Sunday, June 26, 2016

4 Terrific Sources for Ideas

By Joanna Campbell Slan

People often ask, "Where do you get your ideas?" and the answer is...everywhere. But I thought I'd share a few of my favorite resources:

1. Walks -- I'm a huge fan of walking without headphones or music. The silence gives me a great chance to think. More importantly, I often hear the "voices" of characters in my head. Or I'll see someone or something that sparks ideas. Here's an example, I found a scuffed up piece of glass stuck in the dirt. I dug it out. The coloration reminded me of an old shop window. From that I made Odd Bob's Antiques.

In the door on the right, you can see the piece of glass that started all this rolling. I embedded the glass between two pieces of foam core board. The frame is cut out of drink coasters.

2. Memories-- Thinking of old shops reminded me of the year we lived in England. The streets feeding into Covent Garden were full of poky little stores. The dust and traffic guaranteed that windows were dusty. Yes, I thought, that's how Odd Bob's would look.

3. Challenges -- My pal, Christine Verstraete, and I call ourselves Two Mad Miniaturists. We're working on a new book of tutorials, especially for Halloween. She suggested that I try my hand at a bookend, as that's a new trend (or the revision of an old one) in miniatures. I looked up the size on a cool website called www.dimensionsinfo,com and started building Bob's.

4. Brainstorming -- Chris has been telling me about all the cute things she's crafting, and I didn't want to duplicate her efforts, so I decided to go darker. Last night before bed I brainstormed a list of horrific items. Today, I built a miniature guillotine, only 1 1/2 inches high. I also created a cobra in a basket, and a set of horns on a plaque. I'd already made a gold casket, and I sculpted a dis-embodied hand, too. 

The guillotine can barely be seen on the left, bloody blade and all. The cobra in a basket is next to the guillotine. The plaque with horns is on the left, second shelf, and so is the gold casket. You can't see the hand I made. Hmmmm....maybe I should put it somewhere else?

The piece isn't perfect yet. I need to rearrange the shelves, attach the lights, and create the roof. But it's definitely coming along. 

What sorts of horror-ific props should I add to the outside of Odd Bob's? I'm curious to see what you suggest!


Amy Gill said...

Definitely add a spider & web. Perhaps a mouse trying to get in? At first I thought the decorative thing at the top of the door was a hand. Hm.....

Christine Verstraete said...

I'd say you need a head and a basket.. but you know how I think...haa!

Anonymous said...

I think a severed head would go great, and maybe a gravestone leaning.
Pat Davis

Linda O. Johnston said...

How great! I hadn't realized you did a separate post, Joanna. And I love the sources of your ideas!

Joanna Slan said...

Amy, super ideas. I can do that! I put a hole on one side (you can't see it) for a rat. (We think alike.)

Joanna Slan said...

Head in a basket. Sure. Right. And I suppose you want more blood, too? LOL

Joanna Slan said...

Pat, that's a cool idea. Maybe against the front wall?

Joanna Slan said...

Linda, I messed up. I thought I'd put this in draft. That's what happens when you're listening to your husband and trying to navigate blogger at the same time.