Lynn Krawczyk’s new book Intentional Printing has a great introduction to help you get the most of her fabric printing techniques. She recommends that before you even start you need to be aware of the way you approach fabric art.
Lynn sets out three types of artistic personalities – the Ph.D. artist, the flower child artist, and the worrier artist – and the characteristics that can make creating art more difficult than it needs to be.
The Ph.D. artist researches everything to a fare-thee-well before starting to work. Such research can cover how the chemical composition of the paint affects the life expectancy of a print, the optimal angle for holding a tool, and, in the case of quilters, the exact correct needle for a weight of thread. Lynn points out that this urge to know everything before starting to work can become a procrastination tool.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the flower child artist who is all play all the time, and who believes instructions are for sissies. The danger of this approach is that lack of focus and constant experimentation can hinder developing mastery of a manageable number of techniques. You may recognize this personality in quilters who have drawers full of class samples made in every conceivable quilting technique.
Lynn’s last artistic personality, the worrier, is especially pervasive among quilters I’ve known. This person believes if it isn’t perfect it isn’t worth doing, and worries about what others will think of her work. Criticism can undo her and inhibit her ability to work. Too often this person takes the quilt police’s commandments as gospel. You know, thou shalt not machine sew down thy binding. Sheesh!
In reality I suspect most of us are a blend of these personalities. I know I’m inclined to the flower child artistic personality with a pinch of the worrier. I’ll leave it to you to figure out your artistic personality.