December 5, 2008

Christmas and Holiday Vintage Images for the Season

I put together images that remind me of the Holiday Season for you to enjoy. Inspiration comes from many places and I hope that one of these images will jolt a new project out of you.

I carry a small book with me at all times, with wonderful blank pages waiting to be filled with things that inspire me as I go through my day. I never know what I will see that sparks "the best idea EVER!" I do get these brilliant ideas from time to time when driving down the street and I see something that I want to remember or maybe it is just an element to be combined with something else later. You have to be ready for these little outbursts from your brain and capture them by a quick sketch or jotting down the idea.
Sometimes ideas are like a dream you wake from in the night - it's awesome - your heart beats a little bit faster in your excitement over your brilliance.... and then you go back to sleep.
In the morning when you wake up fully and have that first cup of coffee you realize that the dream and all it's brilliance was really a fragment that didn't really go anywhere. It's disappointing really. Once in awhile, that fragment is combined with another fragment idea and it becomes your favorite creation.

I jot down my ideas in little books, do quick sketches, list websites to check out, resources, places I want to visit, etc.
It seems that when I hit a creative lull or if I am overwhelmed with ideas and can't decide where to start.... I browse my little books and it helps me select a place to start. A visual jump start for the creative process.
I've learned over the years to be as detailed as possible or to leave myself clues as to what the sketches really mean as I have gone back to the early books from several years prior and wonder - what the hell? - what was that supposed to be and I am convinced that it was one of those - best ideas ever - and now it is lost. Can you say Drama Queen?

The books are invaluable when I travel. There's something about going to a new city that gets the blood pumping to the brain and the ideas come in fast - so you have to be ready with pen and book to capture them all.
On my last trip to Chicago, after a few days wandering about the city I hit the overload point and just couldn't bear going to another destination. So, I found a lovely park - it was a sunny day - a bench beside a little pond with geese about and did a download into my little book. I filled page after page and enjoyed the sunshine, the Fall breeze, the antics of the geese, passerbys, and the colors of the leaves in the trees. Quiet time. I felt so much better afterward.
I have also upgraded the quality of my books through the years. The books have become the visual journal of my life that I am convinced my grandchildren will enjoy owning someday. I have often wondered about my great grandmother and wish that I had known her heart better. I have loads of photos, but it's hard to determine personality from those photos with the characteristic solemn faces of the era.
Diary's rarely reflect the true individual due to our fear of judgement - it's just alot of static and venting. Sketches, ideas on paper, reflect who we really are - things we love and find interesting. The things we are passionate about.
My favorite size is 5x5 or thereabouts. It allows me enough space to complete a thought on the two open pages. Hardbound or leather is useful as your little book takes quite a beating in your purse, backpack, etc. I like the aged look it gets - the scuffs, scratches, etc. If the book opens flat - all the better for sketching.

I have about seven of them that I cherish and thumb through periodically- it's one of my life's simple pleasures.

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