Quick Note on Stealing

I mentioned in a previous post how you can ‘steal’ inspiration from anywhere. Here’s a great example I came across yesterday.

I was doing a clean out under the kitchen sink and pulled out a tray I use for dangerous chemicals. It needed a washing up, so I took it outside, scrubbed it down, and left it in the sun to dry. But, it didn’t dry. I guess it was too humid. So I brought it inside and set it on a towel to dry. When I picked it up, it had left a pattern imprinted on the towel.

How cool is this??

I will definitely use this pattern in the future! It will look nothing like the towel, but I’ll know where it came from – and so will you!

Look around. There’s inspiration everywhere!

My Monitor is a Filthy Liar

I always trusted my monitor. I calibrated it when I got it. The colours were right on the money. Or, so I thought.
I was working on a design for Christmas. I decided to do something different. I would make a Christmas design in blue.

I picked a lovely shade of blue. In my head I was calling it cornflower blue, because it seemed to have a hint of violet in it. Just a hint.

I went to Zazzle and added a bunch of products with my new blue Christmas design. Then, I posted images for my friends to see. The response was almost immediate and universal – ‘This isn’t blue, it’s purple’ I was confused. Of course it was blue. It was blue as blue. Okay, there was that hint of violet, but it certainly wasn’t purple!

To prove my point I went to my other computer and looked at the design. Well, darn and drat! It was purple!

Designs side-by-side
What I thought it looked like vs What it really looked like

Even with all the calibrations. Even though everything looked perfectly normal on my main computer. Somehow, my blues were off. I decided to name the design Oh Deer, it’s Christmas – Periwinkle.

Periwinkle Design

Then, I remade it with a true blue, checking both computers, and made an Oh Deer, it’s Christmas – Blue.

Blue design

Lesson learned. Never trust your monitor. Never ever.

How I Steal

I read a book a few years ago called ‘Steal like an Artist’ [Austin Kleon]. My main take-away was ‘be inspired’. I was already designing, and I know if I see a design I love, it’s better to buy it from the artist, because anything I try to make like it will not be half as good. It’s their style. I can’t do their style! But I also realized I can see a design and work off of what I like about it.

One of my first ‘steals’ was from a picture of David Cassidy. Honestly don’t know how I came across it. But… that shirt!

David Cassidy
Okay, looks like a credit pic – such a thief!

I wanted to create a design that was similar. It, of course, wouldn’t be the same. It was me, drawing with my magic pen on my screen, but it could give me the same feel of that design. I drew a bunch of tiny blocks with things in them [technical term – take note].

I put them all together and made this on Zazzle:

Primitive Pattern Messenger Bag

This was my first ‘steal’.

Get inspired. Find designs from the past, present, in nature, everywhere, and make them your own. Something that sparks for only you – or so you think – can become something new. You’ll have a unique-to-you design that others will love.