I apologize to those of you who have received multiple updates on this posting but Blogger was behaving very strangely today putting all kinds of odd things in my post. Hopefully, all is corrected now. Thank you for your understanding. Now, on to the topic at hand......
This step or exercise is for anyone who has not been able to develop an idea for a rug or maybe has a kernel of one but doesn’t know exactly what to do with it.
PRETEND or FREE ASSOCIATION
"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them,
and pretty soon you have a dozen." John Steinbeck
The gears have been cranking away and finally you have an idea but what now?
We are going to PRETEND! That’s right, “pretend.” Once we were all children and played “pretend” games with our friends or by ourselves. As children we were not restricted by time or approval. We just settled into our rooms with our toys and began to dream. Once you grow up, pretending is not something most of us engage in often or at all, if ever. Great ideas come from “pretending” or as the psychologists call it “free associating.”
"Ideas won't keep! Something must be done about them."
Alfred North Whitehead
Here’s what you need to do. Take your inspiring idea/s, drawings, object or subject and go sit in a quiet place, in a comfortable chair where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and think about your subject matter and let your mind wander. Don’t worry if this seems silly because no one is going to be in your head with you. It’s just you and where your mind will take you. For those of you who think this sounds like a strange exercise and maybe difficult to imagine, let me play along with you. Here’s an example which I’m going to do as I sit here, right now, as I’m typing this article.
I promise this was not thought out ahead of time or preplanned. Right next to me is a pad of paper and a couple of ink pens. What can I imagine is happening with those pens? Let’s give it a try – this is “free association.” As I visualize, I will type (keep in mind I type fast and therefore this is easy for me.) Here we go:
I can see the pens resting in one cup, many cups, floating through the air with paper flying around them, scribbling on a wall, rolling down the street, playing hop scotch together down the street, propping up books with an apple on top, poking out of a hat with a man’s face partially showing, substitute for guns on the field of battle, airplanes performing acrobatics in the air, design on a pillow, wallpaper, fabric, signing a musical score, windmills twirling around in a field of corn, pen lying on a table next to a love note to a husband/lover thanking him for being there with a vase of flowers, a string of pearls, a mirror and maybe a wine glass half full – ah ha, an image for a painting! A pen or multiple pens in a bowl of fruit, pens sticking through a colander (that was hanging from my pot rack), pens dressed like a bride and groom on a wedding cake.
“It is the essence of genius to make use of the simplest ideas.”
I could, and so can you, go on and on like this letting your mind roam through your imagination and who knows what you will come up with! All of this sounds maybe strange and might take a little practice to get used to the idea but give it a try. Free associating works for me and once you get relaxed with the idea you'll find that free associating with ideas and objects can open up new pathways, ideas and possibilities that you maybe have never thought of before.
"One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
Oliver Wendel Homes
Can you now see where inspiration comes from and how ideas get developed? Inspiration is right there in front of you and that inspiration can become full blown designs for rugs, paintings, books, music, toaster design and thing-a-ma jigs. You just have to be open to STOPPING, LOOKING, LISTENING, FOCUSING, and lastly FREE ASSOCIATING. Make notes, draw quick sketches and give yourself time to evaluate your inspirations.
Time – that’s the key to the next exercise. As Arnold likes to say, "I'll be back."