For episode 28 of the Charles and Elin podcast, we decided to connect with you on a personal level. The past week has been an emotional rollercoaster going from rock bottom to mountain highs. It started out with Charles having to face severe cyberbullying attacks both against his art and persona. So far we’ve been incredibly fortunate with a supportive community online. But the exponential exposure to cyberbullying forced us to see the realities with social media.
“The number of supporters and haters will always grow in parallell”
As our audience keeps on growing, we feel an increasing responsibility to share what goes on behind the scenes. This is also one of the reasons why we started our podcast in the first place. To be able to get a deeper connection with you and to go “off screen”. Social media tends to show the perfect version of life, and we want to urge more creatives to dare to share and experiment, but also to realise that not everyone will love what you do… and that’s ok. That’s more than ok.
Unfortunately, to ignore negative comments and messages is easier in theory than practise. Even though 99,9% are encouraging, the 0,1% will still get to you from time to time. The nasty words grabs hold of your heart and mind and make you ache.
“It all happened in a very short period of time”, says Charles. The last couple of weeks he has taken a risk to experiment with figurative embroidery. Through all of his years at Fine art in Paris, as well as in his Fashion photography career he developed a strong skill to capture the beauty of the human body.
“I tried to not answer because it wouldn’t make me a better person to insult them back”
One of the benefits with Instagram is that there is a “follow” and “unfollow” button. Their presence gives us full authority of what media we want to consume. If we see something that goes against our values or comfort, we all have the full right to block it from showing up in our feed.
However, there are those that instead choose another route. The route of un-grounded criticism, with hasty assumptions and hurtful words. When something hurts, all you want to do is to throw it all back at its source. But what difference does it make? How does it make you a better person by insulting and cyberbullying in return? The answer is simple: It doesn’t.
Sharing and transparency regarding cyberbullying
Instead of contributing to the “shaming and blaming” culture, we decided to share our story as an example for others. Because we are certain that we are not alone experiencing bullying online. After Elin’s Instagram post about the issue, we became completely mind-blown with the responses and support that was coming our way.
It made us even more humble to the power of community, sharing and transparency. Don’t hide in your misery, but rather share it. Share your art as much as the story that goes on behind it. That’s what will bring your audience closer to you as a person. Because it doesn’t matter how large audience you have, it’s too easy in today’s connected world to forget that there is a real person behind the screen on the other side.
Care for each other and our planet
After the emotional experience, our world got ones again turned around with immense support from fellow embroiderers. We launched our third online course: “Personalise your clothes with modern hand embroidery” on Thursday the 6th December. The idea was born almost a year ago, when I began to get increasing attention and appreciation whenever I shared my embroidery on clothes projects. As artist nomads, we’ve had to minimise our wardrobes to be able to move with only a few bags. Not only has it taught us to take care of our clothes more, but it has also made us see the huge value in repurposing your garments.
Instead of throwing a sweater that you’ve had for years, embroider on it and it will feel like new. You will gain a unique and personal look, while simultaneously contributing to a better environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Let’s consume less and upcycle more! With this concept in the back of our minds, we’ve designed an online Master Class with embroidery on clothes. With 6 unique projects, the course covers everything you need to know to get started personalising your clothes today. For those that aren’t sure of their style yet, we also added 24 patch-patterns to practise on.
“She is like a machine. She even slows down for the videos”, laughs Charles.
Building the Charles and Elin Academy platform has been such a joy. We’ve been able to pour our hearts into creating a sustainable platform for everyone to learn the beauty of hand embroidery. Whether on up-cycled clothes or as a fine art piece, embroidery has brought so much light to our lives. It comforts when you’re feeling blue, it relaxes when you feel stressed and it brings joy when you’re happy.
If you’re considering to bring you’re expertise and passion into online courses you should consider to watch the free webinars from teachable. They teach you everything you need to know about how to create and launch your own online courses.
Artist nomads – how does it work?
We round off the episode with some reflections on the past year as living nomadically. How we’ve been wanting to both have the cake and eat it. As well as thoughts around sacrifice when you want to build something sustainable for the long-term.
Just press play to listen to the full episode and hear some big news for next year! If you find it valuable, don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and leave a review to give more creatives the chance of discovering the show.
All our best!