Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The importance of keeping track of your ideas

I keep a slew of journals, putting into them miscellaneous bits and pieces of my life. They're not in chronological order, more of a random "I'm tired of this journal's paper, the size, the texture, so I'll paste something into THIS journal instead." They're all different sizes, have different bindings, and every once in awhile I go back and take a look at some of the things I did, thought about, collected, etc.

This is a page from maybe seven years ago. Or two. I don't know. And that's all that's on the page -- the ticket and three words.

As I approach the beginning of a new year, I usually try to begin a new journal. And it'll probably last until March sometime, when I tire of the format and will pick up an older journal and begin adding to that, until . . . well, you know . . .

One thing that's been constant over the past few years is a big black Moleskine notebook (pronounced "mole-ess-KEEN-ah" -- people who say "MOLE-skin" drive me nuts, but I digress). I refer to it as my IDEA BOOK. In it I keep my photo ideas, drawings of potential collage/montage compositions, color combinations I particularly like, quotations, my FAA sales, etc. It is my most precious thing. (Well, other than Chris and maybe the cat . . .)

Let me show you a quick example of some of my journals. And yeah, I purposely blurred the photo because, well, you don't really want to know that I accidentally ate Cheetos one day but that I liked the orange colors combined with blue!

(Took this photo using the iPhone 6+ and used a "Brushstroke" app to blur it . . . Listen to me . . . I'm officially an annoying iphoneographer now.)

What's my point? It's that as much as I dislike all the blog posts that I'm seeing about what people did this past year, what they didn't do, what they will do next year, and all the attendant angst, you can't help but think about where you are, what you're doing, where you're going, and how you would really live your life if you were perfect.

My Moleskine idea book is my guide for the upcoming year (if not my artistic life). My goal is not only to continue adding ideas to it, but to re-read older ideas and (gasp!) actually act on some of them.  Here's one: "CEMETERY ART -- faces, sculptures, headstones, names, etc." This idea has been scuttling around in my brain for years. I keep forgetting to act on it. Well? Maybe this is the year. And if not, then maybe next year. . .

Keeping one journal for art ideas, quotations, successes, future projects, etc. means that when you have an idea, you immediately put it in your notebook, so that when you feel empty, uninspired, adrift, you simply open your idea book and wham! It's all there in your face. So yes, I will always have regular journals and little notebooks scattered all over the place, but the IDEA BOOK? That is constant.

Again, what's my point? My point is that I wish you all, for the year 2015, a plethora of creative ideas, and a big ol' notebook to house them so you don't forget them, no matter how bizarre they may seem. And I'll leave you with this little notation I made on page 25 in my idea book: "IDEA: what can you do with shuttlecocks?"

Ha! Happy New Year!

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh. Thank you!

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