Top Five Inspiring Things for Your Eyes and Ears

I am part of a generation that has a very difficult time creating in absolute silence. Although I do enjoy the rhythmic beat of my loom as I work- I tend to lose focus and then the beat gets off and the pattern created has a glitch in it. When it requires true concentration I put on some music. But when I am doing a task that doesn’t require every single neuron to fire in my mind- I turn on a podcast or a video on my computer. I usually watch or listen to one or two and then my heart is pounding my mind is racing and I have this unrelenting need to create something awesome.

Here are my top five audio/visual things that give my hands the itch to create.

(Now- this list is not strictly textile/weaving/fiber based. These are things that inspire me to do more than what I am doing right now. Some are science, some are motivational and some are educational. I hope you go check them out to see how very awesome these podcasts and television series are.)

 

1) RadioLab

This is a podcast/radio show that I could listen on a continuing loop all day, everyday while I work. Why? Why would I want to listen to a couple of goofy guys talk about science and odd stuff when I’m trying to get in the mood to weave or just create in general?

I listen because the way the engage my mind in their story telling just opens me up emotionally and makes me think more about what I am doing at the task at hand. I am a die hard RadioLab fan. I have listened to each one of their podcasts at least 15-20 times each. I have been listening to them since they have been on the air.

Straight from the horses’ mouth “RadioLab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.” This radio show makes you think about simple aspects of our lives from different perspectives, like how and why we sleep, the act of falling, the origin of patient zero and so many more.

If you are interested, I urge you to go to their website, check out their blog, download their episodes and be inspired by this fantastic show!

 

2) 99U

Behance is a digital portfolio website that brings together some of the world’s most creative work. Behance itself developed an arm to their company to promote the education and understanding on what happens after inspiration has struck. What the process was that brought that gold nugget of an idea into fruition.

They have articles and videos from their annual conference to bring all of this education to you. Behance’s mission is “to empower the creative world to make ideas happen.

Who doesn’t need a good kick in the pants now again. Feeling stumped, or just in a creative slump? Feeling like what you’re doing just isn’t good enough? Let your heart and creative mind be filled with joy as you listen to all these people just make it happen! They were everyday normal folks who just took an idea and ran with it. And, maybe, how you can do that too.

Check out both 99u and Behance to get inspired by how others innovate.

 

3) WeaveCast

I know I have talked about WeaveCast before. But it is worth reiterating again on how awesome this podcast is. This is a podcast that was geared specifically towards weavers and those interested in weaving. It brought together humor, history and new ideas together into one podcast. Although this podcast is no longer being updated regularly (the last update was in January 2011) it is a wealth of information about new techniques, ideas that are frightening to us, and the overall community that evolves and revolves around weaving. I love having this one while I weave because Syne Mitchell interweaves some funky different music in with the segments of her show.

Her podcasts are available through iTunes and through her website.

 

4) ART 21

This is a television series about art in the twenty-first century. Each episome focuses around a simple idea, and then has sessions with artist who work with that idea in one way or another. Some use very traditional techniques such as photography or painting, while others explore mixed media techniques in their work.

I love this television series because it shows how a simple idea can be translated in so many different ways. Much like how a simple weaving draft can explode into so many different variations. A few artists that are personally inspirational to me (Ann Hamilton, Louis Bourgeois, Yinka Shonibare MBE, and Kiki Smith) are featured in these episodes that span technique and generations.

Art 21 is produced by PBS and you can learn more by visiting the PBS website or the website specifically for the television series.

 

5) Fiber Beat

You found ___fill in the blank____ on the Fiber Beat.

When I first started listening to this podcast I thought it was going to be just about knitting. I wasn’t really that interested so it sat in my podcast library- in silence for a long time. Then I started to upload a couple episodes at a time.

Although it is a podcast geared towards knitters- “WonderMike” encompasses all fiber craft under it’s umbrella. What got me sucked in was an interview he had with the woman who founded and runs Habu Textiles (Takako Ueki). Habu Textiles was originally her own venture as a weaving studio.

That little fact got me hooked into the Fiber Beat. Being able to listen how all these crafts are interconnected in some way or another. Weaver’s like to venture into knitting. Knitters have the drive to spin their own yarns. Crocheters want to grow beyond the granny square and into tatting lace. and “WonderMike” brings the joy of exploration all together under one umbrella.

This podcast is also updated infrequently (last updated April 2012) but it has a wealth of ideas. And the website connected with it has video supplements to the podcasts which are very enjoyable to watch for any fiber nerd (or anyone curious about fiber crafts.)

 

 BONUS!

So I couldn’t just leave it at five things because there are just so many things that inspire me. But I would like to mention that Craft in America (a journey to the artists, origins and techniques of American Craft) is a great resource for inspiration. This television series (also produced by PBS) covers so many traditional crafts. The premise is similar to Art 21, where they have a simple theme or idea, but instead of finding fine artists, they examine American Craftsmen (and women) who create with these ideas in mind using traditional and contemporary craft techniques. Go check out the website to learn more!

 

What podcasts and television series do you find inspiring? Is there music that really gets your creative mind talking? Or do you meditate to draw out your inner craftsmen? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear what inspires you!

2 thoughts on “Top Five Inspiring Things for Your Eyes and Ears

  1. Tegan, in response o your blog post,
    I find inspiration when I am alone and observant of visual aspects around me. Being quiet and having time to think is really important. If I can enjoy a new landscape- that’s great.

    I learned about you and your work today for he first time, at a meeting with Eve from Adirondack Folk School and a few others to plan their Fiber Festival for April 2013. I am excited to hear you are in Glens Falls. I’m a feltmaker with a studio in the Shirt Factory. Would love to meet you! Your work is lovely. I like the surfaces and execution. I have woven, but lack discipline required of the loom I guess. It’s very exciting to find a young person involved in fiber- I don’t feel old at all but I guess I am. I know I love youthful humor, energy and curiosity. Everyone at the meeting was excited about your work and the prospect of your involvement at the event. Would you like to get together for fiber chat some day? How did you get ino weaving? I’ve had my studio in the SF and taught Feltmaking for almost 8 years now. I look forward to meeting you!
    Best,
    Robin

    1. Hello Robin!

      I would love to meet up sometime. I always love talking to anyone about fiber. I went to college for fiber design and I actually did quite a lot of felt making while I was there. I had a summer fellowship studying felt as a sculptural media and went to Scotland in studying the process from fleece to felt (also incorporating natural dyes). I did a little weaving in school, and in my final year really discovered my passion for it. You aren’t the first person to ask me how I got started so in the near future I am going to write a blog entry about it.

      I would love to come visit your studio and to see more of your fantastic work in person. And hopefully I will be able to attend the next meeting for the fiber weekend so that we can draw more people into the art.

      Lately I have been finding a lot more inspiration from the outdoors, now that I have moved back to Eastern New York. Feel free to send me an email and we can figure out a time to meet in person.

      I look forward to chatting with you!
      -Tegan

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