In the Studio

Where do ideas begin?

Everything begins with an idea.

Earl Nightingale

Lately, I’ve been reading creative blogs over my morning coffee rather than the news. Starts my day in a much more positive way, plus I discover some very interesting, like-minded folks out there.

I recently came across the question “Where does an idea start?” It’s an intriguing question. It puts me in mind of those conversations with a good friend where you suddenly ask each other, “How did we get on this topic?” and then retrace your verbal steps. So I decided to retrace my own trail and share with you the idea this reading sparked in me.

One blog I visit regularly is The Crafty Creek. This week there was a post called “Stitch-a-garden“. If you’ve been following me for anytime you know I love flowers and gardens so that caught my attention.

In the post, she talked taking about an online class with Nikki Franklin of the Stitchery. I was curious about what she was learning when I saw some of the photos that she posted so I followed her link.

Nikki Franklin is known for her delicate embroideries. She’s in the UK and has all kinds of offerings like online classes, patterns, etc. All quite lovely (and tempting) but it was her blog link I clicked to see what she was talking about in her posts.

Under the one titled ‘A new obsession and a pair of green shorts” I found a reference to cartoonist, teacher and author Lynda Barry Nikki talked about how Lynda’s Sketchbook (which are available for sale on Amazon) hold wonderful philosophical observations that she couldn’t stop thinking about.

I quickly fell down that rabbit hole to look at the books. The one Nicky references is “Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor.” I bought it and was inspired by the words and musings just like Nicky.

Barry also has a number of talks, workshops and interviews available online. I haven’t delved into them yet but I’m sure going to because just a couple of pages into her book is where I found the question ” Where does an idea start?”

doodling an idea

That triggered the idea to track and document my own process of developing an idea. As I thought about that journey, I realized it had to start with how I got to here.

I plan to do a series of photos and posts this month sharing my process for a painting. To show how it comes to be whether it’s a good painting or a flop. I’m always curious about the creative process and I hope you are as well.

I’m also curious to know what goes on in your head when you are working on a creative project. What triggers your ideas? How do you go about developing them? Have you ever even thought about that aspect?

Please share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts.

10 thoughts on “Where do ideas begin?”

  1. Hmmm, this is a really interesting idea, Aprille, and made me sit here in thought for a while – My conclusion? With ideas and what they become it’s not so much about what goes on in my HEAD, but, rather, in my HEART. I do my best work when I get to a place of flow and it has something to do with being authentic and communicating some kind of emotion. I also have a bit of a theory that the ideas are stacked up inside me and once I manage to let some of them out, there are others underneath that are revealed and so on, so the more work I do the more ideas get to see the light of day, which is why just ‘showing up’ is so important to me! In reality, I often dig back through the huge archive of my past photos for inspiration…I take a camera with me to a lot of places and if anything sparks my imagination, I take a photo….I might then forget about it for years, but, when I dig through the archives, maybe that will be what sparks an idea!

    1. You and I are kindred spirits for sure. I totally get your process
      Thanks for the reminder that it starts with our hearts.
      My camera. The photos. The digging through archives is the “doing”. It’s only when I’m in touch with the feeling that I get it right.
      It took me a long time to trust that noodge but it never fails me.
      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. I call it ‘going around the houses’ – it’s how Authentic Blues go about story telling – I often say ‘where was I going with this conversation?’ and end up succumbing to whatever path I have gone down. Sometimes it’s good to go down the Rabbit Hole – look what Alice found! It may take me a while to get to that creative ‘spot’ – or… it may come on all of a sudden (in my case writing) I have found that if something is not working do something else – that’s how I landed here – a happy detour…

    1. I love those happy detours! I’m exploring the idea of feeling being the seed of ideas. I think it may go back further than that to a simple question. Connection questions for us. An Inquiring Green for instance would start with a different one.
      Another aspect for me to think about as I explore this.
      So glad you landed here! Thanks for adding to the conversation.

  3. LOL… I love this! You sound so much like me… meandering here and there, chasing rabbits down different holes, ending up somewhere I never meant to go and then asking “How did I get here?” It’s what makes the creative process so much fun! It always reminds me of Sherlock Holmes and Watson… where after a long, silent walk, Sherlock suddenly makes a comment, leaving Watson to wonder (aloud) how Sherlock knew what he was thinking. Sherlock then traces step-by-step the thought process referring to things they’d seen or heard on the walk. I often find myself doing the same thing when my husband says something seemingly “out of the blue”. I can often follow the steps in his thinking to figure out how he got there. All very interesting! Thanks for the great post.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Judith. Your comment made me smile. I love Holmes and Watson and now that you point it out, yup! Bring on those rabbits!

      1. LOL. I love all the creative detours our minds lead us on. I never know what I’ll be learning next, but I know it will always be an adventure. 🙂

  4. “I plan to do a series of photos and posts this month sharing my process for a painting. To show how it comes to be whether it’s a good painting or a flop” – sounds like an interesting series; you’ll have to tell us where you got surprised! That’s what’s happening a lot to me lately! 😊

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