I think we are all students. We might not all be in school, but throughout our lives, we are all constantly learning. We have to, it’s how we survive. If you’re in school right now, remember that learning continues after graduation. In fact, I feel like school is only one lesson in the curriculum of life and what you learn after you finish school will inevitably be more directly applicable to the life you will lead. Life is independent study—your learning will be freeform and less structured; it will be up to you to seek out your own lessons and knowledge. So the question is, do you know how to learn? It’s trickier than it sounds, so here are my 7 keys to learning as a professional. (If you’re still in school, read on! This applies to you too!)
1. Constantly rethink everything. Be a student of everyone and a follower of no one. We should try and learn as much as we can from everyone but always rethink what people teach us so that we can come to our own conclusions. Never blindly follow someone without questioning it. The reverse is also true: don’t blindly do what’s not done just because you want to be different. The key is to think for ourselves and make sure that what's been said makes sense to you. If your thinking is valid, your reasons will be valid and the actions that result from your reasons should also be valid.
2. Adopt a habit of continuous learning. Remember back in school when you had to sit through 8 hours of lessons every day? If you haven’t been continuously learning—especially after you graduated school—sitting through that much intense learning in one day would probably be extremely frustrating and exhausting. That's why people think it's harder to learn as you get older. Learning, just like most anything else, once you start doing it, it gets easier and easier. Therefore, learning only seems harder as we get older because we haven’t been continuously learning and so we’re out of practice. But our world changes and evolves at such a quick pace, learning is not an option, it’s a necessity. Constant learning and growing is the only way to keep up or get ahead so make it a habit to learn something new all the time. Working hard is important but constant learning is just as much so. It's hard to keep creating and crafting and making your art if you don't take time to “sharpen your pencil”.
3. Acquire as much knowledge as you can, even if it's how to do the same thing in 7 different ways. Like spinning lace yarn one day but art yarn the next. Not only will this habit make you valuable for many different styles and types of projects, it will help evolve your own personal style into something that is based on a great foundation of the knowledge you've absorbed. Have you ever noticed that, as we become professionals and begin to hone our craft, many of us stop exploring different techniques? In fact, many of us start limiting our techniques and methods to a more easily repeated procedure. This is fine for some people of course, but I believe the key to constant growth and evolution is still through constant exploration, even if it’s just trying to tackle the same thing in multiple different ways.
4. Don't let where you started dictate where you'll finish. I’m constantly asked, I’m X years of age, is it too late to start? Or, I’m from a small town/province/country, can I still make a living from art? My answer to these types of questions is, you can do it if you want to do it. I've seen people retire and pursue learning art in their sixties, or become famous on the internet despite living in a developing country. Your circumstances shape you but they don’t define you. Everywhere we look, we can see people who have overcome limitations to achieve great things. In the face of adversity, you will always be faced with a simple question: continue or stop? You know what results you will get with which answer. To continue is to be dedicated to learning, set aside a specific time in your schedule just to learn. Once you develop the habit of learning on a consistent basis, then make sure the people you're learning from are the best teachers that you can find. If the great teacher that you find teaches in a structured and inspirational manner, that’s even better! You will learn much faster in a structured class than just practicing by yourself.
5. Our artistic abilities are like our muscles: we must exercise them constantly or they'll atrophy and shrink. When I realized this, my whole outlook on my art habits changed. I went from “How do I do more art?” to “How do I stay artistically fit?" It's not about learning something once and that's it; it's about constantly and consistently exercising that way of thinking and strengthening it like a muscle. And don't stop there. Much like how we would exercise the many different muscles in our bodies, we have to exercise the many different ways of seeing, thinking, and interpreting in order to stay artistically fit.
6. Make it easy to do good things. Getting up off the couch is hard enough, don’t give yourself more unnecessary barriers by scattering your art supplies throughout your house. Set yourself up for success by making it as easy and convenient as possible to do what needs doing. For example, I put all my supplies of what I need for a particular project systematically in a designated tub, everything is concentrated in a clean and accessible area. That way, I do not need to look for that particular fibre I need for that project all over the house. It’s energy I rather spend on something more constructive.; everything is done and ready. So, help your future self by making it easy to improve your present self. If this for you includes taking online classes from the comfort of your home: YouTube is your friend. Do Craftsy classes. Sign up for that workshop you wanted to do. Learn new things even if they seem scary ! Learn new things all the time. You will have so much fun !
7. There's a natural balance in life: if we don't discipline ourselves, life will eventually discipline us. I found that out the hard way several times..lol. So maintain discipline. This means doing what you know you should do even if you don’t want to do it. I have that “ I work better under pressure and deadlines” myth going on in my head. Meaning that for some custom orders I have to stay up days to make sure the order gets out on time. At the same time that totally is counter productive for anything else going on : like “life” which I don’t really have a lot of to start with outside my Art and Craft business. So I just have to make it more structured and easy for myself. Pressure is good but it is always better to be able to take the frustration out of thing s and the fear of not having to panic..lol In short: Make sure you're doing something to constantly learn, improve, and evolve and to have fun doing it !
On the bunny front : There is still the petition waiting for your signature on change.org : https://www.change.org/p/andrew-wilkie-against-the-approval-of-k5-calici-virus-made-in-korea-for-use-in-australia
Please let your voice be heard! Speak for the Rabbits....and sign the petition .
For todays update some very special sheep breed blend tops : Navajo Churro with angora bunny ! The Navajo Churro almost died out completely until in the 1970s a very concerned vet started the Navajo sheep project. It has been amazing and helping the Navajo Nation or the Dineh people, very much. The yarn spun from this sheep has been used in the fabulous Navajo rug weaving for hundreds of years.
Navajo CHurro Bunny Tops (95/5)
This blend is excellent for socks and outerwear with an appr micron count of 28-29
New IxCHeL Club sign ups are now open!
(til quotas are reached or until October 1st)
Clubs October, November, December 2015 !
IxCHeL Fibre Club October, November , December
The IxCHeL Sock Yarn Clubs October, November and December 2015
IxCHeL Funky Bunny Batt Clubs October, November and December 2015
Dates to put in your Calendar !!
Sunday , September 27th (9:30-3pm)
2. message me on facebook or ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny.
I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.
Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.