A while back, I wrote an article titled, “Make Play Work for You”. The gist of it is you can put play to work so that you become more creative. In this post, I’m going to share with you how I used creative play to design and make my most recent piece of work.
Creative Play is an important component of creativity. When you’re playing, it frees your mind up to come up with many ideas (divergent thinking) to solve the problem at hand.
So, I started this project with a sketch from my recently completed 30-day drawing challenge. Although I’d planned to use that one particular sketch for this work, the design took its own path meandering through lots of twists and turns.
So based on my sketch I created the small collage pieces just like I did with “Lovecicles”.
I worked one little piece at a time until I had created the 3 main design elements in my sketch.
Then I attached them to a black background to get this:
That’s when creative play began in earnest. At this point, I’d decided I wanted the series to be about the issues of water scarcity some people face around the world. So I wanted to include a teacup in the design to represent water.
So I took a photo of the piece at this point and transferred it to my iPad so I could digitally play around with how to incorporate the teacup.
I played around with it in my sketchbook as well.
In my sketchbook, you see that I toyed around with the idea of completely repositioning the top design element so that it will be flipped and placed on the right-hand side of the design.
Eventually, the final design I created incorporated some of the ideas I generated from both sessions of my creative play on the iPad and in my sketchbook.
I stitched the “ropes” first, adding thread shading to make them realistic.
Then, I proceeded to incorporate the teacup into my design. I’d decided I was going to exclusively free motion stitch the teacup without using fabric collage. This meant I had to expect the heavy stitching to draw up the fabric in that area. More about that later.
When I was all done I’d lost about 3 inches from the fabric drawing up as a result of my dense stitching.
However, because I knew this will happen I made sure I’d properly stabilized my materials. This way, with the heavy stitching, I didn’t get any fabric puckering problems. (If you do experience puckering, I wrote an article on how to solve fabric puckering issues.)
Now, I had to stitch the background to get done with it. I’m not so fond of the standard free-motion meandering pattern that much. Because I don’t find it challenging or interesting when I’m stitching a large area. I need to be challenged in order to keep going otherwise I may get bored and not finish. (which I wouldn’t want to happen 🙂 )
So here was another part where I decided to employ creative play. I didn’t have a pattern in mind when I started. I decided to let the design elements guide my stitching. Initially, it was hard not to judge my stitching but I have a “no unpicking of stitches rule”. So I kept going. As I proceeded a pattern emerged and I began to gain more confidence in the direction I was going.
This was the most fun part of the entire process – the playful part – where I had no specific expectations of the outcome. And what came out of the process blew my mind. I so love the pattern that was created.
Then using my fail-proof facing method, I finished the edges beautifully.
And another view
Finally, Here’s the completed piece.
I need your help naming this piece. As I previously said it’s about the issues of access to potable water for the millions who live with this issue daily.
So let me know in the comments what you would name it.
In my next post, I’ll create a video for you to see how I did the stitching. Till then,
My warmest regards,
PS:: Don’t forget to suggest a title for this piece below
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Also published on Medium.