I want to start off by saying I am not a biz expert or guru. Everything I’ve learned and may share has been learned by an on the go basis. On the go meaning me going about my work or going to a book or website and reading and researching. What works for me may not for you.
Thinking about your creative dreams and goals may be what gets you thru your regular 9 to 5 day job. You may love your job but you still may long for the day when you can give your notice and be out on your own working for yourself pursuing that goal, chasing that dream. Thinking and talking about your dream is really your first step, the baby step. The next step?
Making that Dream an Idea.
I know someone has already said “Geez, that is the same thing!” I don’t think it is. Here’s the difference: A dream is this inmaterial thing that is all unicorns and rainbows that takes many different shapes. It has the fuzzy rose colored edges that such precious dreams have. Making it an idea is where you pull that dream out of the rose colored rainbow world into the bright lights of reality and pin it down.
Its a bigger step than you might think.
Pinning it down can take a loooooong time, it can be really hard to pin down but its that next step. What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What do people come to you for because they know no one does it better? What do you want to do? See where it can get tough? You may be the best knitter you know but that is only the basis of your idea.
When I started working on taking Some Odd Girl from Dream to Idea I was lucky enough to have friends that planted the seed for me. Of course, I totally thought they were bonkers (one more than the other ha) but even though I dismissed their carefully orchestrated presentation but it stuck. I did start to dream about it. It took on that rosey sheen and stayed with me. I thought about it all day but I had TONS of doubts, I still have doubts. My art? Who the heck would pay for my art work? That was my biggest one. But after it became all consuming I decided to take that next step and make my dream an idea.
I pinned it down.
Pinning it down is getting specific with what you want to do. My art as stamps was still such a general idea, where do you go next with such a broad stroke? This is the part when I say it takes a while. Art or knitting on its own is not going to get you anywhere.
Research, plot and plan
Take that nugget, that thing you love to do, that gives you joy and can work for days on and refine it. Surf the web, browse shops, sit in your studio with the things that you’ve made and love and make some decisions. Narrow it down. If you can, narrow it down to one fabulous, awesome, unique thing. It may have been done before, that’s ok! Knitter, you may make a mean scarf and living here in Michigan I know we all need a scarf. What can you do with that scarf that’s unique? Maybe its what you make it out of, eco-friendly, upcycled, hand dyed wool. Maybe its the design, scarf with a hood? Yes please! Really, I want one. Maybe its your color combos or the pom poms that you have on the ends of the tassels. I have always loved drawing people so I narrowed it down to people stamps. Then sketched for months until I came close to a style I liked. People stamps have definitely been done before but no one has my style 🙂
Really though, these are important decisions that will effect your creative biz for a good time to come but they still spend weekends in rosey dream world hanging with the unicorns. Next comes pinning it more into the real world. Take that narrowed down, more specific idea, bonus points if you’ve made a few samples, and dissect it. Look at everything you can think of that could go along with it. I had people stamps, I had a style that I liked, but how the heck was I going to get it into stamps. Even if I got it made into stamps, how was I going to package it? Where would I sell it? Advertise? Materials? Cost? Time? Labor? Shipping? Pricing? Competition?
That’s what I mean by pinning it down. Make a list of what you would need to do, buy, look into or create your idea. Don’t discard anything! The more specific you can be with your dream made idea the easier its going to be for you to get started. What your idea is will define and shape the list. It helps to have someone to bounce the idea and list with. You can get so wrapped up in this that the most obvious things can escape your attention. Recruit your hubs, your mom, your best friend. They’ll be there for an opinion or as a product tester. Reach out if you have questions, what’s the worst that can happen? Email goes unanswered? 🙂
This is the beginning
It takes a lot of grunt work and time to take your rosey dream to viable idea but don’t let that stop you! The process if the most fun with any project, the results are just the gravy.
This is the first post of a continuing theme I’m going to be posting about. Please feel free to ask any questions you may want here, in the comments, email them to me or visit my formspring.