Dear friends of Your Colourful Mind,
Our decisions at the beginning of a new fabric painting project:
- We have to choose the fabric item we wish to paint on,
- we have to search for and decide on a project design idea,
- we have to determine the paints and tools we wish to use,
- and we have select the technique we want to apply.
Today we focus on the second element of the fabric painting process: the project design idea.
Fabric painting is a creative activity.
It involves two different processes: thinking and acting.
First we imagine something and then we produce it. We have to go through both processes and we cannot change the sequence: We can’t produce anything if we don’t have an idea of the product.
Thus, it makes sense that we talk about the idea-finding process first.
Only after knowing what we wish to create we can decide on the appropriate materials, tools and techniques which we need to bring the idea to life.
Fabric painting is not an artistic activity!
In the past, I never thought of myself as a creative person. I also believed that one has to be an artist to master creative activities such as painting.
And as (I thought) I wasn’t a creative person
-> I couldn’t be an artist,
-> and therefore I was not able to perform in painting.
That’s rubbish, of course. 🙂
The years of experience with fabric painting have taught me that – as anyone – I, too, have creative qualities and that using and developing them is (mostly) fun.
And painting techniques are not innate abilities but something that can be practised and learnt.
Thus, you don’t have to be an artist to start and enjoy fabric painting!
The only hurdle we have to overcome before we can start is, – finding a suitable and interesting design idea.
Where and how can we “find” ideas for the design of our fabric painting projects?
The ways and methods to find design ideas are limitless. I suggest – to avoid that we get lost – that today we start by just listing some easy ways to develop fabric painting ideas. Then, over time, as we get more experienced, we can discuss and share more methods.
An additional important point is that we should organize ourselves and arrange where and how we keep the collected ideas and save them for future projects.
Keep your eyes open and learn from others
Observing what others do or have done and sharing experiences and ideas with like-minded people are easy ways to learn and to get inspired.
And look around with open eyes, start to develop an interest in the variety of nature and in traditional and modern artwork, especially in pattern, colours and shapes.
But also be more attentive in your daily surroundings, try to be consciously present and to observe more details than you might usually do.
- Attend a fabric painting class.
- Buy a fabric painting book.
- Buy children painting or colouring books. Or one of the trendy adult colouring-in books.
- Visit galleries, museums, exhibitions.
- Walk around with attention, try to be consciously present in your surroundings.
- Flick through crafts magazines. And graphic design magazines. Art and design books.
- Walk through an arts and crafts shop and get inspired by the displayed materials and tools.
- Join a network of fabric painters, such as the website Your Colourful Mind 🙂
- Visit a social media network where you can share your thoughts (e.g., Facebook).
- Search the internet for fabric painting related websites, blogs, etc.
- I am sure you know a lot of other useful ways to discover and collect ideas. Share your knowledge with us! Send your comments or emails!
Keep a diary or file to collect and save ideas and images
Make sure that you don’t lose what you just have found, and organize your idea collection in a suitable way. Don’t just rely on your good memory.
Take pictures of anything that inspires you, write down notes, and sketch your ideas out on scratch paper, and/or save your observations on the computer.
- Start a vision diary.
- Keep a little notebook in your handbag and on the bedside table.
- Take photos of images, pattern, artwork, colours, etc.
- Collect images in a folder on your computer.
- Join a social media forum where you can easily collect images (e.g., Pinterest, Instagram).
- Take and keep photos of your finished projects.
How do you keep your thoughts and ideas organized? Let us know!
During the coming weeks, I will present some concrete examples of fabric painting projects and report on the inspirations and ideas they are based on. And I am happy to publish your contributions!
We then will be ready to direct our attention to the third dimension of fabric painting which we have to know and understand: materials such as paints (for more information: see Posts No 52, 55, 57) and markers, and tools such as stencils, stamps, etc.
Keep your eyes open, enjoy what you observe, and use it as an inspiration for your fabric painting projects. 🙂
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