At this time of year my mind starts to journey to the exciting world of "new possibilities". As the end of Winter approaches, I tentatively play around with plans for my creative practice, much as a gardener would plan his vegetable plot. I dip into my SEED BANK of ideas; the seeds I collected during my creative Autumn Harvest back in October, when I either shared, composted or stored my work. These are all concepts from my Autumn Flow course, but they can be used any time of the year to help you stay creative. So here are some tips on building your own seed bank of ideas that you can dip into at any time of the year.
What is a SEED BANK of ideas?
The seed bank is a collection of your ideas, projects or work that has been successful for you in the past, or has the potential to be successful in the future.
- work that sold really well last year
- work that could sell well if you tweaked it a little, sold it in a different way, marketed it in a different way
- ideas you think could work but you didn't have time to invest in last year
- ideas that could work if "transplanted" - done in a different way
- ideas that need "companion planting" - a partner or collaborator
- work or ideas that gave a small crop last year but just need more "room" to bloom - more investment of time, funds or energy
You get the gist.
Make an inventory of all the above in a notebook or app such as Evernote or OneNote. This is your creative seed bank - your own store of ideas to bring out when it's time to start planting again and time to wake up your creative practice. When I'm planning my practice for the Spring, I aim to have a balance between high, medium and low risk work. The low risk is my "cash crop", it's the work that has been well received in the past and I'm confident I can repeat its success. The medium risk is what takes up most of my time: it's the idea that "almost" worked but needs extra care and attention, it's the work that needs a little bit of love this year to produce a great harvest. The high risk is equivalent to growing an heirloom seed! It's the crazy idea, the vegetable nobody has ever seen before that demands very particular conditions - but might, just might - produce something extraordinary! I like to throw a few heirloom seeds into my mix, it's fun!
Creating your own SEED BANK ensures you never run out of ideas, as well as being a prompt for you to evaluate your work (which is always a good thing in my book!)