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My first Teddy

… creating somethig for the first time will suck.

I made my first art teddy! Hooray!

I was so excited when I both an art teddy bear pattern from Tamara Chernova @lorlila_teddy. I printed the tutorial and the template, transferred the body parts into the fabric, cut and started to sew. Then, I stopped. My stitches were terrible, and I began to worry that this teddy would not be perfect, so what's the point. It was arrogant to think I can create anything perfect for the first time. At this moment, I successfully turned a fantastic adventure of making into an unpleasant chore I have to do. So I put everything away for six months!

I finally found the courage and finished the teddy in four evenings. This time I was not expecting great results and was concentrating more on the process and practice. I learned a lot about the art of sewing teddies, artistic ego, fear of failing, patience, freedom to experiment, acceptance that things will suck for the first time, how to approach a new project with less anxiety, etc.

It sounds like I already should know this, but growth is a spiral rather than a straight line. We learn the same stuff repeatedly, but each time with a little more wisdom and knowledge of our craft and ourselves.

I started my artistic journey pretty late in life, so I guess I am trying to make up for the "lost" time. I wish to create everything beautiful straight away and fast, but it doesn't work like that :). 

Here are a few tips and lessons I learned.

  • Take your time and observe your emotions.
    Don't overwhelm yourself. It doesn't have to be done yesterday. If you feel anxious, just take a spet back, do whatever you do to relax and think, why do you feel uneasy. Approach this spet by step. Do you remember a similar project you already made? You probably already created a few times something that was new to you then. You started and finished it then so that you can do it again now! 

    Also, if you are afraid of trying this new thing, you should probably do it. It means you care bout this project or this experience. You know, deep down, this adventure will teach you what you need to learn, for your future art maybe.

  • It's OK to quit.
    You don't have to finish all projects. Sometimes in the middle of a work, you may lose interest or purpose in making it. It's OK. You are not a failure or quitter by doing this. Don't listen to your ego. You are brave and honest with yourself for noticing this is going nowhere, and you will be happier to focus your energy on a different project. But before you quit,  ask yourself why. Sometimes there is more than just boredom. Sometimes you are afraid to fail. Be honest with yourself and if you are scared, then continue reading this post. I stopped making my teddy and pick it up after six months. Yes, it took me six months to find the courage to create him. This was one of those projects I don't want to quit.   

  • Your first project will not be perfect! 
    You will take a massive weight off your shoulders when you start creating something new without any expectations. Accept it will not be perfect, and you are free. When you are free and relaxed, you will be less frustrated when it sucks because you are already prepared for it. Think of it as a time to experiment and play, explore and learn. So, take notes and write everything you need to practice more, write all mistakes you made, e.g. I didn't put heavy stuffing in my teddy's legs, and he was out of balance, the weight his belly was pulling him down.

  • Talk to your ego.
    Talk to your ego and make him/her shut up. This is not the time to be the best. Remind ego that this is time to learn and make mistakes, a lot of mistakes.

  • Do something easy first.
    If it turns out this is too hard and impossible for you to create now, then try something similar, but for beginners. After finishing a less complex project, you will have more confidence to start a more difficult one.

  • Make notes.
    Document your experience.
    1. What was easy to make, what was difficult.
    2. Which steps your enjoyed and which you wanted to finish as quickly as possible.
    3. See how your project turned out by following the pattern. Would you do some elements differently?
    4. You don't have to follow the tutorial precisely next time, now that you have some experience.
    5. Make a list of tools and materials you would use instead.
    6. Make a list of skills and techniques you need to learn or improve to do a better job next time.

I hope my experience will help you as well!

Have a great & creative day!

"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."

Robert F. Kennedy
My  first Teddy
My  first Teddy
My  first Teddy

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