For some people, creativity is fueled by ideas and for others, it’s all about the process.
When I get stuck and I have a vague idea of something all I really have to do to get ideas back in the flow is pick up the materials. By engaging int the process of research, experiment, play and writing or sketching out my ideas, they become more concrete and really take form.
When I am creating something, whether it is a garden design, a photograph, a textile design or a craft it really comes down to process. Take the photo above, I remember assembling all the flowers, all the teal vases, arranging them in just the way I wanted them to be, down to the fallen petals. It might not be a perfect technical or composition, but it speaks to me and may inspire something more later.
It is the process that I enjoy, it’s the process that keeps me making. It’s the process that keeps me interested and marks the time I have spent in a way that feels satisfying to me.
I often begin a project, not sure where I am headed but I don’t have to visualize the end piece to begin working. This in itself can be scary for me and I’ve often been stuck for fear that I would never be able to finish something when I don’t know what “it” will end up being. This is when I need to remember that I am a process person, not necessarily an idea person (or I should say that my ideas aren’t always as strong as my process).
When I graduated from college I had to put together a portfolio of work but before the portfolio could be assembled I had to decide what my portfolio was going to represent. I choose to skirt the edge of two types of portfolio’s with part being geared towards “industry” and pattern/woven design and the other part was geared towards studio design which encompasses creating the design AND the product. What I really wanted to do was to focus on the Studio portfolio but what I ended up doing was creating a portfolio that would get me a job in the real world. In doing this, I had to sacrifice part of the process stage of creation.
Now, I have a bit more luxury to enjoy the process and not worry about the outcome. I don’t have the pressure of school or clients when I’m creating my art. What this means is that I can have great ideas or so-so ideas but it’s my follow through that will bring these ideas into reality.
When I’m working on an organizing project I am directly involved in the process of creating systems and I usually get to witness their outcome. This was missing for me for many years in my creative career and it’s part of what I love most about organizing projects.
I was separate from the outcome of the product I designed for almost 10 years. As a CAD textile designer I rarely got to see my designs implemented. Seeing the outcome is a huge part of the process for me. Being so involved in the process of organizing, being hands on and seeing the direct results is a bit part of what I love. I am there to witness the outcome, success or failure (or somewhere in between).
As a textile designer I loved collaborating in the idea stage with the designers (and I think many of them are idea people) and I took ideas and made them work in real life spaces with size and technical limitations. These limitations were a part of the process that in the end was quite satisfying. I’m grateful that I still have the opportunity to collaborate with every client I work with. Whether my clients can visualize the ideal outcome or not, I’m there to make sure the process works and I try to make it fun along the way!
Are you an Idea or Process person?