Sunday, 24 May 2020

Corralling Ideas

As well as sketchbooks for, well, sketching, I have a collection of themed A4 spiral-bound sketchbooks that are more like "inspiration" books. There's a book for:
  • Inspiration from nature, landscape, science, ancient history (e.g. stone carvings) - you could call this Primary Sources, as there's nothing in here that has been interpreted by an artist.
  • Secondary sources of inspiration: pics of other artists' work, postcards, magazine clippings of imagery and patterns that I like e.g. ceramics, printed textiles
  • Instructions for textile projects: clippings from textile magazines showing various artists' techniques that might be useful for future reference
  • Information book: a scrap book (now into it's third volume) of anything that may be useful for future reference (such as how to plan a vegetable plot rotation, or how to make soap) to inspiring quotes and tidbits of random knowledge. 
  • Ideas book: a more portable A5 book (also in three volumes) where I noodle with ideas, sketching out how to make something. I also use a variety of smaller Moleskine journals and notebooks that go with me in my handbag or slip into a back pocket when I go for a walk.  
  • Artist cards bought at exhibitions (these overflow into a box, too!)
Here's a quick flip through some of my collection:

Music: Bossanova
Ilya Truhanov

See those artist cards at the end? If you're like me and have your own collection of cards that you can't bring yourself to send to other people (come on, I'm not alone am I?!) there's a really interesting exercise you can do with them - for another time. 

Every now and then, I try and clear the backlog of things that I've cut out to be stuck in the relevant book. Once I've finally cleared the backlog (!) my intention is to have ONE book and just put everything in that. We'll see!

Because I'm so behind, and some things have just been rammed in loosely to be stuck in at a later date, I can come across totally random and wonderful ideas that I'd completely forgotten about. 

Today I came across an idea for some reverse appliqué, and an idea for making embroidered felt cuffs. The felt cuff idea is at least 17 years ago, because I remember wearing a prototype to a particular family party when my daughter was two years old. 

It's almost like having a diary (something I've never stuck at). Every now and then, I come across something that that reminds me of what I was doing at the time, and how I was feeling. Today I came across a list that just made me hoot with laughter. I might (or might not) share it another time; it has fruity language!

On the one hand, maybe I don't need all these books. You could say if I haven't done something by now, then I never will. But then again, I feel inspired now just by having a leaf through. Never mind decluttering my sock drawer, I'm a lost cause for hoarding ideas! 

How do you keep track of all your ideas and inspirations? Do you manage to keep up with yourself, or are you always playing catch-up?! Let me know!