Friday, 7 September 2007

Creativity Born out of Depression and Frustration

So I had a really bad day on Wednesday. I was extremely depressed (and I don't use that word lightly) and frustrated with some issues in regards to my work and how extremely competitive the market is. I had bought some new products and downloaded a couple of freebies from (what I thought at the time) a couple of really "top" scrapbooking product designers. I was so disappointed. The quality was awful in terms of, the papers up close were blurry and many of the embellishments were slightly pixelated and with "jaggies". Honestly? How do these people get repeat sales? I can't begin to tell you how this made me feel. For one thing, I had paid money for them and can't use them! The freebie downloads is no biggie but nevertheless they were downloaded from a huge scrapbooking store/community and the designer is a "big" name.

I've always struggled with a low self-esteem and have little confidence in my artistic/creative abilities and yet I recognise myself as having been born with some natural artistic talent. I've also worked very hard over the years, many years, fine tuning my artistic skills whether it's in the form of digital art, drawing, 3d or when I'm crafting. It's a bit of a paradox really. I know I've got some skills but I don't have confidence to really accept it.. So yeah.. I was quite upset, angry and frustrated for most of the day.

I tried to methodically work out why I was feeling so bad. I even checked my calendar to check I wasn't PMS'ing!! I felt that bad. So tearful and really angry. Couldn't understand it. And it slowly began to dawn on me. I work hard. This is my only income and I know how lucky I am to do this kind of work. To be so creative and to work with my beloved husband on a daily basis. It's early days in regards to my store so I'm not too worried about sales there at the moment... and I've yet to do any major marketing.. that will come in time. It was that I work so hard in terms of the quality of my products. I pour over each graphic to make sure it's as clean and high quality as it can be. I'm a perfectionist but I know I miss the boat sometimes and when I do, it cause me so much grief. I was disappointed that so called top product designers create such poor quality graphics. Obviously not all the time and maybe they were having a bad day when I bought that particular product. But nevertheless, it was a big eye opener.

There was a lot more going on with me in regards to my depression, upset and anger but that was the gist of it. How could they create such poor work and be put on such a pedestal and raved about continuously? I'm sure there's a fantastic proverb about this... about shouting how good you are or getting other people to shout how good you are but actually you're not that great! I'm sure there's a proverb but it escapes me at the moment.

It really made me realise how amazing my fellow designers are at Scrap Girls. They are so quiet, so humble and create awesome work. And such high quality. They inspire me so much. Not just in their work and creativity but in their attitudes. It was a good lesson for me to have that bad day. I was seeking something ("fame and fortune") that isn't for me and it was wrong. And I know it now.

So yeah. It was a miserable day. Lots of thinking and praying. And then I had an epiphany moment. It was something my husband said that triggered it. Nothing major and was just a question really but I suddenly had an idea for a product as a result of it. And really as a result of my bad day and lots of thinking and praying about my work/art. I'd actually kind of thought of it a while back but thought it wasn't "scrapbooking" enough. However, as my brain started to go on creative overload and I opened photoshop and started to work, I realised that I shouldn't be so worried about what others will think in regards to it not being "scrapbooking enough". If it's a good product, and there's a need for it, it will sell.

Before I created scrapbooking products, I was a part-time 3d texture artist. I still do that kind of work every now and then for my husband. It's also how I know Anna, although I actually initially met her many years ago through a graphics group. I digress. There's always a need for texture resources for 3d texturing and of course the cross-over is the digi scrap products. And so I decided to create some "cross-over" packs. I've called them "Ultimate Digital Craft Packs" as I really think they can be used in so many creative ways.

I sketched out some ideas in my notebook for themes and colours... I then immediately got to work on the first pack and worked until 4am this morning. It was incredible. I suddenly had this drive and determination. It was truly wonderful. I felt creative and so artistic in what I was doing. That sounds a bit egotistical. I don't mean it to be. Just trying to explain how I felt. So yeah... I finished the first pack and am just about to upload it to my store... and now I'm working on the second and third... So much to do.. so little time!

Here's a sneak peek of the first pack. Basically it's a mega pack of seamless tiles. I'm going to do a little tutorial on the different uses of these tiles. They are 512 pixels wide and 300 dpi. Lots of designs including favourites such as hearts, flowers, stripes etc.. and a couple of contemporary and vintage. Oh and a load of embellishments to match. I don't if they will sell but I love them and going to give it a go!

{click on the image to see full size}

Oh and if you actually read the whole of my post - well done! That was some post! Phew! Kinda needed to get that off my chest though. Thanks for being here, reading my blog and taking an interest. In these days of hard pressed time, I certainly appreciate the few moments you take to read my blog! x


Laura said...

That sucks when that happens I hope that you contacted the designer and let her know that her things are just not right and you are dissapointed. :)

Love the papers, great colors!!!

Syndee said...

That just stinks! Love the papers!