Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Baby steps through Intention

It is my GOAL to get my studio space sorted out and organized. My INTENTION is to have a space where my creativity can flow without being frustrated by not finding what I need when I need it. It's being able to work, in the "flow", look around see what comes next and continue working.

That kind of flow doesn't always happen when you suddenly need a certain fabric, color of paint, whatever and you know you have it somewhere but where the heck did you put it?

I used to have my drawing table facing into the room. I don't even remember the logic behind that.  It did make sense at the time. Now I've moved it facing the West window. I overlook the driveway and garden and of course parts of the woods. And, I've allowed some more space, in the center of the studio for the ladies.

To the right of the table on the shelving I have gathered project containers for my ideas for different Series work I want to do.  As I find information, print out photographs, get ideas about color and mood I'll put them into the containers. 

To the left of the table on the shelving is anything to do with painting.  Watercolor paints, acrylic paints, etc. brayers and other assorted must have things.
The drum is from an old drumming class.  I find there are times when I arrive in the studio that I need to create some energy in the space.  I need to let go of some "negative" energy and drumming helps.  It's loud and easy to get lost in doing.

The sorting of fabric is coming along slowly. It's been a good exercise. Just going through my stash and pulling out fabric that I just won't use anymore, it's not my style now.  And, when I find a piece that inspires a creative thought I jot it down in my sketchbook and then pin a note to the fabric about the idea. I probably have enough ideas now to last the rest of my lifetime.
I sort and stack fabric using the color code method. Now, I realize for a lot of people this isn't a necessary step and that's great for them. What I have found is that I don't really see blue and purple like I thought I did. What I consider one color say, purple, in my mind turns out to really be Red Blue or a plum. Same with the darker blues. And, for many projects that wouldn't be an issue but when I am working in a color family or a triad things just look better together when they are the right hue.
With paint it's much easier to correct something like that, with fabric, not so much.
I am taking the Kaizen approach to this organization of the Studio.  It's a Japanese method of continual incremental improvement. Kai means change and zen means to become good. You are breaking up a project into little steps, manageable steps. You know the goal but you work the step as long as it may take. It is all forward action.
If just sorting a small pile of fabric into the different color hues is all that I have time for, that's all I do. Each time, each decision will bring me closer to my goal. If along the way I find a creative detour, like the jotting down of ideas, it's all good. I know where I am going and I am enjoying the journey.
This method of little steps, isn't really a new concept to many of you. It is something that we often forget to do though.
I am sure that are things on our To Do lists that we have moved from one list to another, dreading when we actually have to start the project.
Try taking the Kaizen approach. Just do one action. Make sure it's a forward action. Taxes? Just get out the file and clear a spot on your work table to do them. That's it. Enough. Just walk away and move on to something else on your list. When you come back to this item you will find the strength and discipline to work on it a little longer each time.

Remember, the more difficult the task, the more fear you have concerning it the better this method will work. You aren't going to feel overwhelmed when you apply Kaizen to the problem. And, before you know it, you will find yourself "in the flow" while you are working on it or at least not feeling overwhelmed.

I normally work on a number of projects at one time. Some require physical action and some require me to be in thinking, list making mode. Some I have to wait for a medium to dry and that forces me to get ready for the next step. 

Somewhere, just recently I read that the artist worked on a couple of pieces, in her series, at the same time.  She said that by doing this it took the pressure off of her to be perfect working on just one. She also felt that by working on say three, at the same time, she found herself thinking of a different way, a new thought or idea while working on one piece that she could try out, right away on another one.

Whatever is on your TO DO LIST today, give Kaizen a try. See if it helps you move beyond your "stuck" place. See if it helps you push through a bottleneck.

Have a creative day.


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