Getting Started and the Design Process

This morning’s blog post by Grace Marshall really resonated with me and I have to share it because it is a problem familiar to most artists and designers. I had a design to do for a client that was a little out of my comfort zone. I did some preparatory sketches some time ago and it has been sitting waiting for me to get back to it. A few weeks ago I spent some time on Pinterest making a board to help whilst I was sitting watching telly one evening. I was ready to start but whenever I have some time, somehow I always found something else to do, like actually making something in my studio. Mother’s Day afternoon was a perfect opportunity. It was wet and dismal so husband and I divided the dining room table in half. He did what he wanted to do on one half, and I set myself up with pens, pencils and the chocolates my son had bought me. As I always tell my students, starting is the hardest thing. It is so true. I had been putting it off until I could see the finished design in my mind but it wasn’t happening. I needed to actually work through things with paper and pens to get to where I wanted to be.

To start with, I sketched elements that were troubling me from the inspiration board on Pinterest that I had made. I did this from my iPad. Then I incorporated elements into drawings I had already made. When I work on designs I repeatedly trace them, incorporating changes each time. This time I used the scanner on my printer which saved a lot of time as I just needed to draw on top of the last print and then trace that and repeat the process. Over the course of the afternoon the design evolved into something I am really pleased with. I also used the scanner on my printer to change the size. Eventually I was pleased with my design and I could add colour. I feel such a sense of achievement! I can’t wait to show my client. Hope she likes it. Let me know how you get over the problem when you are stuck. I would love to know and perhaps we can learn from each other.