Wednesday, 9 May 2012

How ideas form

I've never been a list person. I don't like lists, I do make some, like shopping lists or to-do lists, but those are usually very short and not too detailed. When I need to put my ideas on paper I make a mindmap or a drawing. It's very common for me to make a mindmap from lets say... blogging, like in the picture under I have two mindmaps. Also it's very common for me not to save these mindmaps. I usually throw them away after I've looked them for a few days. That means that I write the same things on the mindmaps again and again. Once in a while I forget some idea or discard it as a dull thing and sometimes I write there things I've not written for a long time, for some reason the old idea might feel fresh to me again.

I have a few notebooks and paper piles around the home. So when ever I get an idea I can instantly write it down or draw it. I don't tend to flip trough the notebooks or papers, I trust that if the idea is good enough I will remember it or it will come to me again. I've sometimes wondered why I even write things down since the paper is never really needed afterwards. I have a theory that because I get so excited about the idea, I need to move on it at that instant and sometimes writing it down is the only thing I can do at that time. Also when I draw or write I can assess the idea and it's practicality. I've been known to study and draw some detail of my idea for ages eventhough I'm not even sure where and when I will use that idea.

Often the ideas come from materials, like in the instance of the heritage, I got lots of material that I liked but had really no use for. It's not either rare for me to go trough my craft stash. When ever I get some material I like, I fiddle it, move it around, clean it, organize it, stare at it for long periods of time. Then if an idea hits me I have to carry it out immediately and when that happens I hate if the lack of some other material slows me down. It does not even matter if I have something else unfinished. When I get inspired I need to work on the new thing, I can allways return to the "old" thing later.

I do collect inspiration from the web too, although I try to avoid collecting too many images or ideas from the internet. I sometimes do that, but the amount can soon turn against me. The mass becomes too big to find anything anymore. I flip through web pages, blogs and so on actively because I enjoy them and collect ideas unconsciously. When ever I do get an idea to realize I change the way I use the internet. If I do not know how to do something I try to find instructions, allmost everytime the case is that someone has done something similar, or similar enough before. I also read discussion forums, where crafty people are sharing their knowlegde. I allways search instructions both in Finnish and in English, I've found that some crafts are more popular in Finland than in the English speaking world and other way around.

I think the weirdest thing about the me is that at times even when I have gazillion ideas written on notebooks I have feelings of total idea black out. This usually happens on evening when there is not much time to really start anything big before bed time or if weather or some other obstacle inhibits me to do something I'd like to do. This usually leads me to wonder around apartment and frustrate about the lack of anything to do. In those times I go to A and ask him what I should do. And he usually has no suitable answer. A is very good if I need his help in some technical issue or if I have a few options on how to do something but I cannot make my mind, but he is not good in brainstorming craft ideas, go figure...

I'm not saying I'm the most innovative person in the world, because I'm totally not and I'm not saying my way to figure what to create is any better than anyone elses, I just wanted to write through how I get those ideas I get. This is my way, I'm interested if your way to create is anywhere similar or very different. Do you keep track of your ideas and how, write them down or save pictures?

Now speaking of material, this is what I've been obsessing lately.


  1. interesting. I never use mind maps. I think your observation that writing something down is your way of taking action--is a good one. That makes sense.

    What are those cabinets at the end of your post? What is in them?

    1. There is nothing in the cabinet right now, it did hold radio amateur stuff. I'm thinking of storing some craft stuff in the renewed office in this cabinet, but I'm not too sure yet.

  2. I am a list maker, I literally make a list of the lists I need to make each morning. But I really like your mind maps, it seems like it would be more effective for creative projects. Definitely giving that a try this morning instead of the list!

    1. I had a phase when I actually tried to make lists, but I hated if I had started a list and then realized I should have written something else below some other thing that allready has something below it. In mindmaps I have more space to write things related to each other next to each other. I'm not sure I'm making any sence :) Hope you get what I mean.

  3. I'm a list maker but sometimes lists can be a bit overwhelming. I wrote down what smaller projects we'll still have to do around the house and I had to rip it up and throw it away it was sooo long ;)


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