Recently I hosted an Operation Write Home card-making party. One of my guests was a card-making newbie, so I was sharing some of my “craft test dummies pointers” with her. And one of them I thought I’d share with you today: working in a series.
Most artists, in the course of their training, learn to do this- but we crafters need to be prompted! So what exactly is working in a series?
Briefly, it’s the idea that you make the same object (be it sewing, painting, maodelling/sculpting, whatever) a number of times, with minor variations. By doing so, you can “audition” little changes to see what you like best, which technique works most effectively, and really master your materials!
I’ve got 5 great reasons to work in a series to help you make the most of your crafting!
