BEHIND THE SCENES: Creative Blog Hop

IMG_4221b
We were invited to participate in the Creative Blog Hop by Lindsay at A Wooden Nest, and I thought I (Alison) would take a swing at the hop.

IMG_4200

Late on the holiday designs, as usual. Somehow I can’t seem to come up with anything when it’s 70 degrees and sunny.

What am I working on?

I split my time between running the So There shop in Issaquah and working on my own line of paper goods. I have to be very careful to give myself time to work on creative things, and sometimes I can get spread a little thin.

I’ve been a little more focused this week, because I sprained my ankle and have to do seated tasks. That means more drawing and painting and inking. I’ve finally been working on my holiday cards (if they’re too late, I’ll use them next year!) and trying to add a few more card designs to my line.

IMG_4232

I was trying to be clever with this left-handed journal.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I always have the same goals on repeat in my head while I work. I like to think that if you look at my work as a whole it represents those goals… I hope it does, anyways.
• Make it useful & clever. Let it solve a problem.
• Make it funny, even if its audience is limited.
• Make it pretty, but not cute.
• Make it unique.
• Let it be imperfect, because no matter what you do, it will never be perfect. Ever.

IMG_0429_2b

I love to come up with ways of reusing materials in my work. These card catalog pieces took a long time to find a function on lampshades.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I’m coming to grips with the fact that I have a couple of creative motivations– that are sometimes at odds with each other.

One  is all about problem solving. I like to make products that serve some purpose bigger than aesthetics. Some of my favorite products have come about this way, the FlipOver Planners and Delicious Recipe books for example. Other times the problem I’m trying to solve is more about using or reusing materials instead of throwing them away. That’s where the Library Card Lamps, Doodle Jars, and handmade paper cards come in.

The other thing that drives me is a need to draw, and write, and express myself however I can. There’s a weird kind of connection that comes with a stranger appreciating my work. It’s not so much a “look at me and how awesome I am” but more of a quiet need to be understood, and to know other brains work like mine does. I guess that’s my artist side.

IMG_4203

This is one of my more obvious sketches, but only I know what I am really up to.

How does my writing/illustration/creative process work?

Because my work is all over the place, the development takes a lot of different forms. The beginning step is the same for almost everything. I usually start with a really basic sketch on with whatever is conveniently close. The sketch is often peppered with descriptive words, and would mean nothing to a casual bystander.

If I’m doing a drawing I’ll typically move to a piece of card stock with a pencil to capture the energy of the idea as fast as I can, and that’s that.

If I’m working on something that’s more of a product, sometimes I let the idea rest there for a bit, until I’ve flushed it out a bit more in my head. I’m likely to start experimenting with materials next– building “dummies” out of paper, or string, or other things that are close to what I’m planning to use in the end. I like to work with scale and shape before settling on a style for the graphics or art. (Form and function and all that.) After that it’s a process of perfecting my method for production, making the product and the art harmonious, and making sure that it’s going to work.

IMG_4181

These “dummies” are helping me figure out the form of the new FlipOver planning system. I’m making them the same shape, and with the same types of paper so I can see how everything will work.

Well, I think that’s about it. I want to thank Lindsay for inviting us to the hop!

 

*You can find some of my work in my etsy shop but everything shows up first at the So, There store in Issaquah– especially one of a kind pieces.