Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who influences you?

 A little while ago I was lying in bed the night before a magazine interview trying to guess the questions and plan my answers.

It was a magazine I have a lot of respect for so I wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about and sounded a bit interesting, a lot thought out.

But, as almost always happens, the later it got, the harder the imagined questions got, the more rambly my answers got, the more worried I got, the less I made sense, the less chance I had of getting to sleep, the more pointless this middle of the night exercise became.

But I kept asking, and answering, and stressing. For hours.

And for some reason one of the questions that kept popping up in my imaginary interview was: Who and what are your main influences?

Sounds simple right? But over the course of that over-night interview I discovered that I don't have main influences. I don't have one place, or person, or style to turn to to turn me on. Did that make me shallow?

And the more I thought about that fact, the more worried I became. 

My influences come from everywhere: a quote in a book I'm reading, a song we listened to on the radio on the way to school, the way Pepper's teacher tied her scarf, something that we did when we were kids, a link on Pip's blog, the colour pallet in a shop window, the recipe I hear someone describing to someone else at the fruit shop, a picture of a garden layout on pinterest, the angle or exposure of a photograph, what needs to be picked or planted or preserved in the garden, the colourful balls of cottons in the corner, the pattern in the bits of honeycomb scraped off the roof of a bee hive yesterday, a skirt with cute pockets I saw and a pile of pretty vintage fabric I thrifted, a washy painting Indi did and the water colour pencils she left lying around, this season's stunning shiburi dyeing and all my stained whites, an instagram picture of a mini quilt and mine half made, the new and varied patterns I am learning while knitting my way through Nicki Trench's 201 Knitting Blocks, Projects Ideas, a salad recipe I saw somewhere and my rumbling tummy….

My influences seem to know no bounds and are ever changing. Often changing.

And as the sun came up I finally became comfortable with my answer.

But of course the question was never asked.

So now I'm asking you.
Can you name your influences?
Do you have people, places, times or  quotes that guide you? That you turn to? That fill you up and help make you you?
Or are yours ever changing like mine? Like the weather? Like the days of the year? Like the patterns the wind makes as it blows its way over the long grass in my parents' paddock?

I wonder.



  1. Thats exactly me my influences come from everywhere.
    To name them would be extremely hard x

  2. They come from anywhere and everywhere. Things I read, song lyrics, quotes and photos and ideas and books and Leunig cartoons... I wish I'd kept a journal or something for them over my life so far, so I would have them all in one spot to turn to. xx

  3. No I think I am like you - always changing :-)

    Sarah x

  4. Yes, all of those things, and flashes of scenes I see out of the corner of my eye, or dreams, or the wallpaper in the back of a tv show or a beautiful vintage tea dress in a BBC drama.
    Ceramics, paintings, engravings, vintage colours and nature, nature, nature.
    Actually one of my biggest influences is lovely bloggers who have led me on more creative paths than I can count, including learning to crochet, which I blame on you ;-)

  5. I don't think the question is easy to answer at all. Like 'what is your favourite colour, song, movie...' Just one? No. Ever changing? Yes. Always.

    But I understand why someone would want to know the answer to that question: putting boundaries and labels and definitive things around us helps us to understand one another in a more tangible way. I think we can baulk a little at questions like 'what are your influences' because we read it as 'what are your *only* influences', and we don't want our answers to be trapped and limited in time, when there is so much more to us in that moment and as we move through life. Xx

  6. This is a question that we often hear asked of people in the spotlight isn't it. Having never been in the spotlight, I have never been asked it or thought much about it :) The "main" influences aren't necessarily the best ones either are they? Two of my recent influences have come from cyberspace, in the form of your blog Kate and that of Lucy at Attic24. We planted shallot and lettuce seedlings (and a few other bits and pieces)for the first time the other weekend, after having been influenced by how productive your garden was looking. I took up crocheting again after about 30 years and am half way through the last of 3 blankets for my 3 (teenaged!) sons, thanks to Lucy's influence. I taught myself to sew last year seeing as all three of my boys had learnt to sew useful things in Home Ec. at school, so their skills influenced me- that was a nice reversal. So that is just three that I can think in a short space of time. I feel sorry for the interviewer who asks that question of someone who might feel like sharing!

  7. I couldn't name a handful of influences because I'm constantly being inspired by what I see and hear. It's a good question though, because I really made me think!


