Crossing it Off the List 

metal designer garden gates

I’m excited to share this custom design project which I just submitted to our client today, not because the customer was delighted with the designs, but because I want to talk about how I arrived to this delivery point.  It’s always such a huge relief for me once I submit the designs to our customers, but getting there can be quite an internal process. 

Sometimes it’s really really hard to just start! The creative process is by far my favorite part of my job, as it’s instinctive and natural for me. I don’t ever worry about the content or about whether the customer will like it or not.  What I stress about is just doing it and checking it off my to do list.  Designing is the only part of my job that I can’t just schedule into my day; that simply doesn’t ever work for me.  I have to be in the seemingly perfect state of mind, and my plate has to be relatively clear of other issues. This makes things tricky because there are ALWAYS issues when running a small business.  

I need to be in the right “space” to get into a new pattern, and sometimes this takes a while. One could call it procrastination, but I don’t think it’s really that.  It’s more like I have to be in the right place mentally to begin.  Also, I have to have a clean desk and not too much noise.  The good news is that once I’m in that frame of mind, I’m IN it, and I often get lost in the moment and don’t care or think about anything else.  It’s sort of a magical personal space.  I’m only thinking about the pattern, the lines, the repeat, and the appropriate CAD tools to use in my software.  I don’t think about color, just shape and translating what’s in my head to the screen.  I intentionally do not think about whether or not the design will work in metal, as it frees me up to push the limits of designing in this medium.  I deal with the technicalities much later in the process. 

How do I know when I’m done? When can I cross this off my list? I know when the design works well enough to at least present as a concept.  That’s what I did today.  I presented about five different design concepts for a set of gates in a rural setting.  None of the designs are laser ready but getting from my head to a visual presentation is always a feat.  I’m sharing a short video on instagram story today showing some of the phases and iterations on CAD these designs went through before final delivery to the customer.