Several days ago when I was working on cutting out one of my candle trays, I had an idea. I am not really sure where it came from, as it was completely unrelated to anything that I was working on at the time. But as I was cutting away and listening to some music, it just appeared out of nowhere, and I got somewhat excited.
I always find fascinating how our minds work. As a designer, there are days when I am driven and inspired, and other days when the well of ideas just seems dry. On the dry days, even the ideas that may have seemed incredible just a day or two before somehow lose their luster and no longer seem to be good. How the heck does that happen?
The worse thing is when I am really trying hard to think of something to fill a certain task or deadline that I have to meet and come up dry. While there are times when I can come up with a decent idea quickly, there are others when the pressure of having to do so somehow interferes with the creative process and for the life of me I can’t think of anything interesting to do. It is at these times when I pull out my little book where I jot down all the extra ideas that I think of while working on something else. Some of these are silly and others are down right crazy, but occasionally there are some in there that have merit and give me a starting place for something new.
I find that on the “stuck” days it is best not to dwell on meeting deadlines and just trying to do something to push the pile or to pick one of the less spectacular designs and work on that for a bit. Usually when I stop trying so hard to think of new things and relax my mind a bit, the better ideas creep up on me and take me by surprise. If I can train myself to let go of the conscious effort when I am stuck and allow this process to occur, I usually wind up in a better place.
I think that this was one of those times it happened that way.
The past couple of days, I have been working on a new pattern. As with most other times, the mapping of things out in my head and the initial organization of the pattern are not only the most important part, but also probably the most boring part for those on the outside of my head looking in. Even Keith who is right here with me can’t see what I see in my head as the vision for how this design will come out. I long ago stopped trying to explain these ideas beyond a general description of what they will be. I have found that my ability to describe what I see inside my head is nowhere near adequate for what I am actually thinking. I just need to do it to show you.
With that said, the process has begun and yesterday I accomplished some drawing and cutting. While I usually show bits and pieces of what I have cut, right now it is so unremarkable that I don’t think it warrants doing so.
You just have to wait.
I see this design in three versions. One to paint, one to cut on the scroll saw as a scrolling project, and one in a new way that may also be considered ‘painting’but is a bit different again. I am equally excited about all three, which is why I was in a bit of a muddle earlier this week. But yesterday I put my foot on the path and took that first step in one direction, and I am so far pleased and excited with the outcome.
I promise to show more tomorrow. But for now you just need to trust me. It is not yet time to show my hand, but the time will come soon. And hopefully the anticipation will only add to the project and it will be a wonderful surprise.
Have an incredible Wednesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"