It’s time for a serious conversation about Our Lady of Creative Freedom: Beyoncé.
I sewed my retro swimsuit while listening to “Lemonade” nonstop (heads up, that’s an affiliate link). If you’re not familiar with Queen Bey’s latest opus, it’s a concept album about infidelity. Husband gave me some side eye for my sewing soundtrack. I may have said something to him about “haters.” (All in good fun!)
When you’re a maker, you find creative inspiration in many places and for many reasons. One of the reasons Beyoncé inspires me is because we were both born in the same year (1981). I think, “Wow, look at everything my ‘classmate’ has accomplished!” She helps me believe that I can call the shots on my own creative endeavors, too.
I’ve curated seven lyrics from “Lemonade” that deliver major creative inspiration to sewists. Beyoncé and I aim to get your sewjo (sewing mojo) working. We gon’ slay.
1.) “Take care of your mother, watch out for your sister.”
Be aware of the people in your life who love you and support you, no matter what. Many makers turn to the online creative community — blogs, Instagram, etc. — for confidence boosts and thoughtful feedback. A cheering squad — IRL and virtual — will encourage you to pursue all those “weird” creative ideas and skill-building sewing challenges.
2.) “She grinds from Monday to Friday, works from Friday to Sunday.”
Even though this song (“6 Inch”) is about a woman distracting herself from some huge problems in her life, I see it as a call to practice your creative craft every day. Put your head and needle down, and do the work. Motivation follows action.
3.) “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”
As you work toward your goals and work on yourself, be kind and generous to others. Offer sewing tips and encouragement to other sewists (especially newbies). Being a nice person will win over supporters left and right. And as you reach various sewing goals — especially if you’re an entrepreneur — knowing that you did it the right way will feel so, so wonderful. The haters will have nothing on you.
4.) “You ain’t married to no average bitch, boy.”
In this song (“Don’t Hurt Yourself”), Beyoncé delivers an ultimatum to a cheating partner. How does this connect to creative living? Anyone who commits to developing her craft — puts in the time, seeks out the inspiration, iterates and innovates — is far from average.
5.) “I’ma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.”
When things don’t turn out, when experiments tank, don’t give up. Failure is the best teacher. Have the courage to nurture your sewing talent, even when you doubt it. You got this.
6.) “I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.”
You didn’t have enough time, but you made more. Your materials weren’t ideal, but you made the best of them. Your sewing studio was nonexistent, but you carved out just enough square footage to make magic happen. Hustle for your passion.
7.) “Love was stronger than your pride.”
Let your love of craft and love of process be stronger than your ego. Don’t quit sewing when it’s challenging. Feeling challenged is a sign that you’re growing. By all means, take a break, but don’t turn your back on your progress because you feel like you’re not aceing your discipline. A discipline is called a discipline because it takes commitment. Love the act of making; embrace process over product.
Over to you: Where do you find creative inspiration? What lyrics (from Beyoncé or another artist) bring you creative comfort and stoke your creative fire? Sound off in comments!
P.S. If you’re game for another “deep thoughts” post, check out these choice Sie macht offerings:
Little Miss Perfect and her sewing machine
Sewing and standing up for your body
5 Sew Pro convention takeaways for every sewist
P.P.S. Please share this post with your fellow sewists! I’d love to get their feedback, too. Thanks!
Collage image credits: The “haters” lemon illustration is by Dominique Barnes; it was found via Pinterest. Click here to check out that sweet cross stitch, also found via Pinterest. The lemons are from Wikipedia, and the Beyoncé pics are from the “Lemonade” visual album movie, found via Pinterest.
Great vibe on this. "Sewjo" is above, too.
Thanks, George! It was fun to write, and I think it shows. 🙂