Tips for becoming a better designer.

A long long time ago I found this list of tips for becoming a better writer. I would like to improve my design skills. With that in mind, I am adapting the idea and making a list for my own use. I will try to keep the list to no more than 50 items. Clearly, the other commitments in my life, will not allow me to do all the items on the list. However, I can use it as inspiration for how to best make use of my free time.

And here is the list:

1. Design and Stitch as much as I can.

2. Use self-imposed design limits.

3. Accept both positive and negative feedback. Grow from it.

4. Review the pattern over and over.

5. Show my designs to a trusted friend, one who will give me honest feedback.

6. Sketch many ideas.

7. Take a break between charting and stitching.

8. Learn new types of stitches regularly.

9. Learn new finishing techniques regularly.

10. Design different styles of patterns.

11. Stitch different styles of patterns.

12. Read embroidery books.

13. Design without distractions.

14. Create designs that I dont think I can.

15. Go to craft shows.

16. Look at other designs. Can I improve on what I see?

17. Share my stuff with anyone willing to stitch it.

18. Simplify.

19. Look at what others are stitching.

20. Visit museums.

21. Start designing ahead of time.

22. When in doubt, cut it out… or multiply it.

23. Look at other art forms for inspiration – music, dance, sculpture, painting, writing, photography.

24. Look at my old designs and acknowledge how far I’ve come.

25. Look at my old designs and acknowledge how far I have to go.

26. Design for publication, even when doing a one-of design for a friend.

27. Make designing my priority.

28. Announce to the world: “I’m a designer.”

29. Recognize my weaknesses and fears. Challenge and overcome them.

30. Keep a sketch book to turn to when I need to get the creative juices flowing.

31. Journal to sort out my thoughts and feelings.

32. Try new hobbies.

33. Go to new places.

34. Look at art works from different cultures.

35. Join a crafts group. If I can’t find one, form one.

36. Design during my most productive hours of the day.

37. Take time to research.

38. Take time to doodle.

39. Take time to stare off into space

40. Plan the work and work the plan.

41. Approach designing with joy.

42. Analyze designs I like or enjoyed stitching.

43. Socialize with other designers and artists.

44. Stretch/exercise/play regularly.

45. List next steps and ideas before I stop for the day.

46. Keep home and office organized. This will give me more time to design and stitch.

47. Drink a cup of tea and dream.

48. Get enough sleep.

49. Even a spare minute can be used to create something.

50. No excuses… create a little something each and every day!

I have many ideas for designs. Now I just need to find the time and learn the skills to make them come to life!