Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Wait to See Problems

Sometimes it feels like it takes forever to finish something…like my Fairy Tale 2013 Calendar/Post Card Set. I started brainstorming for my Make Something Present for this year around April, and I decided I wanted to do something with fairy tales. I focused on the morals of fairy tales—or at least the morals I take from them now (and some I took more liberties with than others). I sketched different layouts and selected my favorites to create drawings for.

I started off strong. I had a basic idea of how I wanted my design to look; I decided early on that I just wanted the fairy tale characters to be white silhouettes because they’re simple and I wanted them to stand out against a color-filled background. I did initial layouts for many of the fairy tales pretty quickly…and then I walked away from it for a while. Partly because I wasn’t happy with the layouts I had, but mostly because I had reached a design wall and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to fix it.

My initial layouts were not unlike my Retro Fake Ad Calendar with the image and calendar on a single sheet, but I eventually came to the conclusion that it might be best to send my design to a printer considering how ink heavy the design was. However, if I did that then I wanted my design to be separate from the calendar part (as a calendar only has a small window that it’s useful for).

So I stepped away from my fairy tale project because I needed space to let my mind rest…a solution would come to me in time. And in the meantime I felt like doing other things (like sewing). Intermittently I would go back to my fairy tale project and eventually came to a decision about what I wanted to do: I would create fairy tale post cards that would adhere to a separate sheet with a calendar printed on it.

Originally I wanted to be done with this project by the beginning of August…but that didn’t happen. I kept seeing things I was unsatisfied with—big and little things. I redrew many of my drawings because something would bother me about them. I shifted things around and changed textures and colors until I finally got done with it at the end of August.

It’s hard to stop looking for things to fix. I expect to see problems. I wait to see problems. I stare at it until I can see what’s wrong, because the worst thing is to have something printed and then to see something blatantly wrong. There’s nothing more frustrating than a problem that you’re unable to fix. So it took me a while to finish this project because I couldn’t stop staring. I stared until I couldn’t stand it anymore—and that’s when I finally sent it to print.

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