Creative discomfort

Creative Discomfort

It’s the second week of the Creative Challenge, which means that we are about to get uncomfortable.. or in other words, launch ourselves into “Creative Discomfort”.

What do I mean by that?

If your goal is to develop creatively and artistically you need to dare to get uncomfortable. To be able to get new ideas and creative solutions to whatever problem you face (in art or even in life in general), you need to get out of your comfort zone. Otherwise you won’t be able to operate with clear vision/mind.

When it comes to art such as embroidery that means to create something unexpected.

Previously we have discussed how “taking action” is sufficient to move the ball forward. And yes it is – but to a certain extent.

If you feel creatively blocked and you just want to get back to a creative flow with regular art practise, what you create is of less important. Hence, in this circumstance, to pick up an old pattern or purchase a new design from your favourite artist will do the job perfectly.

But, if you are on the verge of “imagine if…”; then creative discomfort should be your goal.

Because imagine if you were to take the next step on the creative ladder and begin to create your own designs. Imagine if you’d actually explore your creative genius, which by the way exists in all of us according to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. Think about where you could be in just a few years from now if you allow yourself to lean into your creativity.

Embroider nothing at all

Considering embroidery as a slow art form, it feels scary to spend time on something that you don’t know how it will come out in the end.

It’s natural. Even I feel scared to go out of the box of the type of designs that I know will look nice at the end.

But it’s by pushing the boundaries and to dare to create something “useless” or even “ugly” that the real magic begins. This is one of the reasons why I am such a HUGE FAN of embroidery sketchbooks.

Throughout the Creative Challenge, I use my embroidery sketchbook as the basis so that I feel less pressure with the visual results of my experimentation.

An embroidery sketchbook, is a personal space where you can explore and experiment new styles, techniques and combinations.

Embroider texture

Going back again to the Creative Challenge, this week is all about texture, which is an ideal topic for creative discomfort.

The first thing to do, is to look around you and pay attention to textures. What do you have in your home or just outside that you consider highly textural?

In the video workshop I use shells that I collected from the beach next by. On the shells you have various types of textures from stripes and coral residuals to other marks from life under water. shells

The mission is not to create replicas of the shells (or whatever object you have available). Rather, it’s about observation and using the object as inspiration for your textural exploration with stitches.

With focus on textures, we also make an effort to try to disregard traditional labels of techniques and instead focus all our energy on the textural result. Take a little break in between stitching to close your eyes and slowly drag your finger over the surface. How does it feel like?

Pay attention

For efforts of creative discomfort to be effective, pay attention. Pay attention to how you feel as you progress.

Personally I can admit that I felt slightly nervous when filming the second video workshop, as I discovered that the stitches didn’t really resemble anything at all… BUT THAT IS A GOOD THING! Because it confirmed that I can be too focused on having a “perfect” embroidery, when in fact that way of thinking is what has blocked my creativity for a long time. Maybe thoughts like these are blocking you too?

If yes, I promise you that merely recognising what has been limiting you, is a huge step to greater creative freedom. And ones you see it – you can finally allow yourself to create for the sake of creating and to HAVE FUN!

Because if it’s only “worth” making something if it looks perfect, then what if you make a mistake? Just the thought of it is stressful haha! Yet I see it happening over and over again. Both in ourselves and especially in others who are hesitant to join the Charles and Elin Academy. Because those hesitant often limit themselves thinking “I don’t have time to make mistakes”, when actually it’s the most liberating part of the creative process.

So, pay attention to how you feel as you move forward, recognise the feelings and allow yourself to have fun in the process.

Development of the Academy

As we continue to develop the Charles and Elin Academy, we concentrate on making it a safe space for you to explore your creativity.

There are courses that allows for comfortable creativity with a step-by-step process (you can’t get it wrong). And there are also workshops that invites you to push the creative boundaries and to get into creative discomfort. The latter are here to encourage and guide you in the process of leading a more creative life with greater fulfilment and artistic excitement.

Because who knows, perhaps it’s the fact of trying out a course or workshops that you had never thought of before, that will unblock new ideas and lead your art creation in a completely new exciting direction!

All that to say;

YOU ARE INVITED to join us on this exciting art exploration journey! 

If you’re already a member of the Academy, you are able to find all our courses + the aforementioned Creative Challenge under the “My courses” tab in the top menu bar when you are logged in to your account on .

And if you’re not yet a member; come and join us! There is a great chance that you’ll love it ❤️

Can’t wait to continue to explore creativity with you,

Until next time,

Xo, Elin

Charles and Elin Academy membership
Click the image to find out more about becoming a member of the Charles and Elin Academy!

Ps. As always – don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or feedback at 

Scroll to Top