As makers and creatives, we face many challenges. We are working to manage our time efficiently, juggling work, school, significant others, children, pets (eating and sleeping should be thrown in there, maybe having a life too if we're feeling particularly confident). We are striving to stay creative; to come up with new ideas and designs, to remain true to our personal style, to actually sit down and knit / crochet pieces to put in that Etsy shop we are also trying to manage.
It can be overwhelming, and sometimes feel like we are fighting an uphill battle. Let's talk about our biggest challenges, and how some makers are overcoming them.
Through the many, many obstacles the maker community navigates daily, it seems we often find ourselves facing some of the same major challenges. Two that pop up for me on a regular basis are finding enough time to do what I need and want to do, and remaining original and unique during the process.
In my handmade world, the challenges of finding enough time + staying true to myself and what I want my business to be go hand in hand. A lot of hours are put into fueling those creative juices and physically designing a new knitwear piece. Hours I sometimes feel I don't have, or don't want to "waste" if my new idea doesn't work out. When I'm strapped for time or feeling discouraged and unmotivated, I end up browsing all corners of the internet for inspiration. I peruse Instagram, Ravelry, Pinterest, Facebook, Etsy, Google, online magazines, you name it and I've probably done some serious lurking at one point or another.
Falling down the rabbit hole of internet inspiration has its ups and downs. Sure it can spark and refuel your inner desire to create, but it can be frustrating (dang, I wish I thought of that first) and tempting (well maybe I could just make it too) and downright discouraging (but why am I bothering to make things when everything pretty has already been made). These thoughts cross my mind all the time.
So how do we stand our ground and stop ourselves from wandering down a path that isn't our own? Especially when we're faced with a world of other people making some pretty darn cool things, when we feel like we don't have enough time to come up with our own ideas? For starters, just because someone else has made a triangle scarf and attached some fabulous fringe, doesn't mean you can't make a triangle scarf with fabulous fringe too. But here's the key: make it your own. Try a uncommon stitch, a different colour, a new yarn type or weight. Add a button, throw in a tassel, make it longer or shorter or wider, knit it instead of crocheting. Bring something unique to an already existing idea. Make it YOU, then everybody wins.
Makers Emilie of @lehandmade, Macy of @imcrazyforcraftin, Stevie of @stevieboehmerdiedrich, and Bonnie of @greenletterday also shared their thoughts on challenges they face.
What is your biggest challenge as a maker, and how do you overcome it?
What is the biggest challenge you face as a maker? How do you overcome it? Share your story with us in the comments below, or tag us with#ourmakerlife on our @ourmakerlife IG with a cool pic for a chance to be featured on our feed!
If you have a question in mind you would like to see answered by fellow makers, just send us a quick 'OML QOTW' email - we'd love to put together a QOTW with you.
Kelly, OML dream team
Kelly is the mind, body and soul behind @knitbrooks: handmade modern knitwear inspired by nature’s endless beauty. After completing a photojournalism program, Kelly used both knitting and crocheting as a way to relax after a long day working as a reporter/photographer. This hobby has since transformed into a way to combine her love of creating fashionable knitwear, with her passion for photography, a cozy lifestyle, and her awe and admiration of the untouched wilderness.