Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The End of an Era

I made a decision this spring as I went through yet another panic. When you're not the one doing it, it probably doesn't seem all that hard to come up with a new design, or two, or ten. When I look back over the hundred plus designs I have come up with for the newsletters, nothing seems especially wonderful, or particularly innovative. There isn't anything that a dozen other people couldn't have done, many of them probably better than I. Still, when the publishing date looms on the horizon and I don't have a fistful of new tatting to show for it, there's always a mad scramble to "invent" something on the spur of the moment.
In the beginning I wavered between creating a book and going through the difficulties of publishing it, and working on a deadline where there were fewer printing hurdles, but more pressure. I opted for the deadline and began producing the newsletter "Tatted Lace Pattern Collection". I wonder if other people realize how hard it is to create something new, fresh and wonderful, on demand.
I have to admit that I am my own worst enemy at times because of the self imposed guidelines I use. There has to be 4 or 5 patterns, one of them has to have the tatting content equivalent of a 12 inch doily, there has to be a variety of difficulty in the pieces, there has to be a lot of out of the ordinary kind of projects, some 3D tatting and some of them have to be simple enough for beginners to work on.

Do you know how restrictions and deadlines seriously impede creative ability? I do. There are times when I just get one newsletter sent out and I start wondering what on earth I'm going to add to the next one. How do you invent "new" or "interesting" or "different"?

Some added pressures of my personal life made this year especially trying and I decided that in the interest of my own sanity, I ought to terminate the newsletter after the last issue this year.
I've learned a lot along the way, but now it's time for something new, so this was the final issue. I'm not giving up on designing, I'm just going to design things as I would normally, and when they're ready, I'll publish a book. I've been asked about putting all of the doily designs from the newsletters into a book and I might do that, along with some new designs I'm working on. I have a number of things in mind including doing a dual issue of books in hard copy and electronic format so that people can buy in the format they want.