This paper engages with principles and practices of narrative methodology and hermeneutic practice to make sense of the world in the educational encounter. It reveals ways in which ten textile artists have constructed their life stories and created their artistic identities. It reports on the methodology and findings of the research study, Common Threads (Flood, 2003) through which I witnessed a variety of self-held beliefs formed through the experiences of childhood and family, and the decisions that changed the research subjects’ creative and artistic journeys. The aspects of these recorded stories reflect a complex set of relations in which each of the artists operated. The stories reflect how each research participant works and lives within a busy life while negotiating and maintaining a complex self-identity encompassing notions of ‘being’ creative. The ten artist interviewees provided through their stories an opportunity for others to engage at a close level with what it means to enact an artistic life. The research affirms the importance of providing opportunities for others involved and not involved in art making to become self-reflective in questioning their own lives while at the same time finding a better understanding of the ways they may enact a creative life. Implications for educational practice emerge through questioning how to encourage and enhance creativity in learning subjects.