Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lessons from the Design Wall

I live in an old (250+ year old) house.  Storage space is at a premium; the colonials weren't big on closets.  As a result, my design wall doubles as a holding zone for completed works.  Pieces I've finished sometimes hang there, pinned to the wall because I don't know where to put them now that they're done.

This weekend, in a fit of "getting ready for school" clean-up, I decided that this wasn't going to be the case any longer.  I took down my completed pieces and lay them over a cabinet top.   I put away a piece-in-progress that's been pinned up for months; another is going to get a bit of TLC today... and then get put away.

I also decided to sort through some of my inspiration images.  At the start of my passion for quilting, I tore out pages from magazines and stored them in giant folders.  I was hoping to be inspired by the great things I saw.  It was a good idea except I only opened the folders to put new pictures in; I never revisited what I gathered.

On Sunday, I decided I could use the shelf space for things other than folders with fading old pictures.  I went through hundreds of pages of images and set aside only those that immediately struck me.  I started to pin the pictures in a small section of the cleared out space of my design wall.  Now there are pictures of all sorts of works of art from saris to paintings and, from pottery to antique quilts on my design wall .

Small section of my new inspiration wall

Aside from making my space look much cooler, I also learned something about myself in the process.  I  am very drawn to works of art that are graphic in nature and exuberant.  Many of the pieces I selected had a circular motive in them somewhere.  I didn't select any artworks that immediately express a solemn or gloomy topic.  I love color and it seems that reds, oranges, and yellows are striking my fancy most these days.  This last point is particularly compelling since I hardly ever use orange or yellow in my own work; I think I'm going to have to try to.

This was an unexpectedly fun exercise in knowing where my creative head is these days.  What does your inspiration wall tell you about yourself?


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