A month ago, I got a big beautiful tattoo. And this week I heard that my Dad is still in shock over it. In the past, this would have led to an automatic, overwhelming urge on my part to apologise.
Not this time.
I can’t apologise for something I’m not sorry about.
Not any more.
My tattoos, like my craft projects, like my writing, are how I express myself. To apologise would be to suggest there’s something wrong with who I am.
The thing about crafting is, as I’ve said before and will say again, you are going to make mistakes. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are. By its very nature, crafting is imperfect. That doesn’t make it any less awesome.
Did you know that in the beautiful, intricate geometry of Islamic art, there is always a mistake? Always. Because to Muslim crafters and artists, only God is perfect. To be human is to be imperfect. It doesn’t make their art any less beautiful, their work any less meticulous.
I read a story once about a woman who was cutting out superhero fabric for some shorts for her son. To save fabric, she ignored the pattern cutting guide, and ended up with the print for the front of them upside down. She told her son it was so he could read the comics when he was sitting down. It’s not a mistake. It’s a design feature.
Most people, even other crafters, won’t notice a mistake if you don’t point it out. But of course, if it really does bother you (or it’s big enough that the finished item just won’t work), and yes I know I’ve said this before, but you can always unpick, unravel, start again.
It’s World Kindness Day today, so where I’m going with this is simple. Be kind to yourself. Don’t ever apologise for what you create. There’s no apology needed. You’re expressing something about yourself, in the choice of colours and fabrics and papers.
You don’t have to show off the mistakes- unless you accidentally invented something awesome, of course. Just don’t let them cloud your vision of the whole. Because it’s the whole that really matters.