My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #933: Many Choices for the Same Project

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 01-15-2013 12:33 PM 2374 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 932: New Directions Part 933 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 934: Anticipation »

I spent the bulk of yesterday organizing and getting started on the next project. As usual, as I was thinking it through, several other ideas came to mind. I find that this happens often when developing a new idea.

While it can be a good thing, it also tends to slow me down. It is as if you go into a candy shoppe and see fifty different types of candy – each one delicious in their own way, and you are told that you can have only one or two pieces. How in the world do you choose?

There comes a point when I have to just shut off my mind and focus on the task at hand. I find that there are days when I look at a a basic idea and think to myself “I could do this with these!” . . . “Oh! And I can do this too!” . . . “And I can even do them this way!” . . .

Before long, I find that I overwhelm myself with choices and wind up going in circles with my thinking. And that isn’t really very productive.

So it comes to a point where I have to just stop thinking and start drawing. Since you can’t draw more than one thing at a time, you have to make a choice and put the pen to the paper (or the pen mouse to the tablet in my case) and just start pushing it around to create something. And go from there.

While it seems easy to say, it isn’t always as easy as you would think. I find that these different ‘versions’ of a certain idea can muddy up the water enough to really slow things down. I am constantly looking for things to make both my painting people happy as well as my scroll saw people. Many designs can be (somewhat) easily done in a version to please each of these groups, but there are times when I don’t know which one to do first.

So yesterday in my thinking about the next project, I began with designing a new pattern for the painters. I think this may be another design that the Artist’s Club would be interested in and it will be a great candidate for one that I will offer in kit form for the painters who don’t scroll.

But as I was drawing, I got to thinking – “How COOL would this look scrolled?” and my mind wandered off in that direction too. I then found myself completely side tracked and thinking in another direction. Then there were the variations on that. And before I know it the day was just about done and while I was full of ideas, there was little that I actually drew on the computer.

I wouldn’t at all consider it a wasted day though. In fact, sometimes these types of days are predecessors to some of my best projects. In the many years that I have done this (designing) I have learned that the unseen internal work of planning is equally, if not more important than the actual drawing. While there are times when some projects seem to just create themselves, more often than not they are offspring of other ideas that started out in one direction, and through refinement and thinking have gone through a type of metamorphosis and turned into a decent project.

”Catterfly” by the artist Evana is available as an art print

So for today, I am ready to spend the day drawing. The work that I will do may seem to others like it comes quickly, but that is only because of the time that I spent yesterday thinking things through and getting my plan laid out in my mind.

It will be both satisfying and fun to see things come to light. And I look forward to seeing the project develop over the rest of the week. In all its different forms. :)

Have a great day today.

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

5 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3047 days

#1 posted 01-15-2013 01:05 PM

Love the pic of the Angelcat!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2886 days

#2 posted 01-15-2013 03:57 PM

Sheila sometimes it can be just pencil and paper
I find that slows the “Monkey Mind” down a wee
bit. With me my drawing is the start of a project
and it may be like you going to the pc mouse?
Whereas when I’m putting things down on scrap
paper, it feels lighter. However after an hour of this
I find some not bad ideas overall and I then tack all these
scraps of odd ideas to my drawing board and the design comes
out. :) Probably not a great explanation but it .
Have a stupendous day
Just back from the big diy store with a sink, beech top and taps, it looks
as though the laundry may get finished this week.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2102 days

#3 posted 01-15-2013 05:18 PM

Good morning Sheila. I find when ideas keep rolling around in my head and i think of many projects to work on, writing it down on paper helps clear the ideas into workable projects. I still have to use pen and paper to draw my ideas out as I still have not mastered Illustrator. I’m working my way through Sketchup videos to see if that program will work better for me.
Still very cold here but I will wrap up warmly today and get out to the workshop for a little bit.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2949 days

#4 posted 01-15-2013 05:31 PM

Hi, Jamie and Anna (It’s lunch break time!)

I still like the pencil and paper too, but I use a pen tablet on my computer so it feels like pretty much the same thing. It saves me from drawing on paper, scanning the picture in, and then converting it to vector line work.

It took me a while to get used to it, but now that I am, it is hard to be without it. Saves me a load of time and allows me to offer crisp and clear patterns.

Yes – the learning curve for all the graphic software I use is huge. After fifteen years of working with Adobe Illustrator and other Adobe products, I am sure I only scratched the surface of the capabilities. I love when people ask me “How do you draw in Illustrator?” It is (almost) like asking “How can I do brain surgery?” (not really – but almost!)

Practice is the best way to become familiar with whatever program you use. Keeping up on the versions is also part of the job. Sometimes they change them faster than you can learn the old version!

Oh well – it keeps me sharp anyway!

Back to work for the afternoon. Thanks for stopping by! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2833 days

#5 posted 01-16-2013 01:41 PM

Gotta luv all these electronics. I like those chocolate cats… yum yum ?? lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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