Monday, December 3, 2007

Creative Challenge for the Day

Ok, I got up and have to admit felt a little "blah". Yesterday did a bit of sewing for quilted book cover but I just haven't been feeling that creative. So this morning I got up and read one of the exercises in the "caffeine for the Creative mind" book. The challenge was to come up with a new marketing scheme for the "tents" that you see on restaurant tables. You know, the ones with pretty pictures and food items that are definetely not on the "healthy side". So I went to the gym thinking about this, hum what would be a better scheme? One thing that I could think of that would be cool is to actually allow a customer to swipe their credit card to receive email newsletter updates. Maybe actually send them e-coupons for purchase of future meals, GC, etc.

This actually started me thinking about what would be effective at a printer kiosk. What could we do to actually generate more sales? Right now we have these push buttons at retail centers where a customer can print out a page to check out the PQ. This has lots of trouble as more retail outlets don't stock their printers with paper. Or in Asia and some of the brick countries they don't actually have enough shelf space to have even our smallest products sitting on the shelf. What would happen if we were able to put a swipe card in retail outlets, where we could ship the customer information.

To take this idea even further, I started thinking about the recent advertising campaign that Apple and Starbucks just hosted. Bascially you go into a Starbucks, order a coffee, and during the month of October you got a printed coupon for a free iTunes download. I thought, this is probably going to be a huge hassle, so I collected my cards for the month and did the downloads all at once. It was SIMPLE. Not only that but I downloaded full albums from iTunes from a variety of the artists that I like yet had never even heard of. Now that is effectively co-ops dollars at work. Starbucks sells more because people want to know what the song of the day is so they order coffee, iTunes cashes in because the music downloads are just teasers for album purchases. Extremely clever. Hats off and kudos to Starbucks and iTunes!!

In terms of being creative today on the Art Quilt side. The challenge this month is what lies beyond your creative door. In the current issue of Art Quilt magazine they had some great images. My favorite of a hand going through a door with a needle and thread feeding through. So I've been thinking about what lies beyond my creative door. It feel like a rainbow of color and I really trying to think about how to extend my thinking beyond the hand, needle, and thread. Doing some sketching right now in an attempt to really open up my mind to the possibilities here. The hardest problems often require the most creative can extend that thought to every faucet of life. From engineering, to business models, to art.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ok, let's just say that I was overzealous with my ability to create tons and tons of these pear studies. Also, a bit overwhelmed. The thing I learned with this exercise is that you don't have to have a million pieces in order to create something that looks very life-like. Also, keeping to a regular "pear" color scheme is boring boring boring. Thus the psychodelic pear. I did do a pieced foundation for another pear block and am eager to see how that looks, but have just been buried this week at work.

Last night at Art Quilt Group one of the ladies, Amy, followed some instructions on how to dye black fabric using bleach in a bottle. very cool and out of time this morning.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Artist's Way Influence

I had to laugh as the last time that I blogged was when I returned from DJ's class in Arizona. Well, now I've just returned from Art Quilt Tahoe. There is probably a connection with when I'm feeling most creative and when I blog. Hummm.

At Art Quilt Tahoe I took a class from Sue Benner. What I enjoyed most about the class was her approach to teaching. It had a real "university" sort of feel. Where she lectured, then brought in the Art History part of the material and then gave us an assignment. I started the week feeling pretty bulish about my ability to create art in an abstract way with scissors and gobs and gobs of Wonder Under, in the middle felt totally incompetent about my Art Quilt Abilities, and then at the end hopeful that I'd practice and refine everything that I learned for the week. Call me a fraidy cat, but I'm not posting the pictures of my work from the week. It was scary.

When I got home, my sewing room was totally avoided as I didn't want to face the unfinished project from this class, the thing really needed the waste basket not more wonder under. After ruminating about it for several days, the project was thrown away and plans in place for a much simpler undertaking. In my Art Quilt Workbook, they have this simple pear. I think that I'll practice layering techniques with a much easier project. The thing that I was really struggling with was how to build the background. Many larger pieces, smaller pieces, what technique would you use and what effect would each technique actually produce? Art Quilt Group is Thursday night, so I need to get working on some options this evening for that Pear.

I think that I'll try one background, then pear provided in the workbook. Then do a scrappy back pear, with pear from the book, how about one fabric back and scrappy pear, scrappy back and scappy pear. Then I'd LOVE to cut up one of the compositions and see what you get with refusing. Giving myself a time limit of saying 10-15 minutes per composition is probably a good goal. I'll probably pick out 5-8 FQs size pieces of fabric and try to make all compositions from these materials. I'll post what I have tomorrow.

Something else really has been bothering me, which is effective use of HTML as a markup language or using a more intuitive product for website design. I will do some research on tools and approaches but it feel that my skillset, although it still works, is a bit behind the times. Should be simpler to make mods to my website that it is and I'm thinking that a bit of research would make me much more effective. Other crazy ruminations are effects of the global economy on not only large scale businesses but how do small businesses actually connect with this trend of a more global economy? This is vexing me right now.

Friday, May 11, 2007

First Post

I need a place to post the pictures from my art quilt group and also to post some of the cool pictures from the classes I took in Arizona from DJ Pettit and Traci. So here is my first go of it. Of course, one always has opinions of new tools, software, trends, etc. and this is going to be the home of all of that.