Your Infinite Database On The Moon

Each day when I sit down to do art I have a specific structure in place to keep me on task. It goes something like this: 1. 15 minutes of sketching 2. Draw the comic page 3. Ink the comic page 4. Composite page on the computer. This daily regimen keeps me on task so long as I do not lose focus.

But alas, my mind does not quit working 100% of the time. Narrowing in is not always easy. Here are some factors that are prone to intrude: tiredness, curiosity about something, my bad day at work, other life problems, ministry work, relationships, and other creative ideas brewing in the back of my mind. In a prior post I tackled how I deal with distractions. Click here to read it: Road Work Ahead. Today I want to take a jab at explaining what can be done with those creative ideas that pop up.

Before I finish a piece of art, story, or project I usually begin to see new opportunities. What does a creative person do with these opportunities while other projects take priority?

I wish the easy answer was always to store it in an infinitely secure database on the moon, but it doesn't work that way. Creative ideas are often untamed beasts that like to appear like the Loch Ness Monster. They are ever elusive and prone to disappear as quickly and suddenly as they appear. Unlike people who do not value creativity, the artistic person considers these as precious as gold. Even if we find them to be fools gold in the near future, we don't know how much they are worth until some future time when we can invest in exploring it.

The potential locked away in these ideas come and go. They often do so in the midst of mundane tasks. Some are even prone to pop up during normal work times. This precious commodity often disappears because we are occupied with something that has to take priority in the name of responsibility. Artists generally hate this, but we find ways to manage.

Taking down these ideas come in a number of forms some are not great, but necessary others are ideal so I made a short list of each and you can determine if they are valid for your purposes. Ideal methods are generally more secure and not easily disposed. Less than ideal methods are easily disposable or can be mistaken for something unimportant.

Ideal Idea Capturing Methods:
1. Laptop, PC, or Phone app
2. Sketchbook/journal on hand
3. Filing system
4. Dry erase/Chalk board
5. An e-mail

Less Than Ideal Idea Capturing Methods:
1. Napkin from a restaurant
2. Receipt or random piece of paper on your person
3. Back of a bill or envelope around the house
4. Text message to yourself
5. Digital photo on your phone or camera
6. On the back of a project you are selling or being paid to do
7. Any method from the other 11 listed on someonelse's property

These lists are not a hard and fast rules. What do you think? Do you agree with my categories? What do you do with your ideas in a pinch? Let me know, I would like to do a post about your feedback.

1 comment:

  1. I tend to use my smart phone for note taking in the wild, but even then I find if I'm not careful I forget the context of my notes & can't recall what they're in reference to!