Listen with Your Eyes


The blog of designer-maker Laura Thompson who specializes in fibre art, including art dolls, bowls, art journals and artful clothing.  Creativity, kindness, understanding and patience. 



Learning, Technology and Being Enough


Last year my husband and I moved to a new home with a larger studio so that I could expand my work as a designer-maker. It was something we’d talked about for a long time. Settling into our new home and expanding my work has been a jumbled mix of excitement, challenge, irritation, humour and adventure all at once. For the most part it’s been overwhelmingly positive, giving me a renewed view of the world, my priorities and how I live my life.

Expanding my work has forced me to try new things and pushed me to develop new skills. I was blissfully unaware of how much of it would revolve around the world of technology and the mountain of advice and suggestions on how best to use it from pundits, friends and the media. I’m on the other side of fifty and am a novicewith computers, not to mention apps, Snap-chat, Vimeo and the gazillion other things out there in techno-land. Computers and technology were not part of my formative years and I don’t use a lot of it in my home. So, when I decided to renovate my website the learning curve was very steep and at times even annoying, aggravating and time-consuming. My children and those who grew up with technology learn and adapt with ease, because they’ve never been without it. Their youthful, malleable brains soaked it up like a sponge, giving them a finely honed sense of technology-based intuition. Having come late to the technology game, my sense of intuition is more like a massive abyss - a black hole -a mere drop in the tech ocean we live in.

About two weeks into the website renovation, I desperately needed a break. My head was spinning with SEO, favicons, breadcrumbs and pixels while work in my studio had stopped. For a few days returned to the familiar hands-on creating that feeds my soul. It always helps me to think and focus.  In my new home, I’m trying to focus more on things that bring meaning and value into my life and the community I live in. Technology has made it possible to be connected with family, friends and the wider world in many new and exciting ways with the simple touch of a button. Yet it’s fragile because although it may be a mile wide, it’s often only an inch deep. Our lives have become so hectic and busy there is we’ve lost sight of how slower, face to face conversations and time together can strengthen and restore.

I realized that I didn’t need to figure everything out right away. That I know enough to begin and when I know more, I can do more. I also realized that I have enough, so I must temper the pull of technology with the hands on creating that brings me such joy. I try not to juggle too much or say yes to everything comes my way. Instead, I focus on making the most of what I've already got, rather than adding to the pile and hoping it won’t tip over. And, for now it seems to be working.