So Where Does It Come From and Where Do You Put It?

Some of my ideas come to me while I’m sitting at my desk surrounded by my own beads. I’ll look and ask myself “How could I do this better?” Or, “Hey these colors would look great together.” Sometimes I’m not anywhere near a bead and *zing* an idea pops into my head. I seriously don’t know where it came from, the image is in my head for that second or two and I better write it down if I want to remember it later.

I make a conscious effort to avoid looking at other’s work when it comes to lampwork. I look when I post in a forum gallery of course, it’s kind of hard not to in that case. I’ll also be checking out what others post on this group blog. But I try not to for my own peace of mind. I know there’s a big debate about inspiration vs. copying and this post isn’t going to be about that, I’m just explaining how I work.

So where else do I get inspiration then? Does my muse come and whisper in my ear every night? Stick her wand up my nose and tickle my brain? Honestly it comes to me when I least expect it, when I’m not trying.

For example, I was watching MadTV (I love lowbrow humor I guess) and there was a parody of an old space avenger show. The villain was Debra Wilson dressed as what looked like a low-budget female Fu-Manchu character. Long metal fingertips, huge wig with tassles and an actual paper fan for a hair ornament. *ZiNG* Now there’s an idea for my geisha. A hair decoration that resembles a fan shape, something to stick out and add interest and detail.

So I sat with my book and imagined myself making this hair ornament. It’s like I’m watching a movie playing in my head, I see myself doing it. “Hmm, kinda hard to add decoration so close to the mandrel. Ohhh but if I add flowers or whatever before I position it…that would work.” And I had my tutorial in front of me on paper.

That’s why I keep a small notebook on my desk to jot down ideas and mini tutorials for myself to use later. I have this little green notebook filled with pages of sketches and step by step instructions. I’ve had ideas pop into my head and at the time they seem so obvious, like a lightbulb really flashed over my head. And I’ve thought to myself,” Nah it’s ok, keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll remember and can write it down later.”

But I don’t.

This is how it works for me. It just hits me, the idea/image pops into my head and I usually go write it down before it disappears. Now I have a book full of ideas I can always turn to when I feel stuck or in a slump. The act of writing my idea down and thinking it out as I construct tutorials helps my creative process. If you were to peek inside my book it’d probably look like a mad scientist scribbled in there, I just get so excited when the idea hits. Some of the designs in my book are for glass I can’t even use yet, like boro. Doesn’t matter, I’ll be glad I have it when the time comes.

So my biggest tip to all of you is to keep a notebook or journal handy and when an idea comes-Write It Down!

Want to see more? Check out my website TracyBeads

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3 Responses to “So Where Does It Come From and Where Do You Put It?”

  1. lori g. Says:

    Your Geisha’s are gorgeous Tracy!

    Yesterday I sat down with my sketchbook (which I don’t usually do) and I actually was able to come up with some cool ideas. This team blogging thing must be working on my subconscious because sketching is out of character for me.

    The sketches also incorporate the ‘parts’ that I made a long time ago (like Cathy’s) when I had just posted yesterday that I had no idea what to do with them.

    Keep on bloggin’ guys! I hope our posts inspire others, even unknowingly, too!

  2. tracybeads Says:

    Thank you Lori! Yes, this group blog on our creative process was a great idea and I’m thankful to be part of it.

  3. Julz Says:

    Hey Girl!
    I am really enjoying this group blog thing, and learning how others see and translate their ideas into glass. The Book- a gift from a friend- needs a few sketches, I think.
    Thanks for planting that good working pattern in my head-“surely I will remember…” No, I will accept the book and let it help me hold onto these ideas.


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