Breadcrumbs: Constraint

Restriction is the best thing that’s ever happened to me as an artist.  Also one of the most infuriating.  To clarify, I must get personal.  I apologize in advance.

Growing up on the prairie of Oklahoma, my family never had a lot of money.  For the longest time, every thread of clothing I wore was a hand-me-down.  (Luckily, my older cousin was very fashionable, so the clothes were quite nice.  However, there came a point when she stayed thin and, well, our paths diverged fashion-wise).  When I became aware of fashion, I also became aware that my parents couldn’t afford any.  This is where my mom and her trusty old Singer sewing machine stepped in.  She told me we could pick out a pattern and material and make a pretty good copy of whatever I wanted.  I may have started out wanting to simply remake what I saw other people wearing, but it didn’t stay that way.  Walking into the fabric store, I realized I had options open to me than were hanging on store shelves.  My mother’s optimism and know-how showed me that by not being able to go out and buy whatever I wanted, my imagination could step in and take over.

Constraint is nothing to be feared.  It’ll make you a little desperate, it can make you try new things.  Perhaps someday I’ll compile a list of other works where I think they were better for the constraint placed upon the artist.  This principle seems to often hold true in movies, some truly great movies were done on budgets a fraction the size of major block-busters.

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but Constraint is the teacher of art.


One Comment Add yours

  1. I love this post, because it’s so absolutely true!
    And I can relate to not having much money growing up (I still don’t!), always wearing second hand and hand me down clothing, etc. I think it’s part of what made me so fascinated by fashion and different eras of fashion…the whole concept had a very day dreamy quality for me because I knew beautiful clothes were out of my reach financially but I loved to dream about them and admire them as works of art – and I still do! When the ability to create clothing comes into play it opens up a whole new world, and one that I don’t think would have even crossed my mind to enter if I hadn’t had those huge financial restrictions growing up. So I agree and think you’re absolutely right about constraint being the teacher of art!

    Liked by 1 person

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