A lot of the time I get asked this same question; “What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever made?”
Well, here it is! It’s this Squirtle. His stomach is oddly colored, the face is a disgrace to all embroiderment out there, and some of the worst sewing I have ever witnessed. So what makes this doll so special to me? The easy answer to tell you would be “It’s because it’s my first doll that I made!” Which don’t get me wrong, that statement is correct. This is my first piece (Besides the three small granny squares that I made before this) that I brought into this world. However, when I look at this creation of mine, I see more than just its fiber exterior.
Let me give you some context before I tell you what I see in this Squirtle. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always been so curious about art. Of course I enjoyed the art pieces themselves, but I was most drawn to the wonderment of “How did this person’s mind do this?” I remember when I was 5, I created a picture with lots of different reds and pinks with markers and thought it was the most incredible painting ever. This was probably the most creative thing I had ever achieved in the next coming years. Art always seemed like this unreachable thing that I could never obtain, no matter how hard I tried. It wasn’t until high school that some of my creativity started to leak out a little bit. During my 4 years of high school, I had a girlfriend for 3 of them. I must admit to you all, I am a huge hopeless romantic. This relationship was something I was passionate about and I found my first medium to be creati. There was something about going out of my way to be as romantic as possible by using whatever type of craftiness I could find for the occasion. Every time I did something new for her, I always tried my best to outdo myself. She thoug these romantic gestures were only about her (which they were!), but much of it was a lot of pent up creativeness that needed to be released; the timing just worked and it benefited both of us! From things such as lighting up her neighborhood because we missed zoo lights to winning Prom tickets with the best Promposal (w00t!) I always felt such a rush when doing these things. It became a craving. Creativity and passion are both two different things though. What allowed my creativity to spark was my passion for this woman. It was very rare for me to feel passionate about anything else in high school. I tried things like dancing (Shuffling) and spent lots of my time playing video games, which I would consider a passion of mine at the time, but I never felt like I had found my life-long “thing”.
After High school ended, along with our relationship, I was left without any type of passion or creative outlet. I tried my best to find my passion; I really did search desperately for it. I was in college, as an undeclared major, lack of motivation, partied too much, and scared for my life about my future, like a lot of other college students. I tried to pick things up; write band reviews, make music, but unfortunately nothing clicked and I was stuck working a job I did not enjoy and attend school where my heart just wasn’t at. So yeah, long story short- Passion and creativity have been absent from my life for quite some time.
So back to where we were; My Squirtle. This wasn’t just a doll that was poorly made. This was an art piece that 20 years of held back creatively and passion was put into. I had tried crochet before, and I failed miserably 4 times during my life. Finally, I FINALLY did it. I spent 7 hours in front of my computer screen on Youtube to learn the basics and then spent 8 hours on my deck, earphones in, and the world disappeared from me. I remember vivid moments of being in this state of flow and feeling truly alive. It was every feeling I had ever been searching for; It all clicked. This was it. This is “me”. For the first time in my life, this part of my brain felt whole. Once I had finished and came out of this incredible state, my first reaction was to run up to my parents room and show them what I had done; I presented them this creation of mine. One of the most motivating factors was their reaction to this. It was everything a child could ever hope for from their parents. They were shocked and in complete disbelief what I had just done. I wish I could describe their faces to you, I’ve never felt so proud of myself because of them. This was truly one of the greatest gifts they could have ever given to me.
I wanted this feeling forever.
From there, the rest is history. I finally found my passion and ever since that blissful August night in the summer of 2015, I haven’t let up or had any doubts that I’ve found one of the things in this world that truly makes me feel human.
This Squirtle doesn’t just represent me overcoming an obstacle. Everyday, as I continue to grow as an artist, as a business, and as a person, my feelings for it evolve. It represents the struggles I endure, the accomplishments I achieve, and the bright future ahead of me. For all of you reading this, I sincerely hope you find what makes sense to you in this world; I feel forever grateful to have found my passion and I truly believe everyone deserves to find their happiness, in whatever form that may be. Craft your life into something beautiful.