garrisondesignarts

Decoding contemporary art and hand-crafting matters.

Archive for the tag “brainstorming”

Sucess! (In Small Measures…)

So, only because it’s still fresh in my mind, I’d like to note how happy I am that an online crafting article can pick up steam (while being surrounded by “sexier” content like references to currently-hot pop culture TV shows, Fashion Week and viral cat memes).

My BuzzFeed article, “21 Things You’ll Find At An Enormous Craft Fair” – not my headline but there you go – (http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniegda/22-photos-of-the-crafting-lifestyle-to-distract-yo-90gk) hasn’t done too badly at all for a writer that is currently unknown to the BuzzFeed core readership, about a topic that only about 50% of Americans are stated to pursue. (And shouldn’t crafting have a much higher percentage than that?)

I did reach out via e-mail and Twitter to the companies covered in this article. I also did reach out to the local indie craft stores that I’m a customer at, industry professionals that I personally know (and some that I personally don’t!), as well as other creative and business luminaries in the field.

The result? Encouragement, positive vibes, page hits reactions, re-tweets, re-pins, and a bit of a moment on Facebook. So yay – crafting got some mainstream love. I also got a couple of nice thank-yous from some of the firms I featured. As a freelance journalist (I am also a designer myself, educator and a few other hyphenates – but I had no personal stake in this piece and no professional relationship to anyone in it), it’s great when the feedback is 99.9% positive. One person did put a BuzzFeed “fail” button on my post, but there’s always gonna be haters!

So, lessons learned? When you have a legitimate reason to contact others in a way that can help them too (without spending money, I’m talking more about the exchange of information here), be bold and do it. They might stop and take note.

Next step: putting a personality to my activated yet dormant Facebook company profile; also, join Pinterest and LinkedIn (don’t judge; I need to be writing more than I need to be doing stuff online, ideally!). Woot!

Advertisements

Time for World Design Domination in 2013 (Or, Getting a Few Projects Done Between Snack Breaks)

Happy New Year!

Where it all starts - with a blank canvas.

Where it all starts – with a blank canvas.

A year ago, I started this blog, in stealth mode, for several reasons. When you’re blogging, the benefits include:

-legitimizing your artistic voice
-harnessing disparate creative energies
-organizing a variety of projects
-exposing your art to others
-meeting kindred spirits

…and that’s only a few of the many upsides. Of course, not everyone’s going to love what you do. Haters gonna hate and all that.

In terms of my goals, I avoided hard and fast deadlines in 2012 – I shouldn’t have on some, and should have on others. Sometimes having a finite end to things is important to move your artistic achievements forward. At other times, it feels like you’re stuck back in school. For the record, I generally did well academically, but disliked intensely the sense that the deadlines didn’t ever truly end until I graduated from university with my bachelor’s degree in journalism. Some people flove being a perpetual student – I don’t, at least in an academic setting. I still take courses all the time to learn, but while I strive for high marks, they don’t count now – the learning does. And my personality type needs that kind of breathing room, apparently. It would be accurate to describe me as a lifelong student of learning – the day I stop discovering something new scares me, since that means I’ll probably have “shuffled off this mortal coil” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_coil).

But since what I want to accomplish is what I also wish to do (ie. I don’t work in a corporate office setting), it never hurts to pick up the pace. Frankly, what I do is inextricably linked with who I am – and want to be. Without my accomplishments I am nothing.

This was my initial list of goals for 2012:

-introduce my creative self and creative brand to new businesses, clients, followers and friends

-organize my on-line presence so it doesn’t overwhelm the greater needs of my creative workload

-finish some of the book proposals I have in various stages of progress

-secure a book contract for at least one proposal

-explore the possibility of self-publishing on-line

-create an inspiring new office space and solve my tool/material storage needs

-firmly establish the product line that’s been in my head but not in the marketplace

-attend more conferences and perhaps a retreat

-file more stories than last year

-challenge myself to creating an APP, to push my mind’s cognitive abilities

-create a fibre-based pop art exhibit

-expand my personal and professional circles: find other like-minded individuals and businesses to connect with

-have fun, dream big, and move forward on several of my creative business endeavors

Some balls have definitely started rolling – others still need an initial nudge (hopefully down, and not up-hill like Sissyphus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissyphus)).

I’ll need to revisit this list throughout the year as the need arises.

What are your goals for 2013? Do you have a clear sense of how to accomplish them or are there stumbling blocks that you’re facing? Let’s face them together.

