Say hi! Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi! I'm Lee - also known as Little Penny Pocket (you're forgiven if you thought my name was Penny!). I weave colorful, contemporary tapestries, usually overloaded with texture. I live in Canberra, Australia, love travel and watching sport, and have developed an as-yet-uncontrolled obsession with hand-spun yarn.
What does being a creative mean to you?
I think being a creative means you're more open to noticing the magic out there in the world. Like when my husband and I go for a walk, my eye is always drawn to little things like the beauty of a fallen leaf on the path, or the patterns in the bark on the trees. I'm always pointing things out as we go. For me also, being creative enables the expression of my inner self. I am a fairly quiet person by nature, but my weaving is anything but! The tapestries I weave are my way of shouting and putting joy out into the world.
Do you recall when you first realized you HAD to be creative?
I've always been creative, but as I got older I felt like I'd lost my way in that regard. Probably about 5 years ago I knew I HAD to start getting back into doing something creative. I began doing some cute pen and marker drawings of birds and other little characters. Then 2 years ago I started doing a daily creative journal and mucking around with different mediums. That's how I came across weaving. But it wasn't until just over a year ago that I did a tapestry weaving course and really fell in love with it. That's when I fully committed to making time for something that felt so fulfilling every day.
What is your favorite work ritual?
My favorite work ritual would probably be warping up a loom. It's quite methodical and rhythmic, and of course there's that promise of a brand new tapestry waiting to be woven. I'd love to say my favorite ritual is starting with a clean and tidy studio and a new color palette selected... But in reality it often looks more like a yarn bomb exploded!
How do you cope when you feel overwhelmed?
Weaving is often a great way for me to relieve stress in general. But it always helps me to talk with my husband about any worries I may have. He's my biggest supporter when I have my doubts and my voice of reason as I try to navigate my way as a fledgling creative business. Mapping out my goals and to-do list also helps.
What three traits would you say are a must for someone going into business for themselves?
Passion and joy for what you do and perseverance. I think it's also super important to just keep being you and do your thing at your own pace.
What is your definition of success? Do you feel that you are successful?
For me, success has never been about climbing a ladder. I think if you are content in your life and get to do what makes you happy, then that is success. By my own definition, maybe I am successful. It doesn't mean life doesn’t suck every once in a while. But I am lucky that I am surrounded by good people and get to do something I love every day.
What has been the best advice you have received?
Something that has stuck in my mind since I read it somewhere years ago about our relentless pursuit for happiness is: contentedness is a state of being, happiness is just an emotion.
Who is a female (past, present or fictional) you find inspirational?
I feel inspired every day by the women in my life. Whether it's by the kindness and goodness of my mother, my friends who are following their own passions and dreams, or the talented women that make up this online creative community! But one woman in particular who I find inspirational, and perhaps this has become more apparent to me since she passed, is my maternal grandmother. Always the lady, but with a killer sense of humor and stronger than most people ever knew. It still amazes me that as a young woman she left her home in a small country town; boarded a train to Sydney; and signed up to the army during WWII. Luckily she did though... since that's how she met my grandfather!