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Nimue Creation Step by Step

A few months ago I wanted to write about the creative process either in general or the particularities related to a specific topic in progress. And as these articles are acclaimed by many of you, I continue…

In this part of the site you will therefore find articles that tell how a creation is developed step by step, mixing technical, economic and poetic questions.
And above all, do not hesitate to leave your comments at the end of the article. Good reading !

The Beginning: prologue

Lately I proposed a creative journey. I proposed to all through a mystery grid to accompany me in a creation.
The project is ambitious.
The canvas measures 70 x 80 cm!

Some images call me.

14 or 12 threads, whatever, we can already assume that the embroidery will be copious.
And that’s the case.
However, it is part of my way of doing things. I don’t yet know exactly how the book will end, so I need space around the subject, so a large canvas.
As I have already written, many designers draw but do not embroider, or give some of their works to be embroidered out of system or lack of time.
Personally, I don’t draw, so I have to embroider!
I know how to draw, I know how to draw, but that doesn’t interest me.
What fascinates me is the color and the textile materials.
That’s also what I love about this job: there are a thousand ways to do it.
Fortunately around me, friends, illustrators and painters, are the leaders in their trades. That’s why I always have the most beautiful illustrations on hand. I am extremely grateful for that.
This is how the desire came to me to create, because my daily decor was already made of these images. They were the ones that I would have liked to find in embroidery but that didn’t exist.
Some images call me.
I see it and I know immediately that it will be an embroidery.
When I did a lot of sewing and designing costumes, it was the same process. As soon as I saw a piece of fabric I saw the garment. In a haberdashery, with rollers everywhere, believe me it’s exhausting. Too many ideas jostle, too many possibilities.
When you’re creative, you often have to restrict yourself, limit yourself, because you can’t do everything.
From my point of view it is a hard lesson of life: to limit oneself.
With the mystery grid I decided not to limit myself!
Besides, a participant gave me the green light to have fun. I took his encouragement at face value and now give a hard time to all those who participate.
Obviously I hope that these challenges to be met are also there for their greatest happiness, even if some do not yet see it quite like that… I note all the same in the exchanges on the private Facebook group that the reluctance from the start flew away to turn into real joy and excitement.
Because that’s how humans work: as soon as we pass milestones, a deep joy manifests within us.

From my point of view it is a hard lesson of life: to limit oneself.

What picture ?

The image I have chosen brings us back to the sphere of Little Mythology with the Little People and the Fairy .
For the 20 years of NIMUE I listened to the remarks of each other.
When one of you called I systematically asked: what would make you happy for the 20th birthday?
I had of course my own ideas and in particular the desire to create a mystery grid but had not found the appropriate subject. I had in front of me some images already retained a few years earlier, but something was wrong without my being able to put my finger on it.
A conversation follows with Isabelle le Névé, one of you, who makes a remark to me about what NIMUE means to her: elves, fairies, parties. No sooner had she said that than an image came to mind, an illustration by one of my favorite illustrators, around which I turned again and again without ever finding a place for it in my schedule. HERE, it’s HER!
I know it’s her but it takes me a little different than what I had imagined. This image is demanding. very demanding. My first idea was to bring together as many people as possible around something nice and light. And here I am with a huge subject with details galore… How to say… It’s as if we were going to do four subjects in one.
I show it immediately to Isabelle who validates. She is therefore the only one to date to know it. I made him swear to secrecy wooden cross iron cross . This is also why I don’t reveal the name of the illustrator yet because the participants haven’t found it yet.
As this is NIMUE’s 20th anniversary the image will need to be edited to match the moment. I call the artist-painter immediately and ask him for permission to make changes. I submit my idea to him. Generously and with a great burst of laughter he(she) gives the sesame.
And this is how an image, patiently, waited its turn, to finally become the Star at the best of times.
загадочная сетка 1
This grid, although demanding in terms of volume and details, does not pose any major problem in terms of creation, at least so far. It’s fortunate because I didn’t have much time to incubate.
Usually I hang the picture in my office. I go back and forth countless times in front, sometimes months, years, until I have in mind all the important points. And only then do I start. I have to have in mind some goals like:
  • the choice of special yarns: which brands, which materials
  • some accessories: beads or bells, or charms, etc.
  • the parts in 1 thread or 2 threads
  • where will the main emphasis be
  • as well as: what do I want to tell?
I’ve always had a deep connection with this artist’s designs so I’m in for something very comfortable for me. The experience is there which plays its role and I must say that I don’t really feel like creating, it’s so fluid. To be 20 years old is not nothing and I measure in this journey all the acquired profession. It’s very nice.
It must be understood that at least the first 10 years of Nimue each color choice was a deep stress.
(Mom, you understand why I have more white hair than you. )
I was extremely afraid of making a mistake and of having to redo – penelope as you say – and of finding myself in dead ends. Fortunately, that time is over. Today this kind of worry has completely disappeared. Besides, I’ve never experienced a dead end. I have 98% confidence in my choices.
Every day I am excited by the idea of resuming my work and moving forward again and again.
As soon as I thought of this image, I can say that I knew in a few minutes where I wanted to go: I promise you a hell of a party!

The question that will arise all the same at some point will be: are there parts to redo?

I recall the game: I create and embroider then deliver as and when what hatches. So I have no hindsight.

Usually it’s not unusual to go back and change a color, because eventually I found something better and I don’t want the palette to be exponential. As one progresses one introduces elements which modify the general aspect. It may be wise to rebalance the whole.
To be honest, this time I don’t count the number of colors. I listen to my pleasure, my guts and my heart, and simply that. Let’s assume that: the subject is large, the palette will be large.

Birthday :

As I really want to please myself and you during this birthday period, I really encourage you to leave your ideas in the comments.
Without Covid I would certainly have invited you for a walk in the forest of Brocéliande but we will keep this under the elbow for a more serene period and maybe in 2023 we will see more clearly.
I’m waiting for your ideas!

For the moment, I return to my Mystery Chart because there are embroiderers with nimble fingers who handle the needle like rockets. I have to maintain my lead.

See you for the sequel: Mystery Grid Episode 1…

Don’t forget to sign up in the right insert to follow all the episodes

Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below! I’m waiting for your ideas…

Picture of Annaïck Chauvel

Annaïck Chauvel

Welcome to the story of Nimue’s Creations. Here I share with you the How and Why of these creations.

Table of Materials

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Why do I embroider?

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