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How Do You Grow Your Ideas?

What’s The Story, Morning Glory?  What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? How Now Brown Cow?  Sasquatch!!


Even the sight of paint mixing as it drains into the sink can be an inspiration.

You may think I am just babbling, (and I am!), but those phrases may hold a greater purpose.  They might be fodder for a new project or a solution to a creative problem.

Often I’ve been inspired in some way by a phrase or a spark of something that I’ve experienced, seen, or heard.  Life is the greatest resource for creativity.

From there my idea begins to simmer in my brain.  I turn it over and experiment with pieces of it.  I try a few things out with drawing or paint.  I let it seep in the artistic tea that I create.

Then I plant it in the ground and let it grow.

Here is an example:  The word ornaments that I’ve recently developed.  They emerged from an idea to create a small, affordable item to sell at some of the vendor shows I was going to be involved in this holiday season.

My original thought was to find flat, metal shapes and coat them with enamel paint.  But plain, metal shapes were difficult to find.  And smelly, runny enamel paint?  What was I thinking?

A trip to the craft store pointed me in the right direction.  I found a plethora of wooden shapes that would be perfect as ornaments (and much cheaper, too!)

gesso undercoating applied to wooden shapes

Applying gesso to the wooden shapes

These were sunning themselves on a windowsill in my studio, waiting for inspiration to strike, while I began a new word painting.  As I was applying the textural undercoating of gesso to the canvas (gesso is a thick paint-like substance that’s used as a base for many paint mediums), I thought, why not?, and covered a few of the wooden shapes the same way.

Painted Ornaments

The final product

I painted these in a similar fashion- building up several layers of color and paint.  At the end, as I adhered words to my word paintings- I did the same with the ornaments.  I used words like hope and believe to relate to the upcoming season.

And you know what?  They look pretty darn good!

That, my friends, is an example of how my creative process is planted and takes root.

I wish I could say all my projects began and ended as successfully.  Sometimes it falls flat.  But the times when I can look back at the entire process and feel satisfied with my attempt makes it all worthwhile.

What has sparked an idea in your mind and how did you make it grow?  Is the outcome vastly different from the one you started with?

Keep on growing those ideas and Have A Great Week!


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