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My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1535: Creating for the Sake of Creating

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-13-2015 11:55 AM 1067 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1534: Headed for the Drawing Board Part 1535 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1536: #1536 Making Progress »

As a designer, I have many (many) ideas for new projects. I am fortunate in that I keep my eyes open and by merely observing things around me in the world, I find lots of sources of inspiration. I am not always sure how this process works, as some days I am overflowing with ideas and others it just seems that nothing makes sense or wants to fall into place. Much of my designing process is 'automatic' and I sometimes forget just how to go about things when I am in a lull. Many projects that I create are things that I have thought about for a while, and try to fit in when I have time to do so. I often use the phrase 'if you could see inside my head . . . ' when referring to something that I am working on creating.



I am not always great at explaining my ideas, but I usually have a pretty clear picture of how I want things to turn out. It seems the ones that are thought about the longest seem to be the easiest to make a reality. Because of that, from the outside it may appear that things come 'easy' to me. But the implementation and actual creation is only the tip of the iceberg. There are very few people who really understand all the unseen planning and thought which goes into some of the projects I create. 



About a year and a half ago, I had an idea. (Maybe it was two years ago) I am not quite sure what triggered this idea, but I really fell in love with the thought of creating this project. It isn't a 'run of the mill' project for me, but far more involved than anything that I ever created with the intent of selling the patterns. 



For the most part, it is a painting project, but it requires a pretty good amount of scroll saw work as well. I am trying to figure out how I could efficiently create it so I can supply at least the majority of the wood pieces, and still have it meet the expectations that I have in my head of how I want it to look. That isn't always an easy task. 



So I thought about it. For nearly two years I went over many different ways of doing things in order to make it work. Before I even began drawing, I built the project over and over in my mind. Trying this. Eliminating that. Figuring out just how to make things fall into place so that when I finally do build it, it will be not only beautiful, but practical, too. It may be my biggest challenge to date.



I have only discussed this project with a few people who are close to me. And even at that, I only mentioned just a few sketchy details. There is no way that I can put into words what I see in my head, and from past experience I know that trying to explain things would be a waste of effort and time on my part. Besides . . .  the fog is still lifting and it seems that only now things are beginning to fully fall into place. With things such as this, I have learned to respect the process and allow it to come to me in its own time. Forcing it would just invite disaster. 



From a marketing point of view, I am not sure this is practical. I think that in order to replicate the project, I would have to be very careful in regards to my construction and resources. After all – if I want this to be something that is shared with others through a pattern packet or packets (I do!) then I need to be careful about what materials I use. They need to be readily accessible to just about anyone who has the desire to recreate it. There is much to consider.



I don't think that this will be a project that will be for everyone. It may be over the top for much of my customer base. From a business point of view, it probably isn't the wisest of choices of places to invest my time. I fully understand that. I have had the thought of perhaps creating it in stages, where I can sell parts of the completed project as stand alone patterns themselves. That may work. I will have to see.



But I am at the point where I have toyed with the idea long enough and put it on the back burner over and over. Yet it keeps coming back to me. . . as if it is begging to be made. So I finally decided that it was "time". Practical or not, I want to see it though. If it is a bust, then so be it. At least I know I tried. Besides – creating from your heart doesn't always have to be practical, does it? I think not.



I am probably building things up to be far bigger than they really are. While this may not seem big to you all, it has occupied a lot of my thinking process these past couple of weeks. Perhaps that is how I know that "it's time." 



I am going to try to weave this project in between my 'normal' work over the next few weeks (months, years?) Usually, I am pretty good at spinning a couple of plates at once, so I don't see that as a problem. I worked on getting started ove the weekend, and it actually occupied a great deal of my time. But as with most projects of this nature, getting a foothold on things in the beginning seems to be the biggest step. I fear I have little to physically show for my efforts. Just one lone drawing. 



But oh . . . how I wish you could see inside of my head!



I promise to keep you all up to date on the progress. I will reveal more as I feel things are ready. While I am happy to have gotten this far, I can't help but feel somewhat apprehensive and also intimidated by the gauntlet that I laid down for myself here. Sharing here means commitment. Now that my thoughts are revealed, it means I must follow through. Perhaps that is just the inspiration I need.



To me, designing is more than just drawing something up on the computer. Anyone can draw lines. While I have made a lot of nice projects by doing just that, there are times when my soul needs more to feed on. It has nothing to do with making money or selling or even teaching.  It is the desire to create something really outstanding and unique. Creating just for the sake of creating. That is something that I have had for as long as I can remember. If I can teach others to do so along the way – all the better. 



