There’s an idea…

Coming up with ideas is the nub, the hub and the rub of what I do. But where do ideas come from? I don’t have a simple answer. Paschkis-If

But I do have ideas about ideas. Here are a few of them:

Ideas come from looking outward. Everything I see, hear and feel goes in.
Paschkis a far reach

All that input swims around inside, mixing with memories. That collision of the outward and inward can make ideas.
Paschkis open seas

Ideas like company: the more ideas I have the more I get. They bounce off of each other and multiply.
19 accordian
Sometimes ideas don’t like company. Voices from the radio, tv, friends and family can overwhelm them.
Paschkis dolls
Starting is hard. When an idea is new it is tender and needs to be sheltered. It is easy to kill a new idea.paschkis drawing

Ideas often visit when I am barely awake or barely asleep. Sometimes those ideas disappear in the light of day but sometimes they stay.
Paschkis time
Ideas never turn out as planned. I picture something new and beautiful, but it always changes in good and bad ways when it becomes real. What happens is often not what I expected.
My hands have different ideas than my head.
Paschkis drawing

Ideas take their own sweet time. They develop while I am doing other things and not thinking directly about them.
Paschkis Big Turtle
Ideas like motion. They unspool when I’m bicycling, swimming, walking.Paschkis open road  

Good ideas can come from bad ideas. Or not.
Paschkis scissor twins paper dolls

Sometimes I fear that I will never have another good idea, or that every idea I have is stupid. The only way that I have found to deal with that fear is to ignore it – to just plow ahead and make something (a story, a painting, a poem) for the pleasure of the making. Because once I start I don’t know where an idea will take me, and that is what keeps me going.
Paschkis stencil
These are some of my thoughts about ideas – I’d like to hear yours.

p.s. All of the art in this post will be in my show next month at the Bitters Co. Barn in Mt. Vernon. The opening is September 17th from 12-4. Please come if you can!

15 responses to “There’s an idea…

  1. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia

    You have to tiptoe around an idea – sniff around the edges, and peer at it from different angles. When the idea suddenly surprises you by changing direction – that’s when you know it’s alive!
    Good luck with your show – your pictures are really charming and whimsical.

    • Thanks for your comment. I always enjoy reading what you write about all of our posts. Are you in Australia now? …You are also around the table at Books Around the Table.

      Here is a tiptoeing poem by Gerda Mayer.

      Shallow Poem

      I’ve thought of a poem.
      I carry it carefully,
      nervously, in my head,
      like a saucer of milk;
      in case I should spill some lines
      before I put them down.

  2. Kathleen Armstrong

    I love your thoughts about ideas. There is a picture book I like about ideas. You are probably familiar with it. What Do You Do With an Idea?
    by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom. I love your paintings too. I especially like the one with the turtle and the sun and moon. Will you be selling prints of it?

  3. I think that the connections one makes with ideas can turn into other good ones, rather like your words about memories. I love that you believe ideas should sometimes be sheltered. And I too have a book to share: Ideas Are All Around-Philip Stead. Wish I was close enough to come to your showing!

  4. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia

    Yep, Julie – G’day! I’m here in Australia! Never been to your side of the world – maybe one day… Your blog posts never fail to amuse me – always a feast for the eyes!
    Thanks for that rather blissful poem – it really gives a sense of treating ideas with tenderness. I always think of an idea as like a little flicker in your mind – you have to gently, gently fan the flame…

  5. Jeanette Sullivan

    Hi Julie, love this post and your new design venture. Just ordered the
    bicycle top in XS, hope it fits! Looking forward to seeing your new show in the barn.
    Happy birthday,
    xo Jeanette

    • Thank you so much, Jeanette! I hope that the fit and quality of the shirt are good – I haven’t seen one in real life yet. It was good to hear from you and I hope you’re well.


  6. Wish I could print a poster of this, Julie. I love every note.

  7. Thanks!

  8. Julie….My idea? Your post is almosta book already…I am already holding it in my hand, by thought.

  9. do you write children’s books? if not then you should

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