Friday, July 13, 2007

Ideas That Live and Grow ...

I subscribe to MANY magazines to keep myself informed about my craft and industry. My mailbox is always filled with some sort of literature of one kind or another. I don't always have the time to sit down and read every article, so I admit I skim the contents and look at photos most of the time. Sometimes, the magazine just gets filed away on my studio bookshelf but not without a cursory flip through.

I'm a bit crazy with organizing my books and magazines. Each magazine is protected by a sheet protector (if it fits) and then in chronological order on one of three IKEA Billy bookshelves (the tallest one - 79.5") in the studio. Each bookshelf has glass doors so I can see through. Hardcover dust jackets are covered with Brodart archival sheets just like the libraries. Is this excessive? As a book lover, I don't think so, since books are one of my most prized possessions. The three bookshelves in the studio stores just the books and magazines related to my craft. I have another three bookshelves in the upstairs library designated for my other books. I'm also eyeing the three other bookshelves in the library with my husband's name on them. Am I being greedy? Yes. How many books are too many books? I don't think I have nearly enough resources and intend to fill every corner of this house with books and MORE books! (Please don't tell my husband, Nick!)

Anyhow, I was thumbing through the summer issue of The Flow Magazine last night and Milon Townsend's article on Creativity piqued my interest. Since I've been talking about inspiration in the last few posts, the topic of creativity goes hand in hand. Milon spoke about documenting your ideas on a moment's notice, to keep pen and paper close at hand, as ideas come and go.

I often carry a notepad and pen in my purse for this purpose even before reading Milon's article. Once I was in a movie theater watching a movie with my sister and brother in law. I can't recall the movie but while sitting there I heard something in one of the previews and went to my purse to get my notepad. Oh no, it wasn't there (why wasn't it there?), so I quickly grabbed any piece of paper (it happened to be a store receipt) and jotted down some words. My sister in law, both amused and puzzled, asked me "what are you doing?" I can't tell you how many bits of paper I have on my desk right now or in my purse. Sometimes the notes are just a few words and other times they are rough sketches. Some ideas are immediately explored but others may just live on paper until it's the right time. Some papers get lost or misplaced only to be found at the aha! moments.

Did you get what I just stated? "live on paper". Yes ideas begin to have life when they are written down. And when you are ready to explore these ideas, they may undergo a metamorphosis and become much more than you first imagined. It takes time to cultivate an idea. No one just sits down and makes masterpieces. And some ideas may not be all that great but they lead you in the right direction to new discoveries.

When is a good idea a good idea? When it is executed, even if it's not successfully at first, it may grow into a GREAT idea later as something very different than how it began. When is a good idea a bad idea? When it is not attempted.

Now, isn't creativity grand? Are you ready with pen and paper at a moment's notice? Get to it! What are you waiting for, start writing and sketching ideas down.
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