As I sit here and try to think of something interesting to write about today, I am eager to begin my day. The last several days have seemed to go by in a whirlwind, as I have been so busy working on some of the new designs that I have thought of. It seems that no matter how early I begin, before I know it I look up and the sun is already setting and yet another day has slipped by.
I go through phases when I am absorbed in my work like this. It’s funny though – as I typed the word ‘work’ I almost changed it to something else because usually people associate that word with something that is toilsome or a hardship. I feel no hardship at all in doing what I do except that I am not able to accomplish it fast enough so I can move ahead to the next project.
I am already thinking of what I can create for the next year’s holiday seasons, and I haven’t even finished making what I wanted to do for this year. Each season comes and goes so quickly and I wonder if I should just jump ahead and begin designing for the next year ‘early’ or try to squeeze in things for this year.
Part of it is that there are many unfinished ideas that don’t have a chance to come to be. For instance this past Christmas I had a list of projects that I wanted to make (as I did for autumn and Halloween and all the other prior holidays) and I barely scratched the surface of getting them done. Usually, after a certain point in time passes where it gets too close to the holiday I am working on, I resign myself to the fact that at least I will be ahead and have some good ideas for ‘next year’. I privately call this my ‘job security’ and it alleviates any fears that I will run out of things to do. Many artists and designers have these fears, as I did earlier in my career as a designer, but as time goes on and as I taught myself to look at the world through artist’s eyes, the floodgates were opened and what may begin as a single thought can easily snowball into several interesting and fun ideas. Who would have thought?
I know that I am very lucky in this respect. Although, I am not completely comfortable with the use or even the idea of the term ‘luck.’ Being a person who believes that we are our own destiny in this world, and that we have the power to be whatever we wish, I extend little merit to ‘luck’ and prefer to view ones’ successes and failures as the result of a combination of hard work, good decision making, and dedication. When looking at things from that perspective, one can see that luck or chance has very little to do with things. I like this way of approaching things because (whether it is true or not) it gives me a sense of being in control. And that leads to feelings of comfort which in turn allow me to be more creative.
It is all a mindset.
So as my notebook of ideas continues to fill, the only anxiety that I am feeling at this point is trying to decide which thing to work on next. It is like a trip to the Godiva chocolate store. Which chocolate do you pick first?
I am going to spend the day today writing the two pattern packets for my two ballerina patterns. One pattern will be the painted versions of the ballerinas, which will include full painting instructions to ‘tole paint’ the girls. The other pattern will be for the scroll sawyers, which will include the cutting instructions for the dressed and ‘undressed’ silhouettes, and will also include some ‘light painting’ as I showed last week.
While all of these are derived from the same concept, you can see that they offer very different results.
Since different people have different tastes, abilities, needs and preferences, I felt that by doing this pattern in several different versions, I can offer something that will not only appeal to more people, but hopefully will encourage those who are creating them to stretch a little and perhaps dabble in a new technique. If the instructions are already in front of them, then perhaps they would be more likely to try. In essence I am baiting them by dangling new things in front of them, one baby step at a time.
I don’t quite know why I am so determined to get others to try new things. It has been a goal of mine since I began designing over fifteen years ago.
We have all heard the saying ‘misery loves company.’ I am a true believer that ‘joy’ loves company as well. Sharing in our joys and bringing joy to others makes our lives fuller and happier, I believe. Just as sharing our misery brings sadness and despair.
I prefer the joy.
I wish you all a wonderful Tuesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"