Jittery Wings
Design. Make. Soar.

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Blog articles and tutorials from Mitzie Schafer of Jittery Wings.

Still discovering who I am…

Vulnerable moment here. I have some amazing friends and family, who support me, encourage me, and constantly ask me how I get it ALL done. If I am honest, and human, I like hearing those things, but the last couple months those words have been pretty overwhelming for me.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that my favorite parts of making a quilt are designing the quilt and then quilting it. I love the quilting as much as the designing, because for me it is just another form of design. There is a puzzle to making all the motifs fit in the pieced spaces.

While, I love these things, very much, my brain was starting to get "bored." I was looking for a new challenge. So eight weeks ago I started taking classes on Skillshare to learn Adobe Illustrator and surface pattern design. I posted some of my earlier work in a couple of places, because I was so excited to share, but quite frankly they looked like crap.  Thanks to my wonderful friends, I have been receiving kind and honest feedback, so I can adjust and improve. Yes, I took all that earlier work down...why? 

While I know I’m still learning, I am also IMPULSIVE about sharing. Recently I got some great advice from Bonnie Christine about only sharing the things "I am most proud of." She told me to imagine that the top 10 art directors of my favorite fabric companies were following me on social media." Ouch! SO, try I would...to be more intentional about my sharing. But my pesky impulsivity is a difficult thing to overcome. 

The funny thing is, my impulsive nature more often than not is what drives me. It drives my design. It drives my output. It drives everything I do really. While I have a significant level of output and productivity, deep down, my heart and mind were feeling chaotic. I was feeling overwhelmed and rushed. I was feeling like I was burning out and stopping before a design was "really finished."

So last week, I had a visit with an ADHD coach/therapist who did indeed diagnose me with Combined ADHD. (Again, if you "know" me, this is NO surprise to you.) One of the questions he asked me, "How often do you put off the final details of a project once the challenging parts are done?" UMM! EVERYTIME!!!! "Combined" was new to me, but it means I am "inattentive" AND "hyperactive." Oh, goody! 

I guess that’s why people say to me all the time, “watching all you do makes me exhausted."  

So Saturday, I started taking Adderall. I was truly scared to start this medication. From past experience, medications don't always react for me the way they do for others. I was MOST worried it would rob me of my creativity. I didn't want to loose that sense of joy that comes from seeing something new or interesting and letting my mind wander off to design. 

The therapist told me about this book, by Dr. Edward Hallowell, and in it he says, "CREATIVITY IS IMPULSIVITY GONE RIGHT!" 

YES!!! I very much believe myself to be in this category! 

So, how is it going???

It's been 5 days, and let me just tell you, I’ve never in my life felt so calm and IN CONTROL! I love this new sense of order and direction in my life. It isn't that I am getting more done, but rather, I am finishing projects TO COMPLETION. I truly wish I had done this years ago!!!! 

So, here's to a new chapter of creativity and focus. I can't wait! 

PS...I made 7 different mock ups of a surface pattern design with my cows on them, and shared them, of course, but this is the first one I feel "proud" enough to share. 

Would appreciate feedback in the comments! Thanks for sticking it out to the end!