The Tool Shed. Any good gardener or artist knows pocessing right tools for a job is very important. Working without tools often leads to frustration and a botched job. Good tools will aid and allow me to create at a higher level than I’d have been able to attain without them.
Although there are many development tools available, my four most basic are: A sketchbook, a blank book I use regularly to record and develop my visual ideas. I think of mine as a “catchall” to record my ideas and flashes of inspiration so I will remember them later. It’s nice to open it and glean a fresh thought or idea to develop at your convenience.
Inspiration Board, typically a corkboard you’ll hang on a wall somewhere prominent for you to see often (not in the basement, please!) Mine is a portable foam board (and a magnet one) where I may shuffle ideas around and take it outdoor. It works ‘cuz most of my ideas are small 😀 It’s a great tool for making unexpected connections.
A Journal I couldn’t do without–a place to write my thoughts that sometimes clutter my mind. It’s a perfect spot to explore and develop the little flits of inspiration that need a safe haven to land. As I write, I can develop these flits and give them substances. I use the journal to take notes on the processes and projects I am exploring.
and the fourth…A Camera. As visual artist, often I see things while I’m out and about that inspire a new series of work in the studio. Keeping a camera with me allows me to take a visual note I may return to later. If the unusual color of the sky on a particular day strikes me, I write it down. If seeing a silhouette of a lone bird at top of a tree makes me wonder briefly what it sees, I write it down. Although I may think I’ll remember why I took a picture of something, I find it’s a good practice to jot down some notes, too. Life has a way of speeding by and these quick visions and inspirations are easily lost when I start to focus on my grocery list, errands, and everyday chores.
These invaluable tools help me do the work of cultivating my garden of inspiration. To be a creative, productive artist I want to be will take some time. If I learn to cultivate myself and my surroundings faithfully, I’ll never ever be at a loss. I’ll be able to reference my sketch book, inspiration board, journal, or photographs, and find the inspiration to carry me on. These are tools I am using and find I have a lifetime’s worth of ideas to work with.
I’m sure you are already familiar with them and you may already own and use them regularly. Like me, some of you may choose to combine your sketchbook and journal. That’s just fine. No policing here. But, I do encourage you to use these tools.
What tool(s) do you use find invaluable to cultivate your creative garden?
Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!
(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)