Mark on Shifting Your Creative Gears

When you get an idea or start a new project keep an open mind and a loose concept.  We have all experienced those magical moments when what we envision and we produce are spot on and match in every way.  And we have also experienced the disappointment and frustration of “seeing” our work in our mind’s eye but having the reality of the piece turn out looking like something fished from the Black Lagoon.

Part of the talent of an artist, no matter what your medium, is learning to shift your creative gears, to be able to reverse or change course toward new creative success.

I am not advocating you quit when your vision and your work don’t align.  I am not suggesting that you throw in the towel to take an easy way out or compromise your vision.  What I am suggesting is that you stop beating your head against a wall trying to fit square pegs into round holes.  If your vision and your art aren’t simpatico at the time, there is no shame in allowing your artwork to evolve into something else. There is no punishment for riding this learning curve so that your skills, vision and product hit a crescendo in a future project.  There is no embarrassment in taking ownership of your creative license to play and “re-create” when your imagination and art do not meet.

Often times, allowing yourself to take a right turn when your original plan was to force a turn left can yield surprising creative revelations.

© Pickle Road Studio, LLC

   I hope you enjoy my creative thoughts for hobbyists and crafters.  I post new blog thought entries every Monday, Tuesday, Thrusday, and Friday.  Wednesday’s are reserved for Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski’s guests and new creative personalities that you’ll want to know and learn about.  Of course, I sprinkle things happening on Pickle Road throughout the week.  

I invite you to subscribe to this blog by clicking  the button on the left side of this post.  Also, why not share my posts with your creative friends and co-workers by clicking on any of  the share links?  If something really resonates with you, print it out and tack it to your bulletin board or tape it to the wall of your creative space, sewing or craft room as a gentle reminder that you can re-read!

As always, I love to hear about your creative life, wins and challenges!  Leave a comment here or email me at  It’s the first work day of a short week, so have a happy Tuesday.  And always do what you love! xoxom

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7 Comments on “Mark on Shifting Your Creative Gears”

  1. July 5, 2011 at 5:50 AM #

    A perfect start to my day, as gear-shifting will surely be required. Thanks, Mark!


  2. Linda Kelly
    July 5, 2011 at 6:13 AM #

    What a great thought to start the day with! After four years of struggling through a tough personal time with only meager levels of creativity flowing through my veins, this summer has been a wonderful burst of so many creative pieces all coming together for me. Thanks for your part in that!


  3. Cheryl Rupp
    July 5, 2011 at 6:42 AM #

    This is just what I needed to hear. I too have had those moments where something turns out better than expected, just what I expected, and then wondering what went wrong. It helps to know that others come across the same issues. This will make a great thought to keep stored as I begin to work on a project or two! Thanks!!


  4. July 5, 2011 at 10:36 AM #

    It was a hard lesson, breaking up that necklace I didn’t love or frogging the one inch of stitching I’d done on a counted cross-stitch project, to just move on. I used the beads and clasp for something that totally rocked and the fabric is set aside for another project I’m anxious to start.
    As Ruth Sparrow said when I asked her what she felt when someone altered one of her patterns, “I think it’s great! They made it totally theirs.” You’re 100% right–rather than forcing your art, make your art! Love ya!


  5. July 5, 2011 at 1:49 PM #

    “…there is no shame in allowing your artwork to evolve into something else.”

    Let’s hear it for those “happy accidents”. 😉


  6. July 5, 2011 at 3:07 PM #

    Perfect timing! My latest quilt turned out a bit like that (less than expected), but I learned so much from making it, so I’m happy. You never know until you give it a try sometimes!!! I’ll try to keep a more open mind and be a bit more loose (watch out!) next time I have an idea. Too often I try to make it look just like it does “on paper” once I sketch it out, or even worse, cut all the fabric out before I even start sewing. Good thing I’m not a perfectionist though LOL. It sure helps to keep things “light”, and not get too attached, KWIM…


  7. l menefee
    July 5, 2011 at 3:48 PM #

    I’m a writer professionally, and a dabbler in textile arts–for fun, yes, but it’s becoming as much of a compulsion as writing… Right now I’m in a knitting frenzy and the quilt is certainly not quilting itself…I often have several projects going at the same time so I can do what I’m in the mood for, when I’m in the mood for it…

    I’m studying Elizabeth Zimmerman, and she offers the same advice to knitters–don’t be a slave to patterns or someone else’s idea of what your piece should be. If it “tells you” it’s trying to be something else, go with it! See what happens!

    I bring a writer’s philosophy to my textile work: pieces evolve, as writing evolves, sometimes “with a mind of it’s own.” Allowing the piece to “speak to you” can help you put your preconceptions on “hold” — I honestly believe everything from a novel to a flower arrangement “tells you what it wants to be” — if you listen!!


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