Hi, it's Tori West, from Meadow Lane Studios. I know some of the other contributors to this blog have encouraged you to experiment and try new techniques, I want to encourage you to experiment, try new things, and write them down! Sometimes the process of keeping track of what went wrong leads to coming up with brilliant solutions, and keeping track of successes leads to more inspiration and ideas, and more successful projects. So, my tip for this month is to start a journal or notebook about your craft adventures. Have fun with it, and use it often; perhaps title it “My Incredible Adventures in Art; Spectacularly Successful Creations and Fabulous Failures!” or, maybe just something like “Ideas, Experiments, and Inspiration” You can also use your journal for writing down ideas that interest you, noting craft projects you’d like to try, techniques or products you thought were particularly satisfying, or anything that gets you fired up to create.
To get you started and give you some ideas for what you might want to include, I’ll explain how I use mine. I prefer a three-ring binder because it is the easiest way to move pages around, add dividers, pocket pages, etc This hasn't stopped me from writing down ideas and notes on scraps of paper and sticky notes, but I usually end up taping those in my notebook in their appropriate place. If binders and organizing a notebook aren't your thing, just write stuff down in the journal as you go along, tape pictures in to it, scribble and draw in it, and make it your own.
My dividers are labeled:
- Ideas - I never run out of ideas, so I've divided this further into sections so I can find the one I want later. I also have folders in the file cabinet with these same labels so I can transfer them when my notebook gets full. I divide them in to these categories
- Experiments – I really like to find out “what if” for example, “What if I put bits of wax in with my Creative Paperclay® and then used a heat gun to melt the wax out?” or “What if I put ice in with the clay and let it melt out as the clay dried?” (see below – I discovered a way to make a type of clay “lace” that can be used for miniature landscaping and more, and I found a way to create an interesting texture in the clay that just might lend itself in the future to fairy grottoes and mystical settings!)
- Brain Fodder – a collection of clippings, catalogs, photos, or whatever else might inspire me. Sometimes I see something in a catalog that gives me an idea for a completely different type of thing. I tape this in the book and write and draw my ideas around it.
- Inventions - this is where I put the plans and diagrams for inventions, which is separate from the ideas sections because it's easier for me to keep them in one place where I can add in reference material, revisions and results.
|In addition to writing them down, I keep most of my experiments|
(and maybe experiment with them further!)
I love to go through this bin, it always makes me think of more "Zany Experiments"
The outside of my notebook is decorated with quotes about inventing and experimenting, so I'll leave you with one of my favorites! Thanks for joining me here!
"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun." - Mary Lou Cook
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