Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Want Ideas? Get Input.

I am always rather befuddled when folks tell me they don't get any ideas.  Frankly, I have a hard time believing it.  Really? I mean REALLY?  Not even ONE? Maybe the idea-less are expecting ideas to be BIG, AMAZING, COMPLETELY ORIGINAL and GIFT-WRAPPED, ready for immediate use.

In that case, my friends, you are going to be bitterly disappointed.  Ideas come from all around you, and they never come fully formed. It is said humor is the juxtaposition of incongruous things.  In other words, it's the unexpected. Ideas are like that.

The spark that generates the idea is the AHA! moment when something clicks because you've just made a connection.  But you can't get that AHA! moment unless you have things to connect. That's where INPUT comes in.  You have to collect it.  Sometimes it can be a box of pictures, or clippings from magazines, or it's a sketchbook.
I collect quotes. I keep them in a box.  When I search for a phrase for a word quilt, this is the first place I look.

But it's also important to keep an eye out for things that catch your attention, and RECOGNIZE they've caught your attention.  You don't need to know WHY!  Everybody has a phone that has a camera nowadays. When you see something that catches your fancy, take a photo.

Will I ever make a quilt inspired by the colors of these tiny little birds?

I don't know, but I would NEVER have been able to remember the astounding color combination had I not taken a few photos.  The black under the beak, that intense light blue next to the purple of the breast, with a RED head and brilliant green back and yellow stomach... it's fabulous. I'd have never thought of that on my own.  But these little birds were fluttering around when I visited a Butterfly "zoo."  So I took a picture, to remember.

To be creative, to be imaginative, to hope to be either, you must open yourself up to the world around you. Read, look, be aware.  Go see some art, even if it isn't what you "do." Is there an Art Museum in your town? GO! Most public museums have free admission some time. At the Currier, in my town, it's Saturday between 10 AM and 2 PM. Look around.  Don't slavishly read every label. Just wander and look at whatever catches your fancy. Don't look only at the stuff you think you like, look at everything. 

Walk through the galleries in your city.  Get out.  Look around.

You have an imagination. It's hungry.  Feed it!



Quiltdivajulie said...

Another awesome process post!

Judy in Michigan said...

Thanks for that. Great ideas and inspiration!!

Queenie Believe said...

Wonderful advise.
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

pwl said...

Thank you! You just reminded me to write down a phrase that has been in my mind for the past few days - and hadn't been put in My Journal yet.