Prioritizing creative freedom is super important to Christopher English, sole proprietor of Chris English Quilts and our guest for today’s fresh new episode of the Rags to Riches Podcast. Chris is a huge advocate of spending time doing creative work that he loves – even though his small quilting business is not the work that pays his bills.
So what’s his day job? Corporate web design team lead for a major English supermarket! Technically a creative position, Chris’ web design job nonetheless does not afford him the opportunity to follow his artistic vision. “Creative within the boundaries that keep it from being creative,” as Crispina observes during this episode’s interview. All too common an outcome for graduates of fine arts programs!
Chris is fundamentally a visual artist. But unlike Crispina, who is more the exception than the rule, he graduated from art school without a significant portfolio of marketable work. Like so many of us, Chris was forced to face the reality that nobody wanted to pay him to draw and paint. To follow the artistic vision that truly lights his inner fire.
So how does he cope with the reality that his day job doesn’t fill his creative cup? By *making* time for the creative work that truly energizes him! Instead of being the focus of his livelihood, Chris’ quilting business is his creative outlet. His passionate hobby. And he loves it that way!
“I happen to think that everyone is creative. A lot of people say they’re not. But I think that people just need to find their outlet.”
Christopher English, sole proprietor, Chris English Quilts
Chris is able to fully realize his own artistic vision when he is quilting, without worrying about whether anyone but him will like it. Prioritizing his creative freedom with Chris English Quilts is an essential form of self-care without which he would not be able to maintain his more lucrative – and more rigid – corporate career.
Chris’ creative freedom is what allows him to use found materials as one of his main sources of creative inspiration! He has also been slowly transforming his own and coworkers’ corporate work shirts into art now that they all spend more time working from home (and in his case, getting crafty!).
Get cozy and dive into this super fun conversation between two sparkly textile alchemists!