Thoughts from the Studio.
Keep it Creative- Part 2. Fuel your Mojo.
Hey Creatives! Welcome back. Two weeks ago I talked about your creative spark and nature walks to get you thinking.
Today is more about active exploration of what you can do to fill your creative mojo cup and learn what the pros do!
1. Be a SPONGE! This post is heavy photo based, full of images that appear to be random and chaotic. Why? To show you a snippet of my creative process and how easily a nice, neat, white table becomes piles of color, action, confusing mess, juicy, fun, promising and stimulating- Full of possibilities! How does that happen and why is it important to creativity? Because a critical part of the process is TO BE A SPONGE! No judging or ruling out yet...Just collecting and soaking up what grabs your attention. (No need to curate now, that comes later)
Be the magpie who is attracted to all things shiny and just can't help herself from bringing it back to the nest!
a. POSTCARDS, MAGAZINE PAGES! Collect postcards from pretty much anywhere that intrigues, they're cheap & tangible. Collect color tabs from paint stores or design shops. Rip out pages of catalogues, magazines (sneeze while doing it at the dentist's office if you are that bold!) Quilt designs are noticeable everywhere we look and great references to file.
b. COLLECT BOOKS! Quilt books, graphic books, home decor. Visit the museum and if you love the exhibit, get the book. Go to library sales- full of great books for cheap! Flea markets.....etc....No matter how sophisticated our technology gets, the way we leaf through a book and truly ingest whats on a printed page is a rich and wonderful experience. I reference my books all the time for inspiration. Any good idea is worth exploring again. Derivatives are always an intriguing path to go down and in the quilt world, so much new work is inspired by tradition.
c. SOAK UP NATURE. Study pattern and repeats in our natural world. Quilts are just geometric simplifications of so much complexity in the designs from Mother Nature. Color is also wonderful when your palette is chosen from nature. It always, always works!
2 Make STYLE FILES are crucial to organizing your wonder/wanderings! To get to the point of having enough stuff to spill out on your dining room table, your studio desk or your college kids now tidy, unused bed, you need STYLE FILES! I keep them in light plastic snap folders marked: MODERN QUILTS, NATURE GEOMETRY, COLOR EXPLOSION, MONOCHROMATIC, ETHNIC/IMPROV DESIGN, TRADITIONAL/AMISH QUILTS, MUSEUM, QUILTCON, etc... Name them whatever your interests are. If this is your first time creating style files, keep it manageable by choosing your top 7 or so categories. Don't overwhelm yourself but do organize your ideas. I have many obsessions (I pretty much appreciate ALL colors and ALL styles when designed and made well- plus I have so much fabric design files in addition to quilt design.... so my library is over the top, but it's my full time job, so it works for me and I do love it. ) One of my finest textile design teachers from FIT told us on the first day: "You are as good as your best reference" Just make sure you do what works FOR YOU!
There are so many other sources of creating style files too: Pinterest, iPhoto, Instagram and various other applications suitable for screen viewing. Today we focused on the tactile inspiration. I still prefer them even though I am a huge fan of the online availability of endless inspiration. But for now, we have limits and boundaries....That is also part of the creative process. Knowing when to reel it in, put your head down and get to work.
Harnessing your own creative potential gives you a path to navigate and builds on your already existing knowledge. All of us need to hear it again and again with fresh ears.
1. Be a sponge. Keep your eyes open and scour the world for the good stuff.
2. Organize your Style Files. Start one that's been hiding in the little nooky part of your mind.
xo- Until next post.
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