April 30, 2013

My Recent Rx for Creative Block

There's a funny thing about my Creative Blocks... No matter how hard I try to push those big old blocks aside, they just won't budge! And that's just what I found this month as I sat down to update my blog... I was completely at a loss about what to write.

Now normally, my tendency would be to press on, hoping that inspiration would magically reappear. But this time was different...

This time I got busy!

I am NOT at all excited about house cleaning (or cooking either, for that matter!). But since I was getting nowhere with my writing efforts, I jumped into cleaning my studio & "This Old House." It felt good to chase some of the dust bunnies away that had multiplied during the winter months.

My wintertime reading had been James Herriot's book, All Creatures Great and Small. I enjoyed traveling around the English countryside "with him" so much as he cared for the animals & the farm people there, that I immersed myself in his second book All Things Bright and Beautiful ... Nothing like a trip to faraway places (even if only in book form!) to bring new inspiration to me.

And since it's been so pretty outside...

...I've spent extra time enjoying the newness of Spring in our neighborhood. I must say, though I'm not a photographer at all, I've had so much fun capturing pics with my new phone camera as I've walked our lab Winnie on the block each day!

Taking pics has really challenged me to see with fresh eyes... There are interesting things, inspiration & beauty around me everyday!

So... Yet another lesson learned for me about being a creative person... Sometimes it's best to put my project aside for a while & let my creative brain gain some fresh perspective.

Thank you so much Lord for "wiring" me to be a creative person. Please help me to honor You while I allow creativity to grow in me.

April 9, 2013

Hi, My Name Is Patti And I'm A Pur-fek-shun-ist!

I've been working away at my Zazzle shop for a while now... having lots of fun creating cards, prints, & more from my original artwork. Finally, I decided the time had come for me to order some of my designs so I could see the final products...

The day the mailman delivered my Zazzle Mail I was sooooo excited to see what was inside! And there it was!... a glossy postcard of my "Pumpkins For Sale" illustration. The printing was crisp & clear, the paper was top-notch... I was thrilled with my arty mail!

That is, 'til I realized one thing!... The colors were not an exact match to my original art.

Uh-Oh!!... Enter Patti's Perfectionism! 

For the next two days I plunged myself into research & study, trying my best to understand the language of sRGB & CMYK. Now, as a self-taught artist, most of what I've learned art-wise has been through research, plus LOTS of trial & error!... So at first, my quest for new art knowledge felt like another challenging adventure.

However, that feeling of adventure was soon replaced by the cross-eyed, head-throbbing feeling of bumping my head against something I just couldn't figure out or change, no matter how hard I tried!

Well, to make a very loooooong story short... I decided to "back away from the edge" of my "unreconcilable problem" & get a fresh perspective. I placed the postcard on a tiny easel & took this picture in my sunny kitchen... and then I walked away.

The next day, I felt like the Lord had given me a whole new outlook on my problem...

I realized (once again!) that some things are just plain out of my control. The printing process Zazzle uses allows me to offer my artwork on products in a print-on-demand way. Other printing methods might allow more exact color matching... but the process would be much slower & the products would need to be purchased in bulk at a higher cost.

... Basically, that just wouldn't work for me.

And as I looked with fresh eyes at the photo I'd taken the day before... and at the postcard still propped up on its' easel... I realized it was OK. I could like this version of my artwork just the way it was.

Perfectionists really don't like to settle for less than perfect... But today I'm feeling thankful for learning one more lesson on the road toward embracing "good enough."