I checked today and found that I have had more than 30 craft patterns and articles published over the past 18 months. I've also created and posted more than a dozen free projects using recycled elements here on my blog in this time.
Looking back this seems like a quite a lot of ideas so I've decided to capture some of the ways I come up with these projects.
- I surf for inspiration all the time - I try and immerse myself in craft ideas and by soaking in ideas some lead to something new for me. I have a wonderful library of craft books and magazines which are well read. I also browse regularly on Google images and Pinterest (my new favourite). Together these sources cane give you so much especially if you pick a topic to search and let the search engines take you places. Surfing ides also helps make sure you do not create something very like someone else by accident. Pinterest also gives you the benefit of boards to collect your ideas quickly in an organised place which is brilliant.
- I keep a notebook and pencil handy to note ideas anywhere. Inspiration occurs anywhere and remembering the source later can be heartbreaking when it slips your mind. If I note it down quickly, I have a starting point. Recently, I have added the camera on my phone to this ideas capture process (just to be slightly modern).
- I am very disciplined with my idea development process. I continuously set myself goals for new project development. I believe the more you create, the more ideas come from the process. I also can try new techniques that lead to other ideas. I try and create around 3 or 4 new completed projects a month. I also am very disciplined in breaking down projects into bits I can work on in different setting like at night after work, on the weekend, while waiting at sports, etc. I use lots of little bags and note steps down as I go (especially measurements and thread colours :))
- I try and look for something a bit unusual in my designs to make them stand out. What I mean by this is looking for slightly unusual ways of interpreting the ideas for example taking inspiration from science, from hardware, from architecture, from poetry, from philosophy. Recently, I created a softie of the Sun. It started by getting the words "Where the Wild Things Are". The words started me thinking about the wildest weather I knew - in the solar system. I then remembered the wonderful images of smiley faces from the 1970's and suddenly these ideas came together in a new soft toy.
- Faces are key to a personality design. I really focus on creating wonderful faces when I develop projects. The eyes are supposed to be the window to the soul. I think a great and winning face and especially the eyes, will win a project over to your heart everytime. I collect wonderful face designs and work on them regularly.
- I seek out and really listen to feedback on my projects. I have a wonderful family who are really honest with their feedback on my ideas and I love coming up with ideas they can't find too many faults with. Its a bit of a personal challenge I enjoy. If you can find a genuinely honest assessor of your work, and can take on board what they say, your work really improves.