How do you work? Do you spend time planning and thinking about your art, or do you just dive in? Do you make samples or studies for larger pieces, or plot it out ahead?
Since I have two months before the next quilt is due, I’d like to invest some time in the process. By nature I’m not introspective, don’t journal, don’t read for inspiration; this post is as introspective as I’m ever likely to get. My work is created for me to enjoy the process and for the finished piece to make me, and hopefully others, happy. There’s no meaning or message to be found. I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry if that makes me shallow – some of us are owls, and others are goldfinches. (That link is a great image of a goldfinch that’s copyrighted. You should go take a look.)
OK, I’ve run out of introspection for now – maybe this has helped me focus on the next quilt.

5 thoughts on “Vision?”

  1. Hi!
    I'm a "hunter/gatherer". I don't make samples or studies for larger pieces. Occasionally, I read … but never "how to" books or works volumes dedicated to other fiber artists or especially techniques. I rarely work toward a specific deadline but I do work very well in a series. Some of my series gestate mentally for months and months. Some for weeks. When I'm ready, I plunge in … but almost never with a clear vision of where the process is headed or how, exactly, I am going to accomplish the communication of ideas I'm seeking to relate. So, I guess it must appear that I'm not prepared and/or didn't work things out beforehand … but I did! I guess, that makes me introspective in my approach! Whatever works … just do it!

  2. I'm probably the opposite of you! I'm an inveterate planner…I work on a piece for anywhere from four to fourteen months and go through many design iterations as I go.

    I'm actually writing a book about the process of designing and creating in craft. You might find it an interesting read – I'm writing it as a series of blog posts at http://www.creatingcraft.com . So far I've written the sections about finding ideas/inspiration, generating designs from collections of ideas, and altering existing designs. In about a week I'll get into the section about evaluating and improving your designs.

    Or, check out my blog at http://www.tienchiu.com/category/blog-posts – my blog posts chronicle the full history of each of my projects, from concept to design to sampling/construction to finished project. Very different from your process!

  3. There seems to be this persistent idea out there that artists start with a vision of the piece in their heads and then they just do stuff until the work shows up in their hands, perfect, and exactly resembling the idea they started out with, and can eloquently verbalize all the artistic principles behind all the choices.

    I don't work like that. At all.

    I usually see something that intrigues me or run across an idea catches my attention somehow. I usually don't know why. The piece emerges from a weird, sidling, "sneaking up on myself" kind of effort that involves identifying and gathering things that somehow express, or are related to, or evocative of whatever drew me. Sometimes I start by knowing what color it is and then component parts somehow form or present themselves out of this haze and add themselves. That's as close as I get to explaining it. Probably not much help.

  4. I'm rather like you, although I do sometimes work to a plan if the piece is to a specific brief. I do lots of general experimenting or playing which often lead me to further work & these experimental pieces eventually will end up as part of something else.

  5. Thanks for the link. As a fairly new bird watcher, I am now really interested not only in the whats but increasingly the whys: specificaly, migratory patterns.

    Oh, and I think, sometimes for periods of time so long they surprise me, before creating.
    Tina in San Diego
    blog, Artelicious, http://www.tina- rathbone.blogspot.com

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