Knitting a Digital Sweater

Knitting a Digital Sweater

I mostly write about my art practice and day to day observations. I never write about my job, the activity that takes up one third of my life. I have a great job and that might be why I don’t write about it. Stuff you love isn’t funny and I don’t want to jinx anything. The less said the better. Until now. I want to share a few projects with you, and it would be weird to do that if you don’t even know what I do.

I am a documentary editor. I sit at my computer all day and make magic. It’s really satisfying and totally terrifying. Here’s how it works.

A certain type of person (a director) will drive to my home office with a big pile of digital footage and leave it here. Let’s pretend its yarn. They say, I got this box of yarn on Saturday, that box on Sunday. Please make me a sweater.

I’ll ask, who’s the sweater for? What kind of weather will they be in?

I get the answers and start the process.

At first, I just look at all the yarn and see what I have. You need to know what the options are. You can’t make a thin sweater from thick yarn. Then I re-organize the yarn because who cares when or where it was bought? I label it by color, thickness, material and most importantly by awesomeness. My preference is to use all the awesome yarn. I usually construct my sweater design around the most awesome yarn.

What happens next is I knit something, show the director, gets a bunch of notes on how to make it more the way they want it and fix the sweater. We do this a few times and then upload the sweater to the internet and let people start virtually wearing it.

Our hope is that people feel something when they wear the sweater. I specialize in knitting emotionally provocative, one-of-a-kind sweaters. Sweaters that make you want to be a better person. Sweaters that make you want to change the world. Sweaters that take your breath away. Sweaters that dance. So many special sweaters. I can’t make them without very special yarn and the people who know how to get it.

My skill in life is to be able to make sweaters without patterns. Even more importantly, to make sweaters that make people feel things.

I will be sharing some of these things with you soon! Check back in if you think you might like to wear one of my virtual sweaters for a few minutes.

Get Yourself a Pocketful of Yes.

Get Yourself a Pocketful of Yes.

I have a brand new category – Art Journal. This is for writing specifically about the practice of keeping and filling up small blank books. I usually refer to them as little books but art journal is the more commonly used desgination so I am using that. I don’t care about journaling, I care about making blank pages non blank.

It’s really super important to me to have a place of artistic freedom. If you have no art practice at all, then any art may feel like freedom. But if you have an ongoing art practice, you probably experience some sense of being hemmed in. It’s not bad, it’s rather necessary for most elaborate pursuits. If you are knitting a sweater, you need to follow the pattern or it’s not going to fit. If you are editing a documentary, you need to have a story structure or it’s going to be incomprehensible, if you are cooking dinner, you need it to taste good or what’s the point? Artwise, we follow certain rules to get desired results. That’s good. A useful rule is very handy. I love rules. Especially the ones I have made for myself. I wrote all about it here: Rules. Can’t Live With Them. Can’t Live Without Them.

But I also yearn for adventure. I want to wander the streets blindly, not knowing where I may end up. I need a place to do that creatively. Small blank art books are that place.

I’ve been keeping a small blank book for decades. I like them small enough to:

Fit in a bag or pocket without being a pain in the ass.

Not be intimidating (not too much surface space to deal with, not so cool looking I’m afraid to make a mark)

The number one rule of the personal blank art notebook is no rules! If you feel like doing it you can. If you feel like doing it you should! The weirder and worse the idea sounds, the more likely you should do it. Otherwise how will you know? It’s so easy for our minds to tell us no, to make us afraid of failure. This is the andidote to that. This is a pocketful of yes.

The stuff you do in the black book is not there to impress you. It’s there to entice you. It’s not a museum, it’s a workshop. When you look at it you should be think, why am I so wild? When can I hang out with myself again?