|Embroidery by Georgia McDonald|
Originality could be described as 'the quality of being special and interesting and not the same as anything or anyone else'. One of the reasons I started making patterns was because there was nothing out there like the ideas I had for embroidery patterns. So...the image you see above was the very first embroidery pattern I put in my shop. Actually it was the only pattern I had in my shop for a while. Lucky for me I had some sweet people I 'knew' from Flickr that bought my pattern and that gave me the confidence to make another! Well the second pattern turned out to be a big hit. It was the Princess and the Pea, and the wonderful version that Georgia made really helped in getting attention on big crafty blogs (and later magazines as well).
Originality doesn't mean you can't be inspired by stuff that is already out there. With the Princess and the Pea pattern, I combined a popular fairytale (I didn't know it was that popular at the time!) with a new take on an traditional form (the Sampler). This was not something I planned, it was a combination of things that led me to make an original pattern. I think I only embroidered for a year when I made that pattern and was (and still am, it's a never ending process!) in the process of learning and perfecting my stitches. I vaguely knew about traditional embroidery samplers and the rows of stitches reminded me of the stacked mattresses of the Princess and the Pea. I have two daughters and love to read fairy tales and folk tales so I re-read the fairytale, counted the mattresses and started making my pattern.
In my opinion 'original' also means: 'staying close to your origins'. I'm convinced that if you are creative and stay close to your personal preferences and experiences, you will make original work. I take much inspiration from books I read, music I listen to and art and illustrations I love. However while ideally you want to make things that are close to your heart it is nice to sell your items as well of course. There are things from current trends you could 'weave' into your own designs. Some subjects (in case of embroidery patterns) or items (in case of knitted items for example) may prove to be more popular than others. Also seasons and holidays are things to consider (this is actually something that is not my strongest point!)
Hope this post is helpful and do leave a comment if you have some wise words on this subject to share!