An Artist Profile: Thread Fox by Rebecca Lynn Craig
“To live a creative life, we must lose the fear of being wrong.” –Joseph Chilton Pearce
I’ve tried my hand at a lot of different and aimless business ventures. Almost all of these were either hollow and soulless paycheck makers or short lived enterprises that fizzled and died out before I had even lifted off. I’m a homeschool graduate. I never went to college. I never pursued any kind of career. I think the biggest thing that kept me from doing anything outside of all I knew – getting married and having kids – was self-doubt. An overwhelming fear of failure, fear that if I picked something up, if I tried, everything would crumble in my hands.
Oh, the life of an anxious perfectionist.
So, I got married. Lived the nine-to-five life. I invested a decent chunk of change into training to become a doula, a pursuit which took a nosedive after I gave birth to our daughter. I cut my losses of money and time and walked away. I loved the stay at home mama life; but I once again felt the sting of a failed venture.
For those of you who are stay-at-home parents, or even parents at all, you know that need to have something that is yours. Something you enjoy. Something that fills your soul. Something that doesn’t revolve around your kids or partner or house. Something for just you.
I started hand embroidery about 10 years ago. I picked up some odd bits of thread and material in a free bin where I lived at the time and embroidered pillowcases, t-shirts and patches. But life kicked in and it became one of my many forgotten hobbies. Then, last year, when I was struggling to find some me-ness in my life as a new mom, I remembered a few embroidery supplies I had packed away. I dug it all out, made a quick sketch of a mermaid, and worked on it off and on for months. I was proud of it. I was proud of myself. I started making hoops for family for Christmas and posted a few photos on Instagram. Suddenly, people seemed interested. I took a chance, again, and started a new venture.
It’s not a household name. But that’s okay. My art, something that fills my heart with passion when I am creating it, is hanging in the home of someone who just had a baby. Someone who just got married. Someone whose mother was diagnosed with dementia. My art has been gifted to friends and family experiencing hardship, or celebrating birthdays and graduations. I’ve made hoops for myself and hoops for other people to smile at, laugh at, or to be reminded of powerful words. My art gives me time for me. Simultaneously mindless and creative work that I love and keeps me busy while I watch reruns of my favorite shows while Marceline naps.
Sometimes, the fear of failure creeps in. What if this doesn’t last? Am I really any good? What if this is all wrong? But then I think of the joy I know, at least I hope, my art has brought to others. I think of the joy it gives me to make. The discipline it’s taught me. The confidence it’s given me. And as long as there’s that, I’m going to keep on going.
Editor’s Note: You can find Rebecca’s beautiful work for purchase at https://threadfoxhandmade.etsy.com. Candor supports and celebrates the work of makers like Rebecca, and as Editor in Chief of Candor I cannot recommend Rebecca’s pieces enough. -BR