Friday, February 7, 2020

Ideas Lab on Off the Wall Friday

You know I'm never really short of ideas.  They seem to pop into my head all the time.  The problem is that they tend to pop right out.  I know that sounds strange but life is loud and it can drown out the ideas.  Not to mention, was that idea really any good anyways??

I know you know what I mean....you finally get  some creative time....there's a quiet studio ...all clean... filled with all the wonderful fabric and goodies you got over Christmas ... and you got nothing.  So you start looking for inspiration ... you jot down a few ideas that might or might not lead to somewhere and the next thing you know your 4 hrs of allotted studio time is over.  And you still are not sure that your ideas are worth your time or effort or even if its really yours and not derived from someone else's work and suddenly you're stuck in this design delay because you can't decide if your idea is even feasible! And your studio is still clean.  And you still haven't used all those great supplies from Christmas.  UGH!!
nothing.  Nothing like just a clean empty table and plenty of art quilt books and pattern books filled with other people's ideas  but you, yourself got

So after listening to one of my favorite podcasts Creative Pep Talk , I have a new plan.

  1. Grab a small idea notebook.  Make sure its the kind you'll really like to use, because that way you'll, you know, use it.
  2. Don't put off thinking of ideas until the day you really need one.  Think about them whenever you got a quiet moment or feel inspired.  Yes, I mean put down your phone when you're in line and just think.
  3. Think about things that really have resonated with you in your life.  These are the things that really have made you stop  in your tracks and say wow that's amazing.  Its the kind of experiences that made you just want to look and look or listen or feel.  Try to think about things YOU love not the things you think you should love. Start with things from your childhood and work forward from there.  My example was years ago, I took a 2nd grade class to see the movie Curious George.  We were sitting in the dark theatre and the movie started and the screen was just a mass of amazing colors...the whole move was that way.  Just these joyful bright colors and simple shapes.  I couldn't tell you what the movie was about but I still remember how I took an intake of breathe when the screen went from  black to color. 
  4. With those experiences jotted down, think about what it was that reverberated in you.What is at the emotional core of the idea.
  5. Take those emotions and those inspirations and let them lead you into your next piece. Don't let yourself get involved in the HOW yet...start with the WHAT and move quietly into the WHY.  Once that is clear the how will become naturally. 

Now I know that takes a lot of introspection, when really you just want to just get after it.  Still if you take some time and really look at what makes you tick, your pieces will convey the real you and not something was derived from someone else or something you think you should be making.


Speaking of  Ideas.....Two years ago, our county library built an Idea Lab.  The lab consists of a Makerspace, Media Lab, workspaces known as “collaboratories” and a community classroom with two dozen laptops.  They have a TON of great equipment that artists, students, new businesses and yes the general public can use free of charge.

Included are several 3-D printers, 3D printing pens, a computer equipped with design software including the whole adobe suite, a Cricut Maker, an Easy press, a vinyl cutter, two sewing machines, a VHS-to-DVD converter, a large-format printer, a green screen and recording studio, a thermal laminator, a handheld label maker, fiber art supplies and jewelry-making equipment. Not to mention there are drafting supplies, and art supplies.

So they give classes and instructions on how to use the equipment - especially the 3-D printers.  The only thing you pay for is the materials you used...the equipment is totally free.  You can preschedule time on the equipment or drop in and use it if its free.


Let me tell you, you walk in there and its amazing.  So many possibilities at your hands.  This weekend I plan on going in and using the photoshop  to come up with my final design of my history project.  You can literally scan old pictures up in the Heritage Room on their oversize scanner, bring the thumb drive down to the idea lab to edit on photoshop and then print out a full size pattern on their large format printer.  At least that's the plan!!

Now isn't that a good use of our tax dollars??

So What Have Been UP to Creatively?



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5 comments:

another lefty said...

The maker lab! Our town has one also. Never thought of going there. Thanks!

Deb Cox said...

Nina, my dear lady, thank you ever so much for this post. It is brilliant and it gave me a little kick (making notes in journal) on how to proceed forward with creativity. I shall keep this one and refer back and forth. So subtle and so powerful all at the same time. Well done. I most certainly appreciated it! Cheers to you and your thoughts. (-:

Lynda said...

OMG! That maker lab sounds like a great place. I'd love to use a 3-d printer. Now to make a list of what I'd make with one! Great post! I just returned from vacation and it seems that always helps my muse. I get away from my studio and everything and ideas come to me. I wrote them all down too! Now not sure the one I really like will even pan out, but at least I'm thinking. Thanks again.

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Nina Marie, that's exactly what I do for keeping track of ideas. Of course, in theory they are in my journal, but in practice they are on all kinds of bits of paper everywhere!

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