Friday, 21 August 2015


Willow pattern china has inspired these Dr Marten boots
 It's a Eureka moment when catching sight of one object triggers an inspiration for using something about it, hopefully in a completely original way, on something you  make. The excitement of having an idea, which you hope and believe no-one else has ever had generates a new design for your work. But is inspiration that clear? Or do some people use the word 'inspiration' when what they actually mean is copying?

People will say,' I was inspired by something I saw online.' Do they mean that seeing something online triggered a different idea that yielded a design unique to them or do they mean they saw something online and thought: 'That's a good idea, I think I'll copy it'? 

Running a shop I am aware that things I'm shown may not be entirely the original idea of the maker. Some would say that nothing is new, it's all been done before but I don't believe that.
I think that just as we are all different as individuals so our ideas will be different and personal if we have the courage to follow them through. 

I've said before that it's like being a big sieve. Our brains absorb everything we see. It all goes into the sieve and when we start to design something to make hopefully the way our individual brains work on all the images and ideas we absorb produces something really interesting that doesn't remind us of someone else's work.

When teaching it is always great when someone does things their way. They don't want to copy they want to use the techniques to develop their own style.  Teaching is sharing your knowledge which probably includes sharing your designs. 

I hear that there are inspectors on the look out for makers using knitting patterns to produce items to sell. But if the designer is selling  patterns they've invented how can he or she guarantee it will only be made 'for personal use.' It's a grey area. 

I want to have items in the shop which are different, sometimes a bit quirky and hopefully entirely the idea of the maker but I can't guarantee that. All I can do is encourage makers to bravely follow their own paths. To make things they are truly proud of. Things that are recognisably them - to develop their own unique style without looking over their shoulder at what other people are doing or allowing themselves to be influenced by them.


lindsey said...

I agree with you Jenny. I think we can all take inspiration from others, & with a bit of tweaking make a design of our own from it. I know my painting & bear making originally came from others & with a lot of changes, it eventually became "mine".

lindsey said...

By the way I love the boots.....maybe the blue/white has something to do with it!!!!

molebags said...

I think the best thing is to be constantly open to new ideas- sometimes the most unlikely thing/colour/texture etc triggers that 'lightbulb moment'!

jenny said...

Don't you find that 'lightbulb moment' often comes in the middle of the night and if you don't write it down straight away you cannot remember what it was in the morning?x

molebags said...

yes! and sometimes I dream a brilliant idea too!