As I sit down and write this morning, I find myself struggling a bit as to which direction I want today's post to head. It seems that lately there have been so many new avenues that I have been exploring that it is somewhat difficult for me to discuss them all here without having extremely lengthy posts. While some of you may not mind that, I realize that other just don't have the time, as they are much like me – exploring the different avenues and wondering which one would be the 'best' to follow. Decisions like that take a great deal of time and resources. They aren't made lightly.
It has been just over a year now since the magazine I worked with for nearly twenty years has folded. It is just this very morning that I am able to attribute that fact to the past several months of me kind of floundering around as far as my craft is concerned, as I feel that things have been somewhat out of focus.
Since we are well into the final quarter of the year, I begin to start evaluating the things that transpired with my business these past months and gauge how things have done. Overall, we are still seeing a growth in our business, which of course is a very positive thing. Keith has come up with some wonderful ideas and seems to have found his niche with his word art patterns as well as his wonderful ability to draw and create beautiful, flowing designs that are well-received by so many. He has really made his mark on the woodworking and scrolling world and has made a wonderful name for himself with his work. I am very proud to be his partner.
As for myself, I feel as if I have been meandering back and forth with several things, trying to find where my work will take me. I have been testing the water in several different venues and trying to find the one that will best suit my ability and desire. It isn't easy.
I often am asked how I keep coming up with my different ideas. There never seems to be a shortage of things to create and my head is filling up with additional projects much quicker than I can implement and create them. I believe that is because in my journey of exploring different media and different techniques, I see so much that new things are triggered all the time. I get tired just thinking about them.
Another part of the variety is economics. As many of you know, it isn't always easy following ones' desire and heart and making a living at doing something creative. Especially at these times when it seems that people are struggling financially more than ever. Art and recreation is what most consider a 'luxury' and things like paying rent or buying food or fuel comes before spending money on leisure time activities. Sometimes we need to be practical after all.
With all that said, I still feel the need to try to find what will work best for me. While my pure desire is to draw, paint, and create beautiful things out of wood each day with no pressure or expectation, I realize that in reality, that can't be the case at this time in my life. I have to override my desire to create for the sake of creating and allow the practicality of creating for others take precedent. But that isn't a bad thing either.
Fortunately for me, it isn't all black and white. For so much of creating patterns for others relies on creativity and originality. It is a very large grey area where my own tastes and desires coincide with what will be embraced and popular with others. That is a great relief for me.
But finding that 'zone' isn't always easy and doesn't always happen immediately. There is no magic formula for satiating my own soul while feeding the needs of others. It happens a little bit here and a little bit there and I have learned to be happy with the compromise that we are all generally happy with the results. In the mean time, we keep on – and will continue – evolving and changing ourselves as we grow as artists and designers. That is just part of the process.
So I ask you all to be patient with me as I go through this process. I feel 'odd' not writing every day as I have been doing for nearly six years. But there are some days when I am so thick in the midst of 'doing things' that I feel the mechanics of writing and documenting the process is somewhat mundane and boring to you, my readers. So I skip. Ironically, this often is the time when I seem to be accomplishing and learning the most. So it is with purpose.
Yesterday I finished up my three ornaments that will be in a collaboration ornament painting instruction book. I was invited to join some very talented ladies in creating several books of this type, and I jumped at the chance. My peers are all artists whom I admire greatly, and I was thrilled to be included with them. I will have more information on the book as we get closer to releasing it, within a couple of weeks.
I decided to create three little snow globe ornaments with some cute mice in them:
They were fun and something 'different' that I hope will appeal to many. I will be spending the day today writing up the instructions for them and also working on the instructions for the herb plaques that I created for the book for Artist's Club.
Keith also finished up another set of ornaments that I believe is absolutely lovely!
His SLDK618 Filigree Christmas Spirit Ornament pattern is now available on the site. I absolutely love them and I think they will be very popular.
We are planning a site update either later today or tomorrow. A newsletter will be coming out as well. It is going to be a busy end to the week for me, and then hopefully by the weekend I will be able to get back to some more designing myself. I have some scroll saw designs that are in my head that I have been dying to get done, but these other deadlines have been calling.
It seems that I will always be evolving. I don't think that is a bad thing though. I think as long as I am changing and hopefully improving, I will never run out of new ideas or concepts. While every idea I have may not be a home run, more often than not even if an idea fails, it triggers off another idea that is a success. I believe it is part of the process and part of being a designer in general.
Thank you to all of you who have stuck with me through all these years. And welcome those who are new. I think the best is yet to come.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"