The Imperfect Manifesto

Sydney Craft Week is about celebrating creativity and the handmade in all its forms. To own and hold objects that bring joy, to immerse ourselves in the act of making for our mental wellbeing, to connect with likeminded people who live to make – this is what Sydney Craft Week is all about.

In 2020, our theme ‘Change Makers’ is about taking this one step further – recognising that learning craft skills to enable us to make and appreciate the talent of craftspeople has the power to change our lives for the better.

Blue Mountains-based textile artist Julie Paterson is one such change maker. Her Imperfect Manifesto gives us a framework to let go of the fear of failure and embrace unrestrained and joyful creativity to perhaps live a simpler life.

Julie says: “It was a warm spring afternoon when we wrote this. Sitting around in our backyard with a glass of wine, we were talking about what mattered to us, what we felt about life. What began as a bit of picnic philosophy became a set of guiding principles. For me, these are words to live by.”

In 2020, with the world staying at home, there is even more reason to embrace creativity and simplicity as a way of life.

Embrace Julie’s manifesto and start thinking about what you will do for Sydney Craft Week 2020.  Applications open 5 May 2020. 


Imperfect Manifesto

Everyone is born creative and every day is an opportunity to perform a new creative act. When it is hard to paint the clouds we draw the mountains. Making things makes us feel good. We learn to do something by doing it. When we are brave our life expands. Risk is what transforms us. Imperfection is our ally. We like to slow down and do one thing at a time. We take pleasure in ordinary everyday details. Being mindful helps. Simplicity takes time. We don’t mind if we are not too flash. We care about being authentic. Living a modest life makes us happy. We’d rather ride a bike than take a car. We’d rather read a book than watch TV. We like to travel light. It’s good to work with others. It’s good to listen. Sometimes we name our chickens before they hatch. Many things can be solved with a strong cup of tea and a long walk. When you get right down to it the essential thing is to do what you do with your whole heart.


Image: Julie Paterson, Imperfect Manifesto. Photo: Julie Paterson