Jamila I.

          Having gone through a rather difficult and quite lengthy spell when I found it a real challenge to get going creatively, I was expecting this week’s assignment to highlight just how much I still need to do, but in reality it has helped to reaffirm that I am back on the right track, for me. Despite sometimes being told that I’m a perfectionist, in reality I don’t aspire to perfection but rather more realistically (for me, anyway) to a creative life that makes me feel happy and fulfilled, and where I can see that I’m improving and progressing along my chosen pathway. I try to be grateful when things go well, and to have patience and hope when they don’t! I don’t always succeed in the latter!

          One of the challenges of being on a diploma course (apart from all those samples) is that you must necessarily undertake a wide range of techniques and approaches without having sufficient time to go into much depth on any of them. It’s taken me a while to realise the value of making a list of those that I’d like to revisit in more depth later on, and there are quite a few, but in terms of achieving better alignment for the longer term, then it’s still the design development process that I need to work on. The other challenge is that I tend to stop too soon – e.g. not enough layers, not enough stitch, not enough depth.

          Last week saw the start of my new weekly creative plan, based on non-course creativity, garden, spiritual and coursework. I tried to be realistic in making this plan and actually did not achieve it all, but on the other hand when I look at what I have achieved in a week, I feel really good. I think that’s probably what alignment looks like for me. The longer term plan has been clear for a while – the overall project is called Paradise is Here and I’m working towards a unified body of work with integrity, inspired by the Islamic Garden and also by Central Asian textiles.

          My research topic for the course is tulips, as depicted in Ottoman and Persian arts, and the photo shows a hanging called Star of Felicity, inspired by the spiky tulips much loved by the Ottomans. I grew these tulips as a primary inspiration source for the piece.