Brainstorming: Prepping for a Quick Meeting with Potential Contacts

When preparing to meet with new potential clients, business partners, design professionals and their ilk, take time out while researching them to devise a list of questions that they can answer. It doesn’t need to be long (if you’re a natural conversationalist), but open ended questions – ones that can’t be answered with a simple “yes/no” reply, could lead the conversation into new and interesting directions.

Ask them about plans for the upcoming year, what their biggest professional successes were in the past year, and what challenges they may be facing next. The more you find out about them, the better insight you’ll have into the company – and the clearer the picture will be of whether or not they are right to partner with.

The Challenge: Building a Better Dress Form Silhouette

While driving home tonight, I was mulling around in my head how to design a better dress form for larger, hard-to-fit female figures. I know there are solutions out there, but this is for chicks who want to jerry-rig something in their own workspace using what supplies they already have.

Recently, I bought a vintage sewing book that featured a picture of an ancient contraption to solve this precise problem.

I plan on engineering my own solution for the home sewer. To be continued…

Quick Tip: Keeping Track of Creative Ideas

Ideas are commonly referred to as “a dime a dozen.” But they’re often worth a lot more when they’re harnessed, combined and used in a cohesive way.

Early on in my career, I started writing spec screenplays and television episodes (I was partial to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Frasier). When it came to screenplays, I would make notes, do research, work on scenes, write some dialogue – but never put down a full draft before, on average, a year had passed from my idea’s first lightning bolt of inspiration. What can I say? I take my time – if I’m going to commit to an idea, it better be one that I’m in love with for the long haul. It’s not unlike looking for a person to marry, in a way.

Currently, I’m working on different design projects in different mediums, while balancing my writing workload. It’s a lot to deal with, especially when ideas range from small to medium to big. At any time of day, something may pop up – from a phrase, to a crafting idea, to a design layout, to an entire article I’d like to cover.

Many of you rely on PDAs, smart phones, or laptops to track these things. I am more of a Neo-Luddite when it comes to idea-generating, since I am both forgetful and visual as a person. I discovered, from my spec writing days, that sticky notes – ever so helpful when breaking down a script’s scene order – are fabulous for keeping track of your brainstorming genius. They’ll never suffer from a data crash, be forgotten in a nightclub bathroom, or get pilfered from jackhole thieves. They can, however, burn in a house fire.

So if you’re like me, and easily forget about your ideas if they’re not in front of you, consider jotting them down on sticky notes and tracking them on an oversized memo board divided with headers that make sense to you. Some category listings could be: short-term, long-term, new “song/poem/photo/product/pattern/outline/art piece/design,” etc. You get the idea. Creative journals are a standby that many people use; I just prefer sticky notes because they can be splayed out en masse to be manipulated, switched around and swirled into different configurations. Not only is this liberating, it’s great at getting creatively unstuck. Sometimes, when you see two unrelated ideas grouped together, a new and interesting concept will emerge.

Even if being digital is hard-wired into your DNA, consider putting your ideas to bits of paper and mixing things up.  You’d be surprised at what order can arise from chaos!

 

 

It’s 2012: Happy Creative Leap Year!

Where it all starts - with a blank canvas.

Where it all starts – with a blank canvas.

Happy New Year!

Greetings and salutations!

My name is Stephanie, founder and principal of garrisondesignarts, a creative design concern. I am a born artist and designer, although my university education resulted in a journalism degree. From this background has sprung a career steeped in visual and written communication. Every day I am struck by how creativity has captured my spirit and allowed me to get in touch with the essence of who I am as a person.

The start of any year is often marked by drafting a list of resolutions – or in my case, goals – for the upcoming 365 days. It’s a great way to focus on what you want to do – because often, when you accomplish what you want to do, it intrinsically links with who you want to be.

2012 is special because it is a leap year, so it gives a slacker like me an extra day to get things done. Woot! So here is my initial list of goals for 2012:

-introduce my creative self and creative brand to new businesses, clients, followers and friends

-organize my on-line presence so it doesn’t overwhelm the greater needs of my creative workload

-finish some of the book proposals I have in various stages of progress

-secure a book contract for at least one proposal

-explore the possibility of self-publishing on-line

-create an inspiring new office space and solve my tool/material storage needs

-firmly establish the product line that’s been in my head but not in the marketplace

-attend more conferences and perhaps a retreat

-file more stories than last year

-challenge myself to creating an APP, to push my mind’s cognitive abilities

-create a fibre-based pop art exhibit

-expand my personal and professional circles: find other like-minded individuals and businesses to connect with

-have fun, dream big, and move forward on several of my creative business endeavors

I’ll add things to the list throughout the year as the need arises.

What are your goals for this year? Do you have a clear sense of how to accomplish them or are there stumbling blocks that you’re facing? Let’s face them together. Courage!

Post Navigation