To reach the oyster, you must break the shell

In spite the fact that you love your work you might get very tired sometimes. Whether there is too much stereotype or too much work it is always very refreshing when something unexpected and surprising happens. Something that revitalises your energy and brings a lot of optimism for your further proceedings.

My tasty oyster was the cooperation with photographer Lynzi Judish who asked me for a few items designed by me for her autumn fashion editorial later published in American Jute Fashion Magazine. The following words are about my approach to hard work that can be compared to breaking the shells in order to get the tasty oysters. The text is complemented with the final photos from the photographer´s artistic work. The outfits are combinations of clothes designed by various Czech and Slovak designers. Other members of the creative team were: model Laura Banani, make-up artist Kristýna Hošková, retoucher George Buczko and asistent Jay Walker.

(Jacket by Alter Era, flowery top and skirt by Zuzana Kubíčková, blue skirt by Majoranka, shoes by Spot On!)

You probably know it: perfect periods full of energy, creative work, interesting happenings and so on. On the contrary there are not really good periods when you feel like doing nothing, things are not working as you wanted, you have a lot of work or barely some order to do, or the job that you are doing is quite boring…

I enjoy my work very much especially during the phase when I have a lot of space to create: to make new designs, new patterns, shoot final outfits, etc… However, after that there is the unavoidable phase of orders that you have longed for. It is a part of the creative process when you have to stop dreaming and start working really hard. And this is the period that I recently encountered.

Suddenly, I had too much work and I wanted to have everything done immediately which is impossible. If it took only a few days, it would be great, however, the days turned to months and after two month I found myself disgusted by my own work. I was unusually lazy to wake up and go to work that was one meter from my bed.

Basically, I became disgusted by sewing. When I decided to be a fashion designer I wanted to create women´s wear, to make pattern constructions and finish the process with photo shoot.  I studied “technical part of fashion” at the high school in Prešov, Slovakia and when I had the first sewing lesson, I thought to myself: “I am never going to do this ever.” Well, the reality was different. I was much slower than my classmates who were not so good at learning theory. I just wasn´t so handy at sewing, I preferred studying and creating. Generally, sewing is quite difficult discipline and when you connect it with pattern construction, garment design and everything that it requires, you´ll get very challenging and long-term process. My first independent designs arose from my tears until I realized that it works better when I am silent, calm and happy. I am not sure if I learned how to sew or I just learned how to be patient (when there is no reason to be patient! 🙂 ). I kept calm throughout the following years, however, during the horrible period mentioned above, I completely forgot to be patient. I didn´t want to be needle woman anymore ( I am not slandering people who sew, I am just making fun of myself), but I couldn´t afford to delegate the work to a seamstress. I was only complaining about everything dealing with my  work, I was tired and nervous… and I thought that the reason is the sewing. I also got very frustrated because I didn´t have a time to create anything new and if somebody asked me for advice on how it is to be a professional freelancer, I would never recommend the person to become one. Did you have a different and more simple conception of what your work will be like before you started?

(Wine Jacket With A Bow And Without One by Majoranka)

Thank God the holiday was coming soon. The holiday at a place where nobody cared what you do or what you are wearing (trust me, when I say that I am a fashion designer people tend to look me up and down and I am not the type who goes out wearing only highly stylish outfits). I was at the place where the only thing that mattered was how you take care of your soul and your life, how you behave to your close relatives, friends or enemies. My relationships with others is not a problem, I can honestly say that I am a quiet and friendly person. I was thinking about the relationship with myself. How unreasonably bustling I had been. Have you ever noticed the fast cars that overtake all cars on the road and in the end you meet them on a crossing controlled by traffic lights because the red one is shining there? I was thinking about the periods full of work when I have no time to do any creative activity which should be an essential part of my job. At that moment, I got a book about Tomas Bata and the next 3 paragraphs will describe the most relevant thoughts that I captured in connection with the topic of this blog:

  1. Balance your duties

Bata was talking about his principles of his great performance. He used to work a lot and the secret of his energy was hidden in well scheduled work. He was alternating between easy and difficult tasks in order to avoid ineffective dealing with several demanding duties consecutively and he also wanted to exclude monotony that is, unfortunately, often hidden in time-consuming tasks.  Now I know that if I do not have to complete an order immediately, I can spend couple of hours working on some new design or sewing something for me (finally! 🙂 ) . It is a perfect way to combine a duty with something agreeable within a day and after some time I probably won´t wake up thinking: “ Sewing again and again, oh no!” Watches and clocks was men´s idea so why should we become slaves of them? We are the bosses of our time. Well, it is impossible to avoid natural flow of time, but it is useless to get worried because the time is here for us all the time and it is up to us to organize it for your own good.

2. Calm down your ego and ground your business the best you can

Bata was recalling the times when his juvenile ego whispered him that it would be better to move in high circles. When he started his business and it got into troubles, he himself had to help his workers make shoes. However, he was hiding behind a corner in tis factory, so that any unexpected visitor from high circles couldn´t see him. Later, he found out that the direct cooperation with his employees provides him much better view inside the core of the activity his business is based upon. It helped hip create really good and productive model of efficient enterprise. I realized that I´d been making a big mistake when I was swearing at the sewing and the hard work. I wasn´t born to be seamstress, but there is no other way to turn my ideas into reality. On my way to realisation my designs I can honestly say that every single thing that I produced is a result of long-term process, hard work and fairly gained experience. Unfortunately, I am a big detailer ( I am trying to slow it down, though)  and I cannot imagine selling someone a shoddy piece of clothing.

3. Repeat and practise to become perfect

Human mind can be compared to functioning of human body. The quality of activities needed to get a thing (it might be you work or an order…)  done is inevitably influenced by your state of mind and that´s why it is essential to let your mind work the best it can and teach it to process the stimuli that disquiet you. However, it might be quite difficult and in order to accomplish such balanced state of mind, it is important to work your mind out. Is it possible to get a worked-out body from day to day? No way. It is the same with thinking, developing a brand or working on yourself. It requires time, it requires power, it requires exams, courage and resistance.

I know that I´ll not have to push on so hard my whole life (like at my first pilates class – it is much easier after a few repetitions), but I´ve sewn a lot and I know what is my quality level and how to effectively delegate sewing in the future. Moreover, every single item that you can see in my shop is a result of a long term brainstorming, so in the end I realize only those ideas that were strained through cribble of my duties and those that I didn´t washed away from my head while showering. Simply the best.

The photos in the article were the tasty oyster after the complicated period. I was giving a lot of likes to American photographer Lynzi Judish. I liked her styling, photos, models, outfits and everything. One day she sent me a message asking if she could borrow some clothes made by me for a photoshoot. I was quite surprise because I gave up asking people for cooperation after several unsuccessful attempts. The fact that I celebrated my 30th birthday when she had the photoshoot was very refreshing for me. At least I had no reason to consider myself as some terrible needlewoman anymore 😉 I had to wait 3 months for the final selection, but it was worth waiting for my first fashion editorial (from page 46).

(Coat by Zuzana Kubíčková, blouse from my vintage treasures and a skirt by Alter Era.)

Dear readers, I am sure that many of you find themselves in the unwanted vicious circle and pressure of work. Never forget that you are the boss of your own life. The things around you happen according to the way you think and feel. The world does not work exclusively rationally. There are yarns placed between us and everything else. If we pull them peacefully, only happiness and luck is coming back to us. If we pull them in anger, we are getting only failure and stress. Are you in the vicious circle right now? Then don´t hesitate to get angry and a small revolution in your life cannot make any big harm 🙂

Mária Reváková/ majoranka

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