“Who Killed Pedro?”

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This is how I have spent much of the week so far. A nasty bug has kept me at home since Monday. When I have been feeling up to it, I have been propped up in bed in a regal fashion working away on these two projects.

I have struggled with both of these pieces.  In different ways, each one is quite different to what I normally do. The “Home Sweet Home” one was started on a total whim.  I am not convinced I can achieve the look I am aiming for, but I don’t mind because it was started as a bit of a joke anyway.

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“Who Killed Pedro?” is another matter altogether.  I had wanted to again use the fish scale pattern I had tried in a previous project. There is something about the undulating pattern in shades of blue that I just love.  As I think I mentioned before, it got me thinking of fishbowls and then around to the incident where my little brother killed his goldfish, Pedro, with Weetabix. There is quite a lot of “me” in this project, certainly a good dose of family history and I can clearly identify how the idea came to me.

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It has been of interest to me to notice that this more experimental approach does not necessarily mean everyone else will like it. I have come to realise that if I am doing this for lots of “likes” on Instagram, for example, then I should just churn out very slight variations on a single theme. I remember talking to friend who makes a living as an artist and asking him if he couldn’t just do experimental work and produce more popular stuff all at the same time. He tried to explain that it simply wasn’t possible. In a way, I do understand that a little now.  You have to focus your energies in one direction.  For now, I want to experiment and push myself more to see what I can achieve.

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With this little piece of work I really feel like I have done just that.  I definitely ventured out of my comfort zone and I realised the image in my mind’s eye. I think I call that a job well done.

I would love to hear your thoughts on popularity and creative development.  I don’t mean to suggest the two are mutually exclusive but my recent experience has taught me that sometimes they can work against each other.  Incidentally, I think of that friend as a “proper” artist and myself as someone who paddles in the creative shallow end – that is probably a topic to expand upon in another post on another day!

I plan to frame this embroidery in a rectangular frame so when I’ve done that I will share another picture.

Back soon!


7 thoughts on ““Who Killed Pedro?”

  1. To be honest, I think it matters only when you *need* to please others, i.e. if you’re in business and trying to make a living. For those of us who are sharing our own creative hobbies etc with others, it’s less important. For someone who may be toying with the idea of ‘going pro’, it’s worth keeping an eye on what people like.

    Sometimes I post something on IG or on blog and it gets a huge, positive response. The next time I post something along the same lines, I may be surprised to see it fall relatively flat. I find ‘Likes’ somewhat on the unpredictable side. Having said that, when I did a blog reader survey a few years ago, some nice comments were left about my ‘unusual subjects’ as in, whilst I do a fair amount of the perennially popular flowers, birds, butterflies and whimsical XS, I also did some less common stuff like a narrowboat, a costume lady and a goldwork viola – the string instrument, not the flower. On balance, I think the thing that holds reader and follower interest is regularity. If I have a quiet spell, follower numbers drop and there’s less response to anything I *do* post. If I get onto a real roll with posting, numbers, page views and comments soar.

    You’re onto more of a winner than me in that your work is original, whereas mine is mostly not. People like to see that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully put and insightful (as always).

      I threw in one slightly random thoughts as I was writing this post. I wish I had taken the time to write a proper essay on this subject. Maybe I will one day soon.

      I agree entirely with your take on this. I still see what I do as a bit of a creative/technical skills experiment. Some things will take and others won’t! For that reason I definitely don’t take fewer “likes” too personally – I see that as part of the learning process. I don’t close the door on making things a little more commercial and, you’re right, in that case, knowing what appeals to the audience matters.

      I have never thought of your work as unoriginal….!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Who Killed Pedro?” is stunning… Great work! I love all the different textures you’ve created. I’m still trying to figure out that balance between making experimental pieces and the “classics” that people seem to go for at markets too… It’s a tricky one! I do try to do both though – that way I don’t get bored 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all, I hope you are feeling better. Secondly I love both pieces of work- perhaps Pedro a little more, because work with a human story behind it is always much more engaging.

    I have often thought of trying to turn my various hobbies into a business and for me that sucks the joy out of my creations. I am certainly not an artist but I feel so lucky to have a bit of a creative leaning as it gives my life so much more interest and energy. The times when I feel ill at ease or bored are generally the times when I haven’t been able to indulge my creative side. It’s so good for the soul. Carry on doing what makes you happy and blow the Instagram likes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, lovely lady.
      Apologies for the late reply – I have been mourning my broken iPad.
      I do agree with you I think social media can be a great source of inspiration and a useful guide (others see things that are staring you in the face but you are too wrapped up in your work to appreciate!) But if it is your only measure you could end up just doing what is safe and never stretch yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

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