, 2. Art Yarn: Dragons in the Playground, 3. Dragons in the Playground handspun yarn, 4. Dragons in the Playground handspun yarn

That's my latest art yarn. Okay, technically I spun it in Week 1 of Craft or Bust, which is also when I started the draft of this blog post, but CoB this week has been slow and unpicturesque so far, so it all works out.

Here's the story of my art yarn, and how CoB helped me bust in a good way — that is, how it helped me bust an old block: spinning art yarn.

If you've been reading along for long enough (which seems ridiculously unlikely, but some people even still remember me from high school, so anything's possible), you'll know about my First-Art-Yarn Fiasco: I joined an art yarn swap and tried my best to spin a crazy yarn on my drop spindle, based on exactly zero directions, having never actually seen an art yarn in the flesh wool — and pretty much failed miserably, which earned me a lukewarm rating on the swap and broke my art-yarn-spinning heart.

So from that point — although it clashed with my "I can too do it if I try hard enough" attitude — I was semi-secretly afraid to even try to spin art yarn ... What was the point? I sucked, and had been told so by that crappy swap rating. (Swap-bot, I curse you!) It didn't help that I was in a fail-ful relationship at the time — you trying adding failure to failure and see how it makes you feel. ;) Or really, don't; being a failure zombie is no fun.

And being afraid of art yarn was no fun, either, what with that distant echo in my head that said art yarn = fail. But Craft or Bust is about unfail, and in Week 1 I was sick of being a failure, of feeling like a failure, of letting myself fail...!

So I fired up the Art Yarn Generator, courtesy of the Art and Novelty Yarn Spinners' group on Ravelry, and it told me my fortune:

My yarny fate

I stash-dived to come up with this:

Art Yarn Mosaic

...and with many a calming breath and some invisible fingers in my ears to help me ignore the You're going to fail voices, I made the art yarn you saw at the top of the post. (Light shone down from above.)

Which just shows how being completely random — a.k.a. letting yourself be free to fail and releasing yourself from old negative attachments — can help break down old blocks. I haven't spun any more art yarn since, but it was surprisingly easy to just let the Art Yarn Generator tell me what to do ... and I get to look creative as a result. ;D

Check out some more randomly-generated art yarn for inspiration at the Art Yarn Generator Flickr pool.

What blocks could you bust with randomness? Any other random generators you'd like to share?
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