It seems that there is always that bridge of uncertainty that I need to cross between one project and the next. It is when the afterglow of successfully finishing one project begins to fade and I am looking towards the next. Fortunately, most of the time I already know which direction I will be heading following the completion of one project, for while I am working on one thing, my mind is usually racing ahead and planning on what is to follow.
Sometimes though, I get so caught up in what I am doing at the moment that I don’t have a clear vision of what I want to do next. That is when I rely on my trusty notebook that I keep on my desk and jot down ideas. That is what I consider my ‘job security.’ As long as there are fresh ideas in that book, I don’t worry. While some ideas that seemed good enough to write down at the time may have lost their appeal, usually I can envision them in an alternate form or use part of them in conjunction with other ideas. In any case, it is a starting point for me and most times that is all I need.
People often ask me where I come up with my ideas for projects. More often than not, it isn’t just one place. I may see an object in a movie, or hear lyrics in a song or even see a piece of jewelry that triggers an idea. I even just think of things while spending some quiet time on my own. There are endless sources of inspiration around us and as a designer and a painter I find that I look at things perhaps differently than most. My painting friends can attest to looking at the world in the palette that they use most for painting. Apples are no longer “red.” They are “Red Alert” which is one of the DecoArt colors that I use so often in my own painting. I look at the clouds and think of them in layers, with the reflected light behind the billowy lighter grey front of the cloud, and I think of what colors I would use if I were to paint them.
It is a fun way to look at the many wonders of our world and this awareness really makes you develop an appreciation for the smallest details of things.
After I finished my prototypes the other day, I knew before refining them I needed to begin working on my next projects. At this time of year, it is particularly important to balance my time between the several deadlines that I have. This sometimes means jumping around from one project to another, which is something that I don’t typically do. It isn’t what I would call a bad thing though, as it allows me to walk away from things and when I return to them, I usually have some small refinement to the project which I feel in the long run will make it better. Taking that breath away often allows things to settle in and I frequently have some fine tuning to do in the end that improve things overall. It is a good thing.
So yesterday I began working on my submissions for the holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine. I say that I ‘began’ working on it, but I actually have been thinking it through for quite a long time. I suppose that it is more accurate if I stay I began drawing my project for my submission.
The holiday issue is usually quite a big deal. It is our most popular issue of the year because everyone is looking for new patterns for gifts and decorations for the holiday. It comes out in the beginning of fall, right when people are coming back to their shops after the busy, hot summer months and start making things for not only their own gifts, but also for craft fairs and sales that they participate in. It is an important issue to be included in to say the least.
That being said, I always like to do something that is extra special for that issue. This year I actually have a couple of ideas that I think would be cool and I am getting really excited about them. I began drawing yesterday and that spark was lit and I feel that I am well on my way.
The project is going to include fretwork. The past couple of issues I have done some word art and the dragonfly candle tray, but, but for this issue, I wanted something more classic. I love cutting fretwork too and I think that what I am thinking of will be something that will be able to be passed down for years to come.
Here is a sample of the line work:
I am not going to add color to this project, but there may be some other “surprises” that will be coming. As I continue to draw, I am liking it better and better and it is coming along very nice. You will just have to wait and see what it is. ;)
Once again, I realize how fortunate that I am to have such a fun job. I love being able to be creative and I hope that I am able to continue doing this for a long time.
I plan on finishing this drawing up today, and then I may begin cutting or I may begin working on the companion piece that I will be doing with this, which is another piece that I am submitting to the magazine. Hopefully they will like both projects, as they can be done independently, or used together to make a beautiful keepsake.
It is going to be fun.
It is raining and cool here today. It seems more like March or April rather than mid-May. Our trees are just beginning to bud and finally starting to look green. Rather crazy.
I wish you all a wonderful day today. If you are feeling stuck in your creativity, take the time to unplug and be aware of your surroundings. You will be amazed at how it will inspire you and awaken your productivity.
Have a great Thursday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"