I said I was going to continue my I Love Art series, so I'm back with another one. Gathering Supplies. Whether you browse around to look for new stuff, or you tour your work space and rediscover forgotten stuff, the gathering phase of a project is something I recognize as a vital part of my creative process. Let's say you determine on a plan for making something new - a collage, an assemblage, a journal....you have an aesthetic you hope to express, and you begin visualizing the many ways to approach the project, and the various tools and resources that will be useful. Very often we rush through this stage, when perhaps it might be enlightening to stretch it out, as we listen to the inner voice tell us all the clever directions that might be considered. Pre-planning and gathering, of both supplies and ideas, has merit. As the actual art-making begins, we may stray from the intended plan. It's all good.
So I'm taking advantage of the school Spring break, with no real commitments this week, to finally clean my studio. As I organize, purge, and pitch, I am accumulating a box of supplies into a journal kit for a new project I've just started. It's a journal with the theme "It's Elementary". Inspired by the darling stitched tags I got from Anthropologie a while back, I have wanted to fabricate a journal from kraft file folders, and use all my favorite red and turquoise stuff. As I sort and file all the piles of stuff around here I toss in everything I find that I might want to use in this journal.
While I'm in clean-and-organize mode I have started to get together all the materials and samples for the upcoming Far Away Places workshop this May. I have stacks of xeroxes and painted scraps that will go into my supply box. The gathering of images for these pieces, and the handouts for the workshop, was so much fun. I love looking through all my clip-art and other resource books to see familiar designs with fresh eyes, based on a particular project. I want to procrastinate the cleaning and do more fun stuff with the elements I'm finding but I am determined to get this studio in better shape. I will dangle a carrot for myself to allow some play time once I have a cleared off work surface. (That may not be until Friday!)
EDIT: I forgot to mention this - this falls under gathering too. Lynne and I have curated a Far Away Places Pinterest board. See HERE. My personal issues with Pinterest need not be aired here, and I acknowledge that it isn't going away anytime soon, so we've found a constructive way to utilize the platform. We've linked locations and books and other interesting resources to get us and our students motivated for our two workshops.
Another aspect of gathering - when you scoop up an item with no immediate purpose. Whether a found or reclaimed object, a new tool or material, or something that jives with your aesthetic, you just know when you see something cool that you will find a reason to use it. I put one of each of these in my "me first" journal, so now I can use these with abandon. I came across the envelopes at www.MuhsHome.com and when they arrived I was tickled. The boxes are as fabulous as the contents. Who knew you could get kraft in 'natural' or 'orange'? Had to have both. I also got their brass tabs - look for them under metal if you visit their site.
A final word about "gathering supplies" - while I wholeheartedly believe that moderate accumulation of materials is a vital part of the creative process, there is danger when we employ that as an excuse to shop and hoard. Use your stuff! Make cool things. Feel the need to discover something new? Dig through your own stash and invent a way of using what you have. I'm finding all kinds of good stuff in here today, and I'm realizing I'm ready to part with alot too. Shakin' it off...feels good.