Picking up from where I left off yesterday...when I tell people how to figure out what they want to do, I tell them to set the stage so to speak. I suggest they make a simple list of everything they like even if it doesn't immediately seem to pertain to a possible career in the art world. Or any world for that matter. Sometimes we see patterns emerging when we do that.
I also tell them to imagine themselves already immersed in the world they want to be in. What kind of life would they live if they could live their dream life? Visualization is a very important thing in realizing what your dream is. Over the years I have visualized myself doing many things, and some of them have turned into realities.
But I have never really visualized the bears themselves living a life beyond the little legends I give them to define their personalities on my site. I have always had a vague notion that they were old toys that someone loved to a worn state, but that's about it.
Now I need to interject a little something before I continue. A few years back I had made some bears that were exactly what I had been striving for. It took me a long time to truly get where I wanted to be with their look and shape. After making several hundred of these bears, I had done it. I had accomplished this goal. So I decided it was time for a new idea and a new goal as to how they should look. The problem is I never really got a new idea. I have just been going along trying this or changing that a little without a real specific design in mind. It's very hard for me to work like that and be satisfied. I love the bears I have created since then, but I still need something specific to strive for which is why all of this is coming about.
I figure after nearly 30 years they deserve a life and world of their own. They have earned it. Besides if you want to get to know someone, knowing their history is a large part of who they are. I thought all day about where the bears and their animal friends would come from. It just seemed terribly important to think about this, I wasn't completely sure why. As I went around doing my household chores I thought about what would their world look like if it didn't have any people in it? I didn't worry about what the inhabitants would look like yet though.
The logical part of my brain said well bears live in the woods. But these are teddy bears so we don't have to be logical. They could live in a city, but what would that city be like? It didn't seem quite right.
I thought it would be best to start setting a mental stage. I kept picturing a sunny meadow in the middle of a lush forest. Even with the addition of butterflies, it was pretty but it still didn't seem quite interesting enough.
But then I realized this is my world I am creating, so I can make it anything I want. I didn't have to choose between city bears or country bears. I could have the best of all worlds.
Suddenly their were dwellings in the forest...all the fanciful places I would like...a striped silk tent, a tree house that is a cuckoo clock on top, a large acorn house with shutters where one of the smaller animals would surely live. I would swear I even saw a dirigible flying in the background. My forest suddenly had a community with a slightly steampunk feel to it.
Suddenly it came alive. And the biggest surprise that came out of all this daydreaming was that I had an idea for what my website should look like, despite picturing the bears yet.
Maybe it seems as if I am doing things backwards, and maybe this seems like a waste of time to the more pragmatic bear artists out there...but I have a feeling this will bring me to the place I need to be. If I take time to set the stage, I will know who to cast in the roles. I probably should have done this years ago.