  8. This made me think too Kate...I must say other bloggers influence me. Also, magazines although I only read a few magazines these days. I have become much fussier about the magazines I read. Books, my favourite shops, markets, colours around our property and in my garden, old tin houses in Broken Hill and things that my friends bake and make.

    I love your list!

  9. Oh, how *could* you answer?! Ever changing, ever growing, ever morphing. Often other people though, and usually found through blogs. You influence me, and Rohan at Whole Larder Love, and so many others too. Early morning light influences me, and so does the dusk...but mainly people, their light sides, and their dark.

  10. I'm similar to you and am influenced by a lot of things around me (the colours of the fields, craft projects seen online, recently read books (and my book reading is pretty eclectic), the people I talk to, etc). There are also influences from the past, some of which I'm probably not even conscious about, like the knitting my mum done or the stories I heard as a child, living in different cultures. There are some artists, whos work totally blew me away (like the confidence of Egon Schiele lines in his drawings and the colours of Paul Klee), but it could be because I already liked those things.

  11. Feelings influence me the most. When an image evokes a strong feeling in me. Or feelings I'd like to avoid.

  12. I find colour schemes and patterns found in vintage quilts or wallpaper or naturally occurring in nature like the arrangement of petals and leaves influence my work.

  13. Er...you (granny hottie cover), Margaret Olley, and the many smart, sassy, talented artists and craftisans I discover locally and on instagram. At least, they are this week. Next week, who knows?? x

  14. Like Jane S, I am nfluenced by other bloggers a lot - especially as I live in a very rural area with no access to glossy magazines and I don't have TV. Your blog and many others keep me in touch - Thank You!


  15. It is a tricky question. My garden, your blog, other lovely crafty/mama bloggers, my family, a sunshiny day, the beach, the bush...bees on the borage on my garden...the list goes on.

  16. Absolutely the same... always evolving influences, tiny little things, colours, seasons, whatever I am "into" currenty...
    So are you going to share what magazine this interview will be in? ;)

  17. While I was pregnant with my first born, I felt it was very important to have some role models: mothers that I admired and respected and wanted to follow their example. I have about four of them, although 4.5 years and another child later I find it harder to remember these influences. Thank you for reminding me to re-visit these women, as it were, and remember what's important and what isn't.

    I'd also like to mention that you've been a great influence too!

  18. Age old things, new daily things, memories, people, places, travels, childhood treasures, these are my influences. All special, and being added to every day with an open mind and heart. Life is good.

  19. I get asked that in every interview I do (for what makes an etsy shop successful type interview) and I pretty much say exactly what you wrote, art, photography, a colour palate, some pom poms on a scarf, the light, the shadows, a dream, a doodle, everything everywhere influenced everything I do.

  20. Books. And trees. The trees make me happy and let me think better.

  21. In this day and age, I think a lot of people are probably inspired by things they see on the internet, just because you have access to so many images, places, recipes, that are different from what is in your every day life. Then those initial inspirations turn into wonderful trips that you take, great meals that you have adapted, craft projects that have your personal touch, or a new way of looking at something.

  22. Like you I am influenced by so many things, in real life, in blogs, books and magazines ... But isn't it interesting how we go in phases, where we ride waves of a few influences for a while, then dip and rise again on a different wave? And also the way that we end up heading in one direction or another from an accumulation of the one idea from a number of sources? Although some of that is due to the nature of blogging, I guess. Interesting to think about ...

  23. I think impressions can only make influence on me, you and everyone, if there are antennas for. When I visit some place with my girlfriends and later, we talk about our impressions, every one has made other views. Sometimes I wonder, if we were on the same event. The things, that impresses us, tell so much about us.

  24. Constant change, that is my influence. I think women who have children are always in a constant fluctuation of change. It's a good thing I think. Jo x

  25. Influences come at the oddest hours and from the most innocuous sources: nature, family, reading others' writings, seeing their pictures and what influences them. Fractals, fibonacci sequences, mandalas, flowers... All that good stuff; thank you for asking and stirring those thoughts around for the upcoming weekend during which I hope to Make and Create a lot of cool stuff.

  26. Yes, I agree, influences can come from anywhere, a poem, a blog, a leaf, a song, the sky, a friend..... It's lovely to open up to all these influences! X

  27. My influences come from everywhere as well....although when I first started my crochet, Attic24 had a big influence over me as I was learning.....but I have evolved from that now.


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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