Image: Man Ray
Commitment is complicated... at least for me. I've always been interested in so many things that until I sort of fell into working full-time in design and production, I wondered if I was ever going to find one thing that I could dedicate myself to.
Before concentrating solely on fashion, I worked in a variety of creative fields; It was like I was a part-time everything. Plus I spent six years of my twenties in college lectures, conducting research, and writing essays. But despite this time spent, I loved school because I love writing, especially since it can be done on any subject.
Anyhow, back then I often worried that doing so many different things would be tangential to my finding a clear path in the future. But now a part of my diaspora of energy has come full circle.
In 2009 - 2010, I was a contributing arts and entertainment writer for an LA-based Caribbean newspaper called CaribPress. During this time, I wrote an article on Trinidad designer, Meiling. At this point, I don't even recall how I discovered her, but her 2009/10 collection entitled The Secret Life of Plants continues to stand as one of my greatest conceptual inspirations for design today. Along with her finding color inspiration in pressed and dead flowers, I was particularly drawn to the dark, yet magical background imagery of the collection's accompanying website. (Be sure to turn your music off and check it out with the sound on if you're going there).
Well here I am three years later, and my colleague David Perry at the DSP Group (a company I freelance production manage for) hands me some Meiling samples, asking if the pieces were something I'd be interested in producing. I went giddy for a bit, because a memory of me worrying that I was too all-over-the-place flashed before my mind. As it turns out, my involvement in a variety of things may actually have been instrumental to my growth, and here was a perfect example of just that. It's as if my research and article on Meiling were accidental precursors to my arrival at the present moment.
Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but I like how my writing that article came back around years later anyway...
It's still up in the air as to whether or not DSP will be working with Meiling, as much goes into determining if both parties are on the same page, but I had a Skype meeting with the designer and her assistant where I was able to briefly share my love for Meiling. And as to be expected, after speaking with with her, I was again inspired by her use of color in her forthcoming works, which would not have come up had I not shared my appreciation for her former color inspiration.
I suppose I thought I'd share this because I know how scattered one can feel at times, dabbling in anything of interest... But after using my studies in anthropology to fuel my jewelry designs, and little indicators such as the above mentioned, I'm starting to think that being scattered might be some people's way of pulling it all together. It certainly seems to be the case for me. I find this idea rather refreshing, because society often expects people to be 'something' rather than many things, and I've never really fit that mold, though I sometimes give myself the pressure to.
In life we make little choices that seem insignificant at the moment, only to find later that they were stepping stones to something ahead. I've recently hit a wall in terms of understanding this idea, but fortunately have been reminded by my interaction with Meiling. Yes of course it's important to focus on anything you are doing, but it's starting to seem essential to me that my marbles get lost before I can pull them all together, and even when they come together, it's only a matter of time before they begin to get lost again.
New things are underway, which made me feel like I was losing my marbles, but I'm starting to realize that's just part of it. Can't wait to see what happens next.