I had a good and productive day yesterday. While I had hoped to finish drawing and begin cutting, I didn’t really get that far. But that is OK. Sometimes things happen for good reasons and I believe that was one of those times.
I have been having trouble lately progressing with some of the new ideas that I have had lately. By the term ‘trouble’ I mean that I haven’t moved ahead as quickly as I want to on them. This isn’t because I don’t have enough ideas, but rather seems to be quite the opposite – I have too many ideas and don’t know which direction to proceed. I know it may appear to be a dumb problem to have, but when it comes time to actually putting the idea(s) on paper, it is definitely a stopper.
For many things, I know in my head what I want to do. I can almost actually picture things just how I want them. But the problem I am having is that sometimes there are several versions of the same project that I have and when the time comes to start to draw, I get stopped because I don’t know which direction is best.
It is kind of like choosing ice cream. When you have only chocolate and vanilla, it is much easier to choose than when you have 35 flavours sitting in front of you. Too many choices can muddle things up and really slow things down.
So what do I do?
I try to think of my customers and what they would like, but we all know that once you involve more than one person, there is never a consensus and it only tends to make things even more complicated. If I ask three people their opinions, I am pretty certain I will get three completely different answers as to which direction I should head. Then too I run the risk of offending those who’s advice I choose to pass on. So I try not to do this.
In my many years of designing, I have learned that people will choose from any given number of choices you present. This is true not only with providing patterns to them, but also for those of you who are attending craft fairs and sales. Sometimes the more choices we give them, the more people are confused and I, myself have walked away from displays only due to the fact that there were too many choices and I couldn’t make up my mind. There are definitely times when narrowing down the playing field can be beneficial, as it can make things much easier for the customer to decide.
So with that thought in mind, I just went ahead and started drawing. I pictured the first choice of design for the scroll saw customers in my head and began drawing it up. However, while I was doing so, I had an idea for a second type of design that is similar, but would appeal to my painting customers a bit more, and I began drawing that one too.
So now I have two drawings going at once, and while they are similar, they are also different. I needed to discipline myself to keep on these two and see them through the end before I begin another drawing and while it hasn’t really been easy to do, I was laying in bed last night and I thought of another variation on one of the designs that would add greatly to its appeal. So I cheated a bit and am going to add it in today.
Both designs are just about ready to cut today. One of them is geared strictly toward woodworkers and the other one is going to have two versions, one for woodworkers and the other for painters. I have one more teeny tiny idea on the woodworking one too that I may or may not implement. But there I go again . . .
Do you see how easy it is to be all over the place? My head is spinning with designing thoughts and I even think of things while I am sleeping. I have lists of what I want to do and I will be fortunate if I get even one tenth of them done this year. (But isn’t that exciting??)
I have had ‘designer’s block’ in the past – where I feel lost and don’t know what to do next – and it isn’t fun. When I am in that state of mind, I sometimes feel as if nothing will come out right and I just don’t have any spark that lights my fire as far as designing. But I must say, I am going through a stage right now when the fire is blazing and there are so many cool things I am thinking about, it is hard to keep up with them. What a wonderful place for a designer to be!
I will show a small sample of my design:
Of course it is a cool Halloween piece. But yesterday as I drove from the post office, I noticed that there is a small hint of golden tint on the top leaves of the trees. Autumn is quickly upon us as is the Halloween season. There is an urgency to get these designs finished and out so that there is time for people to make them and enjoy them.
Time to really get to work!
I wish you all a wonderfully creative day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"