Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.
Diana Weymar is an American textile-based artist and activist who lives in Canada. She is the creator and curator of Interwoven Stories and Tiny Pricks Project.
What is the thing you like doing most in the world?
Falling asleep on the beach on a sunny day. I do my best creative thinking, daydreaming, and problem-solving just before falling asleep and after waking up. I find that I can get tangled up, overwhelmed in the studio or at a keyboard. By being horizontal and outdoors, I can give over to a weightless feeling, the sound of the ocean, the warmth of the sand, and the heat of the sun. This allows me to more gently approach whatever I am working on and offers a more intuitive approach to the materials.
What is the first memory you have of being creative?
I grew up without electricity and indoor plumbing in the wilderness of Northern British Columbia from 1970-77. Everything we had and did was a “creative” act of survival. I didn’t know any other way of living, so I didn’t know how creative it was until we moved to Vancouver. Being in a city was pretty illuminating in that I became aware of myself in relation to other people. I was also pretty surprised to learn that most people don’t make their own clothes, grow their own food, live in a log house built by hand or were home learners. I wanted to adapt and fit in, but this also required some creative thinking! A lot of corners to cut to make up for not having a television! I guess my first memory of being creative is simply remembering being a child in the wilderness and playing with imaginary friends.
What is your biggest regret?
Not being with my Dad when he died last September.
How have you gotten over heartbreak?
By not trying to get over it. I just don’t think it’s something to get over just to have it broken again. I also think that heartbreak is a special state of rawness. Maggie Smith recently said in an interview that she “didn’t want the lemons or the lemonade.” I’ve found that a lot of painful experiences generally move further and further back in my mind and heart as time goes by. Having said this, it did take me all of my senior year of high school to get past being dumped by my boyfriend. If I try really hard, I can still remember what that felt like!
What makes you cry?
Thinking about my father dying alone.
How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?
I think I feel a certain degree of pride a lot of the time. I’m more proud of other people than I am of myself. (This might be why I enjoy and create large community-based projects!)
Joy never lasts very long. Kate Bowler talks about joy being a gift, not something you can “choose.” Happiness, yes. Joy, no. I’m not sure that accomplishments give me joy. Unexpected things often give me joy, but an accomplishment often comes with a lot of expectations.
Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?
I don’t know if I believe it or not, but I have tried to imagine what it would be like. Best and worst case scenarios. Best: A lot of people walking on clouds reconnecting with their loved ones and then sitting together on lawn chairs in the clouds to watch the people they left behind. So basically a picnic without turbulence! Worst: Being strapped to a chair and forced to watch a video of my life in reverse.
What do you hate most about yourself?
I hate that I don’t seek or accept help as often as I offer and give help.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love that I know how to live with very little but have a lot.
What is your absolute favorite meal?
Anything that someone else makes. I find that salad, sandwiches, and omelets always taste so much better when someone else makes them. I am not picky and am around great cooks.