Friday, November 19, 2021

The Birth of an Idea on Off the Wall Friday


Honestly, I don't know how it can be Thursday already!  Work is crazy, the snow has started to fly (yes SNOW #lifeonLakeErie) and the holidays are just around the corner.  In all of this, I got the bright idea to try to enter Sacred Threads 2022.  With the deadline  fast approaching, it suddenly got moved to the top of my to-do list.   The only problem is I have no clue of what I want to enter.  I thought it would be fun to blog out how I go about coming up with a new design.  (Notice the use of blog as a verb...see the younger generation isn't the only one that can slaughter the English language!)  

(Now remember this is just how I go about giving birth to an idea!)

Red & Orange Streak, Georgia OKeefe

Step 1:
  Theme ... Here I decide what I want to say.  I've seen many, many quilters make a quilt and then decides what it says.    That might be fun for an exercise but for something as important as Sacred Threads that just won't do.  For me, though its easy.  I want to continue on with my worship series.  Worship for me is an big part of my spiritual life and it's fun to bring both my passions (worship/art) together.  This would be the fourth in the series.  

Victory Dance, Deborah Nell
Step 2:  Research ... Most times, this is where I need to learn more about the subject I
want to create.  Of course with this project,  I totally understand the subject.  That brings me to looking at inspirational ideas.  What works for me is to study how other artists have covered a subject.  From the beginning of art, artists have looked to other artists to inspire their own work.  With the advent of the internet it's become that much easier.  Over the last 10 years, I've currated my pinterest boards.  I use them not only to hoard collect pretty pictures but put together ideas for future projects.  With a new project, it just gives me an excuse to go down the rabbit hole of fact...I just had to stop myself from doing it while I was writing this post.  With this project, I already had a board going called Praise.

Step 3: Brainstorm ... In the past I would do this mentally, but as I get older I find it's not a bad idea to write things down.  Most of the time it starts out on quarter cut pieces of scrap paper that I'll jot down as I'm talking to  my customers.  It goes somethings like this..... VERBALLY  Yes, I'm sorry to say but the no-iron pants in  14 petite are  on back order till December 14....MENTALLY  I love how
those the curves radiate right off the edge of this painting.  It makes it seem like the praise just keeps going and going.  PHYSICALLY Jot down a quick sketch and put it in the pile for after work. (Oh yeah, I do get my customer her pants ... we always have those pants in some color!)    Then the little sketches can be later evaluated and stored for the next step.

Step 4:  Design ... This is where rubber hits the road.  I mean, it's all fine and good to be
talking about a new design but if you can't get it down on paper, it's all for naught, right?!  For me I'll do simple line sketches of the different ideas and elements from previous steps.  They don't have to be anything fancy, but they have to start looking like an actual compositions.  I do this with both abstract and figurative designs.  And no...I don't do just one.... I'll do a few.  THEN I can evaluate which one is the strongest.   The strongest goes safely into my sketchbook where it can later be refined. 

And THAT's how an idea is born.  For me, it's all down on paper.  I know weird, but I really do need to have a road map on where I'm going or I'll just end up standing still...or worse yet....circling back to the beginning.  With that said,  I definitely don't guarantee that I will get to where I actually meant to but I'm quite sure it will be someplace interesting.  

So What Are You Up to Creatively?

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Marie said...

Thank you for this reflection on your process! It is very interesting. I guess I reach paper level a bit later. Brainstorm is mostly in my head. There's a huge inconvenient with this : an idea can keep me awake. I know that I need to write down work ideas I'd I don't want to be bothered by them at night. Why wouldn't I do the same for quilt ideas?

Nina Marie said...

Honestly, it's not a bad idea to ruminate about an idea ... but I can see how it will keep you awake. I used to do it when I was driving. But alas, since we now have no where to go I just don't get that luxury anymore!

DVArtist said...

This is truly beautiful.