I have been thinking about those who inspire me, recently. We are lucky to have access to many many fantastic artists, artisans, crafters, (whatever the preferred term is) on the internet. I get so much of my inspiration, and my drive to learn more, by watching the progress of those who I have befriended online, or strangers who are kind enough to post about their own work. A couple of sights of the people whose names stick out to me are :
There are many others who post about their work on Facebook, and especially Ravelry. I have been lucky enough to meet some in person, and to develop friendships with others online, and this has led to a long list of things I have done which I never thought, and a great change in how I spin, think of fiber, etc. I would never have tried spinning cotton again without the inspiration of Ravelry friends posting their progress, and the kindness of a dear friend who sent me a cotton care package. I would not have jumped in to the world of weaving without seeing project after project discussed, begun, and finished on Ravelry and learning from this.
I have always considered myself a mediocre-at-best amateur fiber artisan. I have a deep commitment to practicing various textile techniques and learning them, and I am starting to feel a prick to my conscience telling me I should be teaching some of what I learned, even though I feel myself un-qualified. Someone recently told me I inspired them, and I shied away from that statement at first, so used to seeing my work so far below the level of those that I admire, but I have changed my mind about this. I will embrace the fact that I inspired someone in their textile work. What a fantastic compliment that is! Inspiration comes in so many guises that I am convinced that regardless of what our personal assessment of our skills and works is, we inspire others when we share our thoughts about it and our progress. I am inspired by people who make amazingly complicated marvels of fabric, but I am also inspired by people who try new skills and are brave enough to share their successes and failures and ask for advice.
So I want to thank all of those who inspire me every day when I sit down at my wheel or pick up a spindle, and I will accept that I can inspire others, flawed though my efforts are in my own eyes.