Be Kind To One Another (And Yourself)


So I am walking around Tekkoshocon in Pittsburgh, the Convention Center is filled with creative and talented people. I am always amazed by the time and effort folks put into their costumes. In Artist Alley, I make sure to compliment as often as I can. These people are putting their hearts out there for others to judge. Kindness is worth it. 
I sit in panels listening to people share their passions. Here I am a bit less kind. I want to shake half these people and say, “hey, you’re the expert here. We want to hear what you have to say. Share your passion. Don’t apologize for it, rely heavily on technology (because it always breaks), and practice what you are going to say. I don’t, of course. I also don’t “correct” cosplaying panelists, who haven’t taken the time to learn fabric, sewing techniques, or ironing. And I get asked why. It is because I am direct. Direct hurts feelings. And I never want to take someone’s enjoyment out of what they are doing. It isn’t my intention, but direct isn’t always received in the manner it is intended. 

And so, when I see a dealer selling their handmade bags – their artwork has been printed on fabric – and I see their seaming needs major work, or they should have pressed, or they left the salvage on their edges, or their stitching is uneven. I say nothing. 

It was looking at some pillows today that I wanted to stitch rip, iron, and then sew again, but didn’t say anything to the vendor because that would be unkind that it occurred to me that kindness should be extended more to myself too. 

The picture above is my most complimented piece, and generally when someone likes it I mumble my thanks while thinking of all the things I see wrong with it. There’s a seam edge that is a centimeter larger than the one on the other side. I wish I had interfaced the back with – the word escapes me at the moment – padded interlining. The strap double stitching is not even enough for my liking. And I don’t really like the slider I used. 

There is no reason for that except I haven’t learned to be kind to myself consistently. I am sure I am not the only one. We are our own worst critics. 

So what I am saying long windedly and typing on a smartphone, which I hate doing is take it easy. Be good to yourself. Now that you are creative, talented, and be happy with your work. 

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