a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Saturday, January 3, 2009


This entry is as much a mental note for me as something I want to share, but hopefully there are those of you, happy readers, who will also find it applicable in some fashion or other.

I came across this post from a blog penned by a woman named Jillian Tamaki. I do not know her, but enjoyed reading her thoughts on "Idea Generation." As an artist, or a person with creative leanings in general, I often find that creativity has the frustrating tendency to dry up. At other times it flows so freely it is almost overwhelming. Tamaki's post on idea generation addresses her creative process.

The first step on her list is "be interested." I think maybe more than anything else, this is key for me. The times when ideas form and flow for me are when I'm surrounded by or exposed to others' creativity. When you exist in a vaccum it is all too easy to stagnate and be at a loss for fresh and exciting concepts. I am constantly on the lookout for images and designs in magazines and online.

The flip side of this coin, however, is that I often spend more time searching for inspiration than sitting down to create something inspiring myself. I have a terrible streak for perfectionism and it often really hampers my efforts. If I can't do it perfectly on the first try, I am frustrated beyond words. I'm impatient and overly self-critical. Justin is such a blessing in times like these because he always encourages me to keep going (or to start again), and I get so much strength from knowing he's behind me.

My friend Loretta from my time working at the elementary school encouraged me in much the same way. She found me with my sketchbook one day after school had dismissed and looked through my doodles. Not a week passed afterwards that she didn't see me in the hall and ask me, "Drawn anything lately?" with a smile. Just knowing that she cared and was interested meant the world.

Thanks to those who inspire and encourage me. I promise I'll keep plugging along. I'll get there one day.


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