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How to be true to your vision

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As a designer, do you have a “vision” or a “version?”

I’m watching Project Runways finale tonight (yay – I’ve loved this season!) and am once again struck by how the designers this season are really focused on their design perspective and their own, unique vision.

I see a LOT of hand knits and knitting patterns each day.  From Etsy to Vogue Knitting to Twist Collective to Stitches West and beyond.  So many designs are really, really incredible.  Awe inspiring.  Original.  And many are … The.  Same.  Exact.  Thing.

Oh, but wait, there’s often a disclaimer:  “this is my version of (fill in the blank).”

When I was in junior high school, my VERY popular art teacher gave me a C in Art.  To get a great grade from this teacher, you had to allow him to draw on top of (redraw) your drawing.  And I wouldn’t let him do that.  I didn’t want my drawing to become his drawing.  I didn’t want my drawing to no longer look like mine.  I didn’t want it to look like everyone else’s in the room.

Although I don’t like or want to design things that look like everyone else’s, it can be a challenge to know what my “look” or perspective is.  (I think this is a challenge for many creative types.)

So how do you know what your vision is and how do you stay true to it?

You’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out!

In the meantime, I really do want to know your thoughts on this!  Share with us in the comments – how did your own tastes, perspective, aesthetic, etc. develop?  How do you stay true to it?  On the flip side, if you have no idea, what do you hope to learn about this?

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Kekumukula October 30, 2010, 4:22 PM

    I like how you had the cahones to make your art your own in class, Brenda; major props to you.
    I understand the whole "seeing the same thing" on Rav, for example. While that can be a bit, "Oh, okay…", at the same time I sometimes find it like one making something her own, like how one pieces an outfit together and makes the style her own.
    I'm not sure yet what my knitting visions will be like as I've yet to try some designing, but I know I'm still learning about construction and will use those concepts first as backbones. I do hope to create some stitch patterns though and be inspired from other Asian cultures and nature.

  • Hopemore Studio November 4, 2010, 3:26 AM

    Sometimes I wonder if we have to triumph over 'version' to get to 'vision'. There are many who will always copy what they see and may never move on. It is a much bigger leap to create original works. I spend a lot of time thinking about my vision, I have clear likes and dislikes, but my path still eludes me. Looking forward to your next post.

    Angie

  • Fringe November 4, 2010, 2:56 PM

    Brenda, I so admire you for working through this idea of "version" vs. "vision". I understand what you are saying.

    I think personal vision/style is something that is part of your soul. You're born with it. That may be stating the obvious…Sometimes it's deep within, waiting to be found, and sometimes it's almost right at the surface, easily accessible.

    I feel it's a different journey for every person, depending on their life experience beginning as a young child. Sadly, some never truly explore themselves well enough, or perhaps have enough self-confidence, to find the answer.

    We all know the answer is to "be true to yourself". The question for many is how DO you "be true to yourself"?

    I look forward to your next post about this endless subject, dear friend.

    Before I go, I must tell you how much I admire you as a young girl standing up to that so-called art teacher. I'm appalled by that story. I was fortunate to have the most giving, loving art teacher that ever walked the earth. She was a true treasure. I'm proud of you for respecting (and protecting) your art at such a tender age!

    xoxo

  • Brenda November 6, 2010, 2:20 AM

    Thank you all for your insightful comments!

    Stefanie, you're so smart to focus on the basic stepping stones. I really look forward to seeing what you create!

    Angie, SO true – and the eternal struggle about whether originality can exist!

    Dennice, I know this is a topic near and dear to both of our hearts and I loved reading your comments – right on the nose!

    Thank you all again!

    xoxo Brenda

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