As an artist or creative designer. when you are designing a new theme for a collection, like the new Marching Elephant Family Print I have just launched, it is really important you allow lots of time for studio work or in most cases bedroom desk or kitchen table work. Which ever it is, it really doesn’t matter as long as you can get busy and get your ideas sketched out.
Take Your Time: Sketching out ideas, choosing a colour palette and trying to create a story, a theme or a connection really helps to bring a new collection together. I have learnt to research a lot more than I would have in the past. I don’t know if it comes with learning to be more patient as I get older. But taking your time instead of rushing into it like a greyhound off a leash can be really helpful.
3am Wake Up Call: It’s quite common for creative folk to get wide awake at 3am with a load of ideas flashing through their mind. It’s a completely inappropriate time to have eureka moments but that seems to be how creative sparks work. Roald Dahl, the famous children’s author, said when a flash idea came to him he would write it down immediately. His famous book the BFG came to him when he was driving down a country lane. He pulled over his car but had no pen or paper so wrote a reminder in the dirt on the back of car. I love that story about Roald Dahl. He understood the importance of how creative minds work and how easy it is to forget a brilliant idea. I always advise people to keep a note book at the side of their bed. Should you wake up with the next ‘amazing thing idea to change the world’ do a rough sketch with words and pointers to remind you of your big idea in the morning. Most creative ideas flow better to a relaxed mind. When we are so busy with a million things to do and we don’t know what to do next, is exactly the time to STOP and sit for 30mins and let everything wash over us. I guess it is like meditating. If you can meditate holding a pencil…even better. However if that’s not really happening for you, like most of us, especially if you have children, a cat or a dog or even a housemate with a desire to listen to soft rock really loudly for 12 hours a day, just try to get some downtime when you can. It really does induce creativity.
Draw What You Love & Love What You Draw: I love elephants, I have no rational explanation as to why I always revert back to drawing elephants but this is what I do. It must be a soul connection thing…I don’t know. What I know is I get in the zone, I love to research them, see all the images of them in the wild, learn about their gentle, matriarchal nature, their loyalty to their family, how they grieve for their dead and so on. The more I find out about them, the more I love to draw them. So when I thought of what type of Family Print I could create for families I created something I wanted on my wall, and The Marching Elephant Family Personalised Print came about.
Doubting Thomas: I noticed there were no other prints like this. So then I thought ‘Oh it won’t work. No one else does it. No one will like it’ and went through the whole doubting Thomas conversation in my head. I know we all do this, some of us worse than others. And when it is your artwork and your design that you are daring to share and put out there the doubt can grow. But over the years I have learnt to trust in myself, trust in what is different, not follow everyone else and give it a try. So tell that Doubting Thomas to ‘Shut Up’ there is only one you and only you can deliver and create in the way that YOU do. So let’s get on with it. Just so you know, when I launched the Family Elephant Print it got over 1000 views on the website within 2 hours. The highest viewed product, quickest selling, that I have created so far!
Experiment: I experimented with lot’s of colours and patterns. Bold and pretty colours and colours that would go with most interiors. I wanted the children elephants to be vibrant, much like our own children.
No Family Is Standard: It was important to me that the elephants are all interchangeable and that the little child elephants link trunks to tails so they stay close together, like a family. I made sure there are numerous choices for each family to choose from. Colours and sizes, so their Family Print is Personal to them. It was important to my design that the colours can be different because not every little girl wants to be pink and not every boy wants to be blue. And it was important that the title can change to anything to suit a family, it doesn’t have to just have a surname because not all family members have the same name. I really wanted it to be an accessible personalised print for everyone. Not everyone is married or have the same Mummy or Daddy. Like one of my favourite adverts on TV says, there are Mums that are Dads and Dads that are Mums or two Mummies. Or Granddads that are Dads and sisters or brothers that are from another family. That modern mix makes family a family. It’s not the blood line it’s the love line and I wanted my Marching Elephant Print to reflect this.
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