Sunday, December 29, 2013

How Do You Do That?!

I wanted to answer a question that was asked of me. One of my lovely Readers asked me how I get the ideas for my projects and how do I get started on a project. She wanted to know what my creative process looked like.

As for WHERE my ideas come depends. Sometimes I see something that another crafter has made that sparks an idea. Sometimes I see a grouping of colors that inspires me. Most of the time, I simply look at the scrapbook papers, stamps, and other products, and that generates the ideas.

This project came about because I saw a friend's project. She made a large-ish canvas that was worked in a lovely dark blue. I wanted to "copy" that blue. I also wanted to play with a new stencil that I had purchased, and was wanting to try using some modeling paste. And this is where things went!

Honestly, sometimes my ideas come to me in dreams or in the shower. It is almost like God thumps me on the head and says, "HERE!" I am also the master of looking at something some else has done and "improving" it in my own style. I am not above "borrowing" ideas from other artists and twisting them out of shape! {grin} 

I don't like to copy projects verbatim, even when I take a class or workshop. My project tends to become my own version of the class. If I am inspired by another artist, I try to give her credit. And, yes in this business several of us may indeed make a similar project at the same time. It has happened that I have made something that I thought was so innovative, and the next day I will see something very similar on Pinterest. 

As for how my creative process works, that is a tough one to answer! You have to understand that I don't consider myself to be "creative." Rather, I describe myself as "innovative." (I know. You are shaking your head right now.) It is true. I view things from a "builder's" point of view. 

If I am going to make a card or a scrapbook page, I ALWAYS start with some sort of sketch or drawing. I may use a sketch that someone else has made or I may sketch out something of my own. I look at a lot of art, and I sketch out things that appeal to me. I may have 3-4 sketches on my desk at once.  I may like the photo placement on one sketch and the background work on another and the paper layering on a third.

Here is a sketch that I found on Pinterest. (I could not find the artist's blog, but her email is printed on the sketch.) I love aspects of this sketch and it is a good starting point for me. I can see the stamps I want to use. My finished project may look NOTHING like the sketch, but it is a good place to get started!

Here is a layout that sort of uses the sketch a way.

Once I have an idea, I choose my materials. I will drag out all of my papers, stamps, embellishments, inks, and so forth that I feel "go with" my theme of choice. Or I may bring out only NEW product, or things in a particular color scheme or style. Then I will start to sort them, and touch them, and look at them. Often, a huge pile will end up on my desk and a bigger pile of "discards" on the floor!

This must have been the mess from a small project since I see only a few boxes and piles! 

Once I have my "target" items on my desk, I will decided on my "canvas." If I am making a layout, I will chose a 12x12 piece of cardstock. If I am making a card, then I will cut cardstock in the appropriate size for a card. From my pile of items I will select things that have the same color values, tones, or hues. I will see what prints look well together. I will decide how much and what sort of extras to add. I will think about what techniques I want to try, or maybe I want to stamp something. Maybe I want to die cut some things. It is a HUGE process of sifting out the "do not want" from the pile.

There are times when the finished project does not have one thing in common with my first idea! I don't want to say the art "just happens," but it does feel like that sometimes!

I will start putting things on the "canvas" until it looks "right." Adding and subtracting as I go along. I guess this is where my creative brain takes over and runs amok! I simply cannot describe that creative process very well. I just fuss with things until they look the way I think they should. This is a photo of what the creative process looks like! I am reduced to an actual working area that is smaller than 6x6-inches square!

Below is a card I made in a monochromatic color scheme. I was also wanted to make something in a vintage film motif. That would give me a starting point for choosing my materials.

Somehow, it all comes together into a cohesive project! My rule of thumb: when you think you are finished...add a few more things to the project! {grin}

Crafting is a messy business! 

For a peek into my studio, click HERE. There is a little video for you to watch as well.

Thanks for indulging me in this look into my creative brain! 


  1. Thank you for sharing it with us. For years I want to change my small upstairs hall into a studio for my work but it never happens! Maybe some day. I love yours.
    Happy New year!

  2. Thanks gloria for sharing this! It was nice to have a sneak peak in youre creative brain. Happy New year!!!

  3. Well, I'm sure glad you confirmed that crafting is a messy business and that your craft room looks as chaotic as mine. Which, by the way drives my boyfriend nuts :)
    Happy New Year!

  4. You, my dear Gloria, have just made my day! :-) Those pictures of your innovation studio look so very familiar! Thanks for sharing!! Blessings!

  5. Oh! I just love this!! That's what my desk looks like too when I get going on something. Maybe I'm a little normal after all!

  6. Gorgeous projects, so glad to see that I am not the only one that has a big desk but works in a very small area :)

  7. My desk looks looks like yours all the time and it drives me crazy. I actually have 2 desks and they are both overflowing. I clean up after each project but it is all back again. I use my formal living room/dining room for my craft room so I have to attempt to keep it neat. I have a large area but it does no good there is never enough space.