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Behind The Scenes

The Sliding Scale of Creative Confidence

I am a firm believer that everyone is creative, we just have differing levels of confidence. There is no 5-year old who questions whether they are creative or if drawing is an activity they are capable of, however, from that age onwards it’s a downhill slope. I listened to the illustrator Chris Riddell’s Desert Island Disks a few years ago talking about how creativity is destroyed the moment we start comparing ourselves; we all feel very capable at the age of 5 because we don’t question whether our elephant is as good as Susie’s elephant, we just get on with it. Once we start comparing ourselves, we start doubting ourselves, and then eventually we stop believing we can do it too. Creativity is a sliding scale of confidence.

I was incredibly lucky as a child to have never been told I wasn’t creative – from my parents, to my teachers, to my friends, I was surrounded by encouragement. Despite a small period during university, I kept up creative activities and so that confidence never wained. That’s not to say I have always felt like I am good at things – life drawing classes in recent years have been some of the most depressing experiences - but I just have a feeling that if I put the time into a creative pursuit, I’ll be able to do it. It’s the reason I didn’t doubt starting The Fabled Thread despite only having been stitching for 3 months. I say this not to show off or say aren’t I wonderful, but more to say the only thing I think that has given me this confidence is the people who surrounded me as I grew up and those who encourage me day-in-day-out now... aka you!

The very nature of selling kits means our customers are generally somewhere in the middle of that sliding scale of creative confidence. If you were at the top of the confident end, in all likelihood you wouldn’t turn to a kit – you would just go buy the fabric and threads, and design your own pieces from the off. If you were at the lower end, then chances are you aren’t coming anywhere near this website because the idea of anything creative has taken you a million miles out of your comfort zone.

My mission is to help everyone progress up the scale – I want to take the fear out of the first creative venture, show you what you can do, and encourage you to slowly take risks and expose yourself a little more. I want you to start with a kit, but the dream is you finish with your own fabrics and threads. I know I am doing my job well when I see a customer who previously bought a kit, come back to buy just the raw materials. That’s when I feel proudest.

So, with the idea in mind that everyone is creative and we just need a pep talk to have faith in ourselves, I want to do a little bit of creative myth busting. In the process I hope to show you see that all those highs and lows you may have with the creative process are completely normal!

1 | Creativity is innate

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