What Comes First?

When I open up this screen to write a post the top spot is where one puts in the title of the post.  Because it is there I feel compelled to try and come up with a title for a post that I have not yet written.  Honestly, I kind of just decided to start typing to see what comes out of my head and that because I feel like I need to start making more use of my website.  How am I supposed to come up with a title when I don’t yet know what I am going to say?

Could it be that there in lies the topic of this post?

I’m going to go with this as it reminds me of when I first signed up to Spoonflower.com and had to come up with a name for my shop.  I hadn’t done any print design at that point all I knew was that I wanted to.  How did I find Spoonflower anyway?  I ran across it a few years ago, I think I must have been looking for a fabric print of a specific theme and I wasn’t finding anything in the usual places.  Google produced a link to Spoonflower I started exploring and was amazed to find that it is a company that prints fabric upon demand and provides a platform for anyone to upload designs and be an indie designer.  I was intrigued and excited!

I can’t say that I sew that much but I really love fabric, I have quite a bit of fabric for projects that I have yet to get around to doing.  These are projects that are as likely as not to have been conceived because I just happen to like the fabric.  I have fabric that I bought just because I liked it but I have no project for.  I love the idea of sewing and I have done some and been so happy to turn out something I made with my own two hands.  For years I have fully intended to take up quilting and I have made some baby steps in that direction but I have to admit, I find one aspect of quilting to be repellent, the precise geometry.  A few years ago I found a quilting book on coming up with quilts made from scraps, this appeals to me a lot because the ideas presented are not as precise.

But I digress…

Back to setting up my Spoonflower shop before I have even designed a print, this was likely a backward approach but backward works for me.  Remember, I buy fabric because it is pretty and I have no plan for its use.  I don’t remember what my first shop name was but I know that since then I changed the name about four times before I landed on the one that I thought was right.  I believe this is called “rebranding” and it is a bit of a hassle on Spoonflower because they want to be sure you are not just doing this willy nilly, you have to request the change and state your case for doing so.

When I first started trying out names I wasn’t even sure of what my design style was.  I felt like I needed to have this all sorted out, sophisticated, whimsical, flowery, elegant?  I remember also trying to come up with a description for my shop that would make me “look good”.  I wanted to be appealing to as many people as possible.  The result of all this thinking was I didn’t like what I was coming up with because I couldn’t relate to it.  I am the sort of person who is more comfortable saying as little as possible or being terribly blunt.  What I have learned from my past experience of crafting my online presence is that I am most comfortable just letting my freak flag fly.  It is just so much easier than trying to appeal to as many people as possible.  The result has been I have become acquainted with some really amazing people who are also happier just being as freaky as they want to be.

In my world “weird” is a compliment.  I love weird!

So after opening my Spoonflower shop I went about the business of learning to design prints for fabric and experimenting with the many ways to go about it.  I changed the name of the shop several times, re-branding before I think I really had a brand to begin with.  Eventually I remembered something I once first said in a forum where I first started to learn that I was happier being openly weird.  I had observed on the likelyhood of that situation of seeing technicolor bunnies following me about.  I was feeling particularly weird and whimsical that day.  The technicolor bunnies stuck with me, the imagined imagery amuses me and makes me smile.  I love bringing them up in random conversation with people who really would not expect it and seeing their reaction, I can see them being amused by what to them is just plain nuts.

At this point in my design journey I have far more ideas than I do completed designs.  I have five done and available for public consumption.  This is the part of the journey where I am exploring the premises and learning my way around so getting from one place to another takes me a little extra time.  As I get more acquainted with the technology and skills I need to bring my ideas to life then I will be moving along at a faster pace.  I’m not concerned with trying to follow any particular theme or style in my designs.  If there is a unifying them is that I like the idea.  I’ve even changed my approach to describing the designs on Spoonflower, yesterday I changed the descriptions to just honest reflections I had about the designs, why I like them.

I think I must be doing something right.  While I have yet to sell any of my designs I am amazed that with only the five, all but the newest one has been tagged as a favorite by a Spoonflower customer.  That is enough for me I should keep doing what I am doing.



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