Monday Morning Motivation

Monday, February 5, 2007

How do I get my ideas?

I get inspired by things around me on a daily basis but how do I translate that into a piece of art? I use a couple of different methods to flesh out ideas, so I’ll talk about them over the next couple of weeks.

Sometimes it’s an image, a quote, or an emotion. Sometimes it’s a color or occasion. I approach creating the idea in different ways, depending on how abstract the concept. When it’s a fabric, that’s usually the easiest for me. For example, when I saw a blue scalloped fabric it was easy to picture it being the tail of a mermaid – and what a hit she made! I’m saving a grey fabric with scales on it for making a monster/creature doll, because it reminded me of Maurice Sendack’s drawings.

For an example on how I take these to the next step - what do I create for Valentine’s day? Well, do I create a doll that’s: holding a bouquet of flowers, looking pretty, or sexy and seductive in some lingerie? Or do I take the concept further and work with Valentine concepts – a cupid? Or how about hearts? The doll’s body can be constructed of one giant heart shape, or each piece can be a heart shape; some elongated for arms and legs, curvy ones for a torso and hips, connected in clever ways. Or I can manipulate the print of a fabric for the entire piece, sculpting features bringing to life a doll out of the print (do the fabrics look like chocolate or conversation hearts, or country calico? Can these be faces, cheeks, clothes?) Should my doll be inside a heart? What about a real-life heart shape? (a little creepy there, but it can be done!) How about colors? Red and pink are tied to this day – just looking at things and fabrics that are red and pink can be inspiring. Can a regular object that you love, or your recipient love, be made in red? Wouldn’t that evoke some passion? Hence my red Modern Love series of robots (yes, I’m still working on a few more – wouldn’t be a series if not!)

This method of taking the concept one step further can be used for any holiday or season –think of Halloween pumpkins, winter snowflakes, St. Patrick’s Day. When asked to donate a doll to a local auction last St. Patrick’s Day, it took me quite a while to come up with something original and unique. But when I did, it was a hit. Naturally, I started out with ideas for a leprechaun character and drew dozens of poses. But they all seemed too ‘typical’. Then I started thinking about what’s associated with this occasion? Shamrocks. Ok – how to use shamrocks? Ever see a lady leprechaun – dressed only in shamrocks? Or shamrock print fabric? Well, I decided to create a shamrock fairy with the stem and leaf being the shape of the body and wings. Then I added arms and a head. Wow! It was a great doll and it went to someone who really wanted it. While I was working on that one, I simultaneously made a second one with some slight variations. It did not look like a shamrock to me – she looked like a dragonfly fairy. Walla – another character born. Now she lives in Ireland gifted by someone who saw her here in the U.S. I hope she’s happy!

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