After celebrating Thanksgiving the past two days here in Canada, I feel refreshed and ready to get back to some serious designing. Even though it is still the early part of October, I know how quickly this time of year seems to pass as we busy ourselves for the upcoming holiday season. I am always amazed at how the pace seems to pick up this time of year and time passes even quicker than usual.
It is sometimes difficult for me because I always seem to have so many different ideas that I want to develop and there is never time to even scrape the surface for most of them. I used to think that it was perhaps because I wasn't working quickly enough and I would scold myself when I didn't get to the end of my 'list' and get everything that I wanted to get done. But I have somewhat mellowed over the years, and I am a bit kinder to myself. I am realizing that thinking of these ideas takes far less time then actually implementing them, and if I want to do a quality job on things (which I do!) I need to allow each project the time it needs to materialize and not look back at regrets at all that I was not able to finish. There is always 'next year'.
And usually, by the time the next year rolls around, the original idea is somewhat modified. Or there are new ideas that take precedence over the old ones and the priorities may shift because new and more exciting ideas may have come to light. Such is the life of a designer.
I feel very fortunate that I have many different ideas for projects. I find that keeping lists of ideas and thoughts on what to do really does help me a great deal. For all that I feel I am being productive, there are those times when there is a lull in productivity and what may have felt like a wonderful idea at an earlier time may not be so exciting at another. I don't know how or why things work out that way, but they just do. It seems that (for me anyway) I work in waves of creativity where one moment I can be wondering what to do next and five minutes later I can't choose which project to start first. It is at these times that I need to go with my 'gut' feeling and just move forward. More so than not that seems to be the best decision.
There comes a time in the holiday season though when we realize that it is time to abandon our game plan for this year and move ahead to get a jump on the next holiday. I am somewhat at that point now where even though I have many different ideas for the Halloween season, I think it is time to move ahead and work on some new Christmas things. It is difficult for me to put aside the cute ideas that I had in my head for another year, but practicality tells me that if I don't get moving on some Christmas items, it will be too late for that season as well.
After years of working with print magazines and heeding to their deadlines of six months or more prior to the season, I think I have conditioned myself to design just about anything at any time. It is hard though not to want to get caught up in the present though, as there is something satisfying about painting pumpkins in October, turkeys in November and angels and Santa Clauses in December. I must admit that most of my best Christmas designs were drawn up while I was wearing shorts and sitting on the beach or in the sun, and my spring designs of butterflies and flowers usually were 'born' while there were several centimeters of snow on the ground. I have trained myself to think 'off season'.
But now that the magazine is no longer a driving force for me, it is perhaps a bit easier to be closer to the time frame than before. I don't mean that I can completely follow my own present calendar, but a larger time frame can be devoted to the current season than before. (Or can it?)
Part of me wants to enjoy this reprieve from early deadlines, and another part of me (perhaps the logical/business part) is telling me to keep myself on the early schedule to remain ahead of the game. I find myself fighting between wanting to enjoy the season like a 'normal' person and wearing my designer hat and looking months ahead. I suppose it will take some getting used to. That is where self-discipline comes into play.
So with all that said, it is mid-October and I am thinking ahead to Christmas and beginning to feel that I am arriving somewhat late to the party. Not really perhaps, but any more delay and I certainly wouldn't be at the front of the pack. I need to once again re-adjust my thinking and start looking a bit further ahead.
With that said, I began drawing up some Christmas ornaments yesterday. These are going to be for the scroll saw and I think they will look really cool when finished:
I am afraid the sample doesn't really show too much. But you will see more in the next couple of days, for sure.
I am also working on a new painting pattern, as well as a combination painting and scrolling pattern. Something for everyone, I think. I would love to have the three things done by our next update and it will be a bit of a push for me to do so. But I feel that I am up for the task.
Sometimes stepping back a bit is just what we need to see things more clearly. Prioritizing, making lists and focusing helps as well. I really need to make sure that I am at my most efficient so that I can get as much done as I can. There are so many wonderful things that I just can't wait to share, and figuring out where I need to be in time and what I need to work on when is the key to getting the most done.
I wish you all a Happy Monday! Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends as well.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"