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The spring read at Blue Sky Fibers has been Cat Bennett’s book The Confident Creative. So we were thrilled when we got the chance to meet with the author to learn more about what being a confident creative means and how it applies to knitters. Cat’s background as a successful illustrator was unplanned. She always created art that came naturally to her, which resulted in a personal and quirky style. This unfiltered creativity is what she believes to be the cornerstone to the organic growth of her career.
When she began teaching art Cat met MFAs who were frightened of drawing, and left school only to never revisit their work again. She recalls one student who burst into tears because she was so discouraged with her drawing. Cat found that these students were attached to getting “good results.” These students shaped her entire approach and mission to help people let go and embrace free creativity.
How relevant is this dilemma to fellow knitters? When you’re knitting to create an end product with a clear function, it’s easy to get perfectionism paralysis. When we asked her what knitters could do when they are feeling blocked or inadequate in their projects, she said to elude the state of there being an issue. Sure, sometimes with knitting the roadblocks can be very real (and problematic to the final piece) but finding a meditative state by doing an abstract drawing, asking someone else for input, or even taking a break can be extremely helpful to the creative process.
“No problem can be solved by the same state of consciousness that created it.”
We think Cat’s on to something, and we’re trying to implement the philosophy of no good or bad while we’re in the middle of creating. Taking time to play, experimenting so mistakes definitely happen, and doing what comes naturally isn’t always easy - especially when there’s the time investment that comes along with knitting. But creative confidence has helped Cat develop her wonderful style, and it’s helping us think outside of the box too.
Who knows what you might make if you feel confident enough to try? Maybe it’s confidence in trying a new pattern, having fun in the process, or maybe it’s showing your finished work off. Whatever the case, we think Cat’s message rings true for knitters all over, and hope it helps you too.