Being original can be quite difficult at times, it is so much easier to follow along with the crowd. I love to create, and I love to create with my own style and own ideas. Once you develop your own ideas, you can easily work them into your embroidery designs. Here are a few ideas to keep the creativity flowing!
There are a few things that you will need before we start: Pen/pencil, Paper and some quiet time!
List 1: Take some time to think about a few things – get comfy, put your feet up and if you can, have a nice quiet room at least for a few minutes. That’s a great place to start. The easiest way to be creative is to start with what you love the most. If flowers make you happy, then that is what you should start working on. Flowers! What about Halloween? Christmas designs or projects? Creating designs for your children? Make a nice list of what type of designs you like, and what type of designs you want to create, and what type of designs make you happiest of all.
List 2: Think about colors! Experiment with colors! Using the right colors in the right combination makes a big difference in the final embroidery. Have you ever been scrolling through embroidery designs and one design catches your attention? Why does it do that out of all of the other designs? My guess will be the colors that are used in the fabric and the thread – and the combination of colors makes that design stand out from any of the other designs. I have taken some time to learn about colors, thread colors and fabric colors and how well everything works together. I have been working on Halloween and Christmas designs, and I have been doing some “embroidery experiments” to figure out which color combinations work best with the fabric that I have on hand. Sometimes I try a color that I wouldn’t automatically pick (for example, instead of a bright orange for a Halloween pumpkin, how about a different orange, or even an orange/brown color?), and wow, that one works the best and makes the whole design POP! So don’t be afraid to experiment with colors and fabric colors and try something new. Beleive it or not, you can take any design and make that design look completely different than the original just by changing the colors. If you are digitizing the design yourself, you can change the background to the fabric that you are using and then play around with the colors to see how they will look on that fabric before you test stitch your work. Don’t be afraid to play around, you may be surprised at what you come up with – and that one color that you have in your thread stock that maybe be weird or an in-between color might look awesome with the right design and background fabric. You never know until you try. A good resource to learn about colors and what color looks awesome with what color would be your library. Yep, seriously! go into the art area of your library (or get an ebook online like I do) and start learning about colors – primary colors, color shades, etc and you will find some color swatches that will give you ideas on how to match up two or more colors that look awesome together. You can go to an art shop and pick one of these up, it is called a color wheel and you may find it helpful:
List 3: This one isn’t really a list, more of a sketchbook, but it is a way of brainstorming that I often use. If I am out and about in the world, or looking through Facebook or even watching TV, I keep track of things that catch my attention. You can make a list with a word or even a doodle. Now, I don’t pretend to be an artist, or pretend that I can draw anything at all, but I do understand my doodles – they get the point across better than words, sometimes. Around my house, we have pens/pencils and paper in just about every room, and we also use our iPad Pro to jot down notes. Now, this random note taking doesn’t have to make sense or look good, it is just meant to be a bunch of ideas that you have that you want to work on later at your desk! I saw a cute commercial on TV with a talking snowman (or something, I can’t really remember) and I thought it would be really cute as an embroidery design. I was drinking some water at the time, so I traced around my cup, and then created a smaller circle, added a scarf and the traditional top hat as well as the monogram so I would remember why I was creating the snowman in the first place. Look at the picture below and see my terrible doodle, and then the embroidery design that I created from that one doodle idea. I actually liked my final design so much, I mad it into an embroidery digitizing class!
DO WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT! Personally, I am not good at drawing, but I am good at embroidery. I can take my silly little doodle and create some awesome embroidery! The technical stuff and all of the work comes in to play when I am at my computer with my digitizing program. I can refine the edges, make smooth curves and make some great connections, too. All of the detail work is done at the computer – not on the drawing. I can spend 2 minutes on a doodle, and 2 hours refining the design in embroidery and then playing around with colors. The picture below, I took some of the snowman elements and changed some other ones! All of these designs from one doodle!
KEEP WORKING AT IT: Remember that embroidery digitizing is a skill – it is not going to happen overnight. You have to keep learning and keep working hard, practice every day, and you will find that your embroidery skills AND doodle book will get filled up rather quickly! Throw in your color ideas, or different colorways that will make your design work. Pay attention to what you are seeing, what colors grab your attention, and what makes you smile, too!
There is nothing worse than staring at a blank piece of paper, waiting to start your lists. If you are having this issue, or block, sometimes a change of venue will help out. Go for a walk, sit in another room or make yourself a cup of tea. Then try again. You may be surprised to find out that when you start with List 1 above (a list of the things you like) the other lists will keep flowing, and then you can apply those ideas and lists to your doodle book, and you have done it! A whole list and book of inspirational ideas just for you!
Until next time,
Keep the creativity flowing!