Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Wake for a Creative Giant

I had hoped my first post with content other that the Stock(inette) Market would be a happy one, but, as you've probably heard, there was some tragic news in the creative community this past week.  Kathreen Ricketson, the incredible mind behind WhipUp, and her husband, Rob Shugg, died tragically in the midst of their once in a lifetime roadtrip around Australia.  They left behind their 10 and 13 year old children, Orlando and Otilija.  It's impossible to fathom the grief surrounding those kids, and I can't even begin to express my sadness at their loss and the loss felt by Kathreen and Rob's community at large.  I've been holding everyone I love tight this past week, and I hope you've been doing the same.

I came across Kathreen's blog relatively late in the game, when she ran a series of blog posts from knitting designers last year.  It was an unparalleled opportunity to peek in the minds of some of the best and most creative designers on the planet, and I gobbled it up.  Since then, I've continually been struck with how comprehensive and vital WhipUp has been to those working in creative industries; she not only approached her work and her art with joy and energy, but with an understanding of how to survive, build, and thrive in creative fields.  The recent guest series by Destri of Mother Huddle is a perfect example--a wealth of information, presented wonderfully and joyfully.  WhipUp has been a godsend for me as I work to make my way in the knitting industry, and I don't know what I'll do without Kathreen's invaluable words.

I'm babbling.  This is hard.  It's hard to explain to people that you're grieving for the loss of someone you've never spoken to.  But Kathreen's impact on the creative community was enormous, and I am privileged to have been able to follow her for at least a small part of her journey.  If you feel even a modicum of the same way, a fund has been set up for Orlando and Otilija's education costs; you can donate via PayPal to the address otilijaandorlando [at] gmail [dot] com.  And give everyone you love an extra big hug.

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