the creative process ?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

bits of ribbon, crystal gems & inspiration for this first jewellery collection

Plus new Cavallini Paris file folder to store everything in, instead of the regular el cheapo pale gold file folders that I buy in bulk and normally use. This new project warrants new inspiration, new care & attention and this beautiful folder will help keep all my notes and sketches and scribbles wrapped up in aesthetic beauty & love.

I had to stop working on this project (my first jewellery collection for brand new big fish gift co. customer) yesterday to come up with two new photo frame ideas for No. 1 company. The company that has kept me afloat for nearly 6 years, I design photo frames, mostly cast metal, occasionally with the addition of charms or epoxy (enamel looking) and I am forever being asked to come up with a brand new terribly exciting & much mo different idea all with the same theme. For example "baby" it seems I've done a billion different baby collections - who knew that I could draw sweet little zoo babies, baby farm animals or too cute insects??

Tuesday I received the request to please try and knock myself off once again, same old theme (sentiments - wedding, memories, sisters, friends etc.) but absolutely brand new idea. "Oh yeah, sure thing". Fortunately success = $$$, a great motivator, although my initial reaction while staring at the blank piece of tracing paper was "I can't possibly come up with yet another NEW idea. They've all been done, I'm done, dried up, pas de ideas. Kaput!". However we've been down this road many times before ... so I begin with researching on line, trying to see what's out there, what other companies are doing, what other dept. stores are selling, scrap booking & greeting card sights are also tres helpful. The brain thankfully by now, is moving along on cruise control. Too much specific thinking = bad, I've learned that the hard way.

I keep all my thumbnails pasted in large sketchbooks, 100's of little smudgy pieces of tracing paper filled with obsessively neat little drawings. Over the years I have drawn many, many ideas that I believed to be absolutely fantastic, at the time, but they never flew for whatever reason. When my back is against the wall I haul out these sketchbooks, flip through the glued pages & impress the shit out of myself (I have no idea who came up with all those ideas) and sure enough somewhere in that massive jumble of inspiration - there's a new idea!! Actually yesterday there were 2, and on the same old page, dated 2004. Hallelujah! (can you hear those darn angels).

Sat at my desk, most of yesterday, drawing up these 2 ideas, sent them off through the air as JPEGs. And the response from Val, No. uno boss lady - First idea, first line of her reply email "WOW! I'm impressed" and that's a big deal coming from someone who I've been working with for nearly 6 years. Second idea, first line of her email "WONDERFUL! what did you have for lunch? In fact, she typed both those first lines in all caps, and we all know what that means? Smirk.

Now, my challenge for today, and tomorrow, is to channel, somehow (?#&%!), that same miraculous creative process and come up with a scintillating-ly incredible jewellery collection and wow the pants off my new big fish giftware co. customer. This is the kind of pressure I live with everyday.

Smile, sigh, happy designer.

my tools + thumbnail drawings, can you see the teeth marks on my favourite red mechanical pencil? ... from the clenching & gnashing.


  1. Hahahah.... the creative process must be working overtime, because the second I saw the pic of the ribbons etc...I thought I was on the wrong blog! It looks so soft, romantic and more like some of the crafting blogs I peruse. Do you do something to a photo to get the pretty blueish tinge to all of it or what? I love that look in a photo.... I have Photoshop and have not one clue how to use it. In the past I have managed, with great difficulty, to make a photo smaller...that is the extent of my expertise in that area.

    Great idea having beautiful, romantic, inspirational folders. For my doll patterns and info, I found some one day that had a doll-like pic of a young girl on the front and thought they looked much nicer than the dull grey ones I was using.

    Don't think I would do well with that type of pressure and time constraints as well.... I think I am, basically, a very lazy individual.

  2. I do have Photoshop as well and I am very gradually beginning to experiment with slight adjustments to brightness, contrast, saturation, hue and colour balance. And I recently was shown (by my teen age computer whiz nephew - everyone should have one) how to remove dust spots or blemishes on scanned photos. Actually last night while on Skype (internet telephone - he's in St. John's at university) he walked me through installing the new operating system on my beloved Mac. I am a techno phobe (sp). I love my computer but am not really too swift with the technical aspects.

    This photo of ribbons & such was not Photoshop-ed. I guess it's the cast of blue colour ribbon and the light from my desk lamp that gave it that particular blue cool-ish feel.

    It seems (?) I am quite driven when it comes to my design work, but oh Vee, my housekeeping & gardening upkeep is sad. I feel very lazy as well when I look around my cluttery messy house. When my work is done I'd much rather go for a walk with the dogs or curl up in the nest with a book or a stack of magazines or head to the kitchen to cook something yummy ... how I would love a tidy organized home. It is truly a mission of mine.

    It's a part of my self that I'm determined to change. I think having a blog and peeking into the lives of so many fantastically creative women through their blogs gives me much inspiration with this goal!


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