For some, it’s all about the ideas and for others, well it’s all about the process. I definitely fall into the later category of creative type. When I get stuck and I have a vague idea of something if I start playing with materials, researching, experimenting and writing or sketching out my ideas then they become more concrete and really take form. When I am creating something, weather it is a garden design, a photograph, a textile design or a craft it really comes down to process. Take the photo above, I remember assembling all the flowers, all the teal vases, arranging them in just the way I wanted them to be, down to the fallen petals It might not be a perfect technical or compositional photo but it speaks to me and may inspire something more later. It is the process that I enjoy, it’s the process that keeps me doing/making, it’s the process that keeps me interested and marks the time I have spent in a way that feels satisfying to me.
Often I am not sure where I am headed with a project but I don’t have to visualize the end piece to begin working. This in itself can be scary for me and I’ve often been stuck for fear that I would never be able to finish something when I don’t know what “it” will end up being. This is when I need to remember that I am a process person, not necessarily an idea person (or I should say that my ideas aren’t always as strong as my process).
When I graduated from college I had to put together a portfolio of work but before the portfolio could be assembled I had to decide what my portfolio was going to represent. I choose to skirt the edge of two types of portfolio’s with part being geared towards “industry” and pattern/woven design and the other part was geared towards studio design which encompasses creating the design AND the product. What I really wanted to do was to focus on the Studio portfolio but what I ended up doing was creating a portfolio that would get me a job in the real world. In doing so I did have to sacrifice part of the process stage of creation. Now I have the luxury of going back and deciding to take a journey down the more process oriented road of Studio design. What this means is that I can have great ideas or so-so ideas but it’s my follow through that will bring these ideas into reality. I have to work out the design problems and follow through to completion of a product (not just a 2-D design on paper). This is exactly the process that’s been missing for me. I have been separate from the process of creating a product for the past 10 years as I have designed on the computer and rarely got to see these designs implemented into products. What I did enjoy about the work I did in the Hospitality industry is that there was a process that I created that made the projects more fun for me. I loved collaborating in the idea stage with the designers I got to work with (and I think many of them are idea people) and I took ideas and made them work in real life spaces with size and technical constraints to work with. These limitations were a part of the process that in the end was quite satisfying.
As for those flowers in the photo above; as a matter of fact they have inspired me in a current project I’m working on and will show you here soon!
Are you an Idea or Process person?
- Why and How to Create a Process Portfolio (tc.eserver.org)
- Eco Art in Textiles: Liz Burow’s Landscape-Inspired Creations (eco-chick.com)