As I was preparing my "Why Quilts Matter" presentation, and thinking about questions that quilters and non-quilters might ask, I remember a question that I heard with some frequency when I was working and teaching in a quilt shop: "Where do your ideas for design come from?"
One of them is newer, trying to design a visual representation of a concept. (This one has grown out of my attempt to develop a creative habit, a la Twyla Tharp, in her "The Creative Habit.) As I mentioned in an earlier post, when I awaken in the morning I come up with a design idea for a quilt. (As you might expect, some are better than others.) It may be something that came to me in a dream, or something I see in the room, but sometimes it's more about a concept or non-visual idea. One morning, for example, the first thing I heard when I woke up was the train whistle that is there every morning, but which I too often don't really hear. How could I visually represent that sound, and perhaps even the Doppler Effect of it.
I don't think I'm ready to talk about the fourth one yet--I'm just starting to explore it and its future as an inspiration for quilt design is uncertain. But I'm excited to give it a try!
One thing I have observed, through all of this, is that I'm observing more. :-) Noticing the sounds of the train and then asking the simple question, "What would a quilt of that sound look like," are stretching my creative muscles, and there isn't anything much better than that--even chocolate!
What about you--where do YOUR creative ideas come from?