Is it me, or do others find that when designing, (needlepoint in my case), at some stage the design itself gets a life of its own and takes charge? There comes a time when the design dictates what happens next whether it is colour choices, size, imagery - more or less anything can happen! When it is going well you can surprise yourself with the brilliance of what is unfolding but in my case, when that happens, I feel I can't really take credit for it. At other times, I can have a day when it all goes badly; the things I wanted to include just don't fit, the colours look awful etc.etc. I suppose then it is fair enough not to take responsibility for that either. The odd thing is that sometimes designing just seems to happen by itself and sometimes not and this is not altogether in my control. You quite often hear sportsmen say "I played well today" It is not as boastful as it sounds because one's performance is a completely separate entity and sometimes you just have to wait and see what happens. As a designer, I can be completely thrilled by one of my own designs and completely indifferent to another. Needless to say, the indifferent ones never see the light of day!
Take the credit when the design works itself out. It is a reward for all the ones that don't!
I design quilts and have been doing so since 1982, and I have a little more control now than I did then, but things happen when I am not looking. Sometimes I am in control of the big picture, sometimes the details, sometimes I am the boss of it all ....... and sometimes most of the timeI am not in control at all. If it works, it doesn't matter. If it doesn't work I throw it in a corner put it away because one day when I find it again it just might look much better than I thought it did.
To be honest I don't want total control, because if I am not in control I can be surprised, and sometimes the surprise is a good one.
If you think the design takes over with your needlework, you should try dolls! Some of them definitely have a mind of their own! I think this is why artists talk about 'the muse' as if it were a separate entity. The creative part of you takes over and the 'surface' you needs to step back and just go along with it. Enjoy the ride! When all is going badly, do you find you are fighting against yourself on some of the decisions? Most of my work that hasn't seen the light of day was when I insisted on staying with my original idea and ignored the design's tendency to go somewhere else!
Wow, dolls.... That gives you PERSONALITY to contend with on top of everything else!
You are quite right about about sticking with original ideas. I am in that place at present. But I am persevering and it is gradually coming right; except I will probably have to admit in the end that it is no longer my original idea at all.
I have made a lot of dolls too, and as their faces were drawn on I would do it last so they couldn't get too cheeky about their clothes, or even the shape of their body. I never listened to the complaints that came at that late stage!
I understand this very well and recently wrote about this topic in my blog. i find that the work definitely speaks to me. I very often start with an idea and find that, as I go along, the piece begins to tell me what it wants. For instance, i may go to add a piece of fabric and may even add it, but in studying the piece over several days, I can clearly see that something is wrong. i may not know what is wrong at this point, but eventually the solution occurs, be it a different fabric, color, etc. I think that the artist should definitely take credit for this. The piece may have "spoken" to me in this way, but I made what came before. Also, being able to listen to the piece and change it is the result of previous work, studying and practice over time, otherwise you would not be able to "hear:" what the piece has to say.
I really do agree with your comments, Debby! I also find it can be just as exciting to start a piece without having a clue what is next - just "feeling" my way along and tuning into it as it progresses.
On other occasions - at the very beginning, I just get this excited feeling and a complete picture of what the piece will be like(give or take, a few tweaks along the way). It certainly is very exciting!
Thank you Hopscotch. I am working on a small quilt now that is almost finished. It is one that I started out with no thought of making into anything. I was just making small practice blocks and wound up putting them together into a small quilt that I am calling Learning Curve sampler. My son told me that he thought the small strips were actually helping me come into my own. But it just started out as really nothing. I will post it when it is done. Hope all is well with you. Take care. Debby
Thrilling is exactly the right word! Sometimes I will send a piece away for exhibition or a challenge. When they come back home it is so exciting to open the package and see the piece as if it were new. To think that this is what *I* made!