Monday, July 21, 2008

Ideas for makin' stuff

People always wonder where I get my ideas from, and I'm really at a loss as to how I explain it. Ideas just "come" to me - but if I try too hard, the ideas can retreat just out of reach. I'm usually FULL of ideas for what other people should do, but when it comes to my own work it can be a bit more challenging.

Ideas tend to flow more freely when I am immersed in creative tasks over a long period, like when I first started working on setting up my own store. I found it to be a very spiritual experience, really, and I would describe the feeling as being a conduit for creativity. I have never felt that the ideas I receive have been my own, but rather a gift from a "higher power". The more you open yourself to receive, the more the ideas begin to flow! Very new-age-y stuff!

Anyway, I've been craving more dedicated creative time lately, but the pressures of daily life do intervene. It is certainly difficult to balance all the day-to-day pressures of work, home life, family, social obligations, and if you are like me, wedding planning! Like anything, some discipline is required. I had grand intentions of working on some new jewelry pieces on the weekend, but I got gardening while the sun was shining, and then when the thunderstorms drove me inside, an unexpected flood cancelled out my plans. When things go like this, the ideas sometimes dry up.

I have often found it is a good idea (!) to keep a notebook and/or scrap album when the ideas are a bit more plentiful. That way, you can always go back and pick up on ideas that never quite made it to fruition. But do yourself a favour, and leave detailed notes - I have sometimes gone back and wondered what the heck I was talking about, because over time we can forget wisps of ideas we once had!

I have found inspiration in nature, books, magazines, online, and in the works of others, but there is a rule about "borrowing" - never duplicate someone elses' idea EXACTLY!!!
ALWAYS change something and make the new item your own creation! Otherwise, there is no creativity involved - you have merely practiced your ability to mimic someone else.

This is one of the high points of Textures Craftworks, where I sell my creations. All work is juried for originality and creativity, and NO COMMERCIAL PATTERNS are allowed - all work must be designed and created by the artist. There is a time and a place for patterns, and that is meant for newbies to practice and improve their skills, or for people who just want to try something they haven't done before. After that, it's time to come up with some ideas of your own!