Creative Journey - A look at the past, determination, and the need to feed the creative soul

My Creative Journey

Hey y’all!

I wanted to start this whole thing by sharing a bit about my creative journey thus far, and why this is so important to me.

Early Beginnings

I’ve always enjoyed making things, and dabbling in different artistic mediums. I spent a lot of time learning a variety of ways to create and exploring new techniques.

In high school, I was in the AP Art program. I remember feeling like my teacher hated me. I remember never feeling like my art was successful or feeling connected to it. But I also remember never wanting to quit. I loved art and I loved creating. My creative soul just hadn’t found the right media just yet.

I went to college for art and spent the better part of my late teens and early 20’s in a bout of depression, but I still longed to create, and I was still searching for a method of making that spoke to my soul.  In my final review during my Freshman Year, I remember my drawing professor telling me that I should consider a different field because I didn’t seem interested enough. It hurt to hear, but it lit a fire in me. I refused to give up on something that I knew I wanted. I refused to stop searching. 

Started a Business

I remember starting my first business, “GingerKnitz” after my freshman year of college. I knit and crocheted hats and scarves and sold them on Etsy. It was so exciting that people were willing to pay me to make them something! With my own hands! How cool is that?

In 2013 (I think) I went back to school, full time. I started the Fiber Arts program at the University of North Texas. (A program that disappointingly no longer exists) I remember sitting down in Intro to Weaving and almost immediately falling in love. I remember finally getting my first loom set up and warped, and falling into the flow of weaving. My soul felt happy. 

I spent the next 2 years learning amazing ways to create. During that time, I learned how to embroider, dye fabric, screenprint, weave, macrame, and so much more. I finally felt happy and inspired. Of course, I still struggled, because creating on demand all the time is HARD. But I loved learning, and I loved getting to try new things all the time.

Maybe Two Businesses…

At the end of my time in college, I started my second business. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time pre-quarantine then you are familiar with it. “Renegade Fibers” started as a way for me to create mini fiber art pieces as jewelry. It eventually evolved into metalsmithing. But in the end, I felt conflicted. I loved getting to make jewelry, it’s a really cool feeling to see people wear your creations. But as a business, it is hard. Selling one of a kind pieces is difficult and pricey. Making the same designs over and over is draining. I wanted to grow into a business that I could support my family with, but it just wasn’t happening. And I was starting to feel uninspired, disappointed, and disconnected. I pushed through it for a long time, and finally accepted that it was not working out.

That was tough. Failure doesn’t always scare me, necessarily, but it is disappointing, and it takes a long time to accept and work through all those feelings. 

Where We Are Now…

In the end, after talking with people close to me, discussing fun feelings with my therapist, and doing a lot of soul searching, I decided to start fresh. And here we are. My hope is to inspire and empower people to be creative. I want to share my inspiration, my knowledge, my discoveries with you, and I want to challenge you to seek inspiration, try new things, and find ways to create that speak to your soul. 

So, stick around! There’s lots of exciting things on the horizon, and I cannot wait to share them with you. I’d definitely recommend you pop over and follow me on Instagram. That’s where I’ll be posting some day to day happenings, giving you some chonky cat content, and asking y’all questions about what you want to see or learn or do!

Sophie Gillo Signature

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