I hope you enjoy this journey with me. 



Have a wonderful Monday! 

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



9 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9039 posts in 2383 days


#1 posted 04-13-2015 12:12 PM

Sorry for the double post. I removed the second one. My landlord decided to “check the power” and cut the electricity momentarily. That caused the blog to post twice (How? I don’t have a clue!) Anyway, the second one is gone now. Sorry to SPAM your Inbox! :)

Sheila

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4607 posts in 2499 days


#2 posted 04-13-2015 03:51 PM

You are right, Sheila, designing is more than just drawing something up. I remember having the basic idea for a box based on The Court of the Crimson King. It involved all of the characters in the song and their associated colours. For months I tried to visualise something that would truly represent this. The result was blind alley after blind alley. However keeping my eyes open, as you have suggested, I saw something of Michelletwos that triggered off the design process.

Recently I have also tried to reconstruct the scenario whereby things occur to you just when you are about to fall asleep. In the half-world of semi-consciousness. Lying down or sitting, eyes closed, relaxed, I think of a box (just the shape) or a mood or a feeling and just let my mind wander. Not forcing the issue. If something wants to appear it will. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes a thought, a pattern, which morphs into other shapes, patterns or possibilities occurs. I have to ‘wake up’ and draw as soon as I can after this exercise or the idea can slip away. Just a doodle or a sentence of description (though this is harder, as you know) is enough to trigger it off if I have to leave the design process. It takes practice. Like you say though, you can’t force the issue.

About this design. The concept of putting it on the back burner and letting your unconscious mind work on it is a very efficient use or brain resources. It goes away and looks through the info in your mind, notices new things and cogitates. Letting you know when it’s come up with something. Even if it is at the most inconvenient of times. It shouldn’t take up too much of your time now. Probably even a thing to break up the working day as in ‘a change is as good as a rest’.

I look forward to developments.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9039 posts in 2383 days


#3 posted 04-13-2015 06:45 PM

You know, Martyn – I was thinking about you as I wrote this. I know somewhat of the processes you have gone through with your beautiful boxes and after seeing the outcome of your projects, I know that the struggles are purposeful and necessary. Things like that don’t ‘just happen’. :)

It was a big step for me to blog about it here. While it may seem silly, but in my mind that solidifies the commitment to the project. Somehow it makes it more real.

I had some other ideas years back for grand and wondrous projects. Some have made it to reality and others have faded into memories. I look back at one in particular and think that is was something that probably wasn’t very practical anyway. In that case I am somewhat happy that I never wasted the time.

But this one is something I really want to see come to be. I have somewhat higher hopes for it, and yes – many of the “aha” moments come just as I am falling asleep. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Thank you as always for your perspective and encouragement. I have learned a lot from you and continue to do so with each new project you create.

Have a good week, Sheila

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

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4607 posts in 2499 days


#4 posted 04-13-2015 07:05 PM

You’re welcome.

We’ve all got non-starters. Ideas that would never make it or haven’t made it yet because the materials/technology haven’t come about yet.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Druid's profile

Druid

1306 posts in 2258 days


#5 posted 04-13-2015 08:44 PM

Hi Sheila,
You mentioned that this is something that you “really want to see come to be”. Sounds like you’ve made up your mind to go ahead (as you should), so we all wait to see what you are up to.
Go for it!!!

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1917 posts in 1778 days


#6 posted 04-13-2015 09:10 PM

+1 for Martyn’s thoughts. Well put sir.

I see on the world weather that your getting a break from the snow … and just to poke the envy button, I harvested our first tomato’s for this year …

The creative thought process is a wily beast, And we can only tame it through trial and error, where error is our greatest teacher.

Have a great day

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9039 posts in 2383 days


#7 posted 04-13-2015 10:16 PM

Thank you to you all! I usually log every step when I am designing, but for now, I am not really up for that. Just so you all don’t think I am ‘slacking’ – I may be working in several directions at once. :) I always appreciate your wonderful support.

Sheila

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

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

1216 posts in 1536 days


#8 posted 04-13-2015 11:58 PM

Can’t wait to see how this project will evolve. The drawing has certainly got my attention! Looking forward to it.

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9039 posts in 2383 days


#9 posted 04-14-2015 12:19 AM

Thank you so much, Anna! I only hope it comes out half as nice as I envision it. :) I hope you have a great week.

Sheila

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

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