I designed a side table last week that is also a light. I am positively having itchy fingers to start making it. I had the sudden inspiration after having flicked through a commercial furniture supplier's brochure that arrived in the post. It showed many works from the latest Milan show and I looked at a few shapely curves on furniture that sparked the idea, but none of them were also lights. That only came about after I had started drawing up the table as we need one at home.
As it was I ended up having to park my side table idea on the weekend, as we have a farm and responsibilities that come before any arty farty time. So now I am thinking on how to get the material for this side table to the farm and then when to start whipping it up. Exciting! My plan is to make one out of mdf or equivalent to see if the design works, and then to sell the plans of it so anyone with some DIY tools can make it too. Cost effective design piece and "green" as it's up to the 'builder' how to finish the design.
So how can any of us be more creative and also; find time for ourselves to make things?
I find this time thing the hardest: basically I'm currently left with only the evenings. (And that's how some people who know me say I am barking mad because I do too many things. I have too many ideas and I often feel like a gas bottle under pressure.)
I also figured out that in order to create "me-time" I had to get better organized. I bought a desk that now more effectively stores my paperwork. This way I can open the mail in the
evenings for example and tidy the bills and information away quickly, taking only 5 minutes, which means I don't have to sit down and go through all that jazz one day a week which would cost me more time when I'd rather be doing something else. I also have an effective system with feeding the animals twice every day as that is my responsibility and I try to fit in other activities during the week as well so I don't have to in the weekend. It can be quite the juggling act, but really: instead of watching tv for 2 hours every night I could be doing something else instead.
Sparking your creativity:
- get paper out on a table and any pens, paint or whatever you find easiest to work with and just get cracking. I have used ballpoints a lot in my day and it works for me. You don't need fancy materials to draw your ideas down.
- is there anything in your house or room that you've been wanting a solution for? Write down a few things and make some sketches. Start drawing.
- magazines and websites: create a clippings book and bookmark your favorite sites. Compile sketches. I see many things every day and my brain stores the images as I have a visual memory. Things can pop up at the craziest times, but it is handy to have an actual reference.
- nature; there are so many things to see and admire out there in the world, whether it is the surprising and silhouetted shape of trees or a concrete jungle sparking graffiti.
- collaborate: do you know any one who is as crazy as you? Talk to them and see if they're game to start up a project together. This way you learn from each other and it's simply great fun.
- do a course if you feel that you require direction to focus your abilities. You also get to meet others which is inspiring in itself.
- write down your ideas. I find if they're still cool after many months, you're onto something. I have a whole folder stuffed with ideas; ranging from bedlinen designs, to lighting, to rough cabin designs and interior design schemes. I am unable to work on them right now so I have to choose, leaving 90% sitting in this folder. They could be of use later down the track.
- never say die. If you feel something bubbling inside of you, don't ignore it. Drag a notebook in your bag with you, store things on your computer if thats' easier for you, put clippings in your diary and add them to your sketchbook at home. Just keep at it. It's worth more to you then you may realize now.
picture above: a sketch design of mine: down-under cuisine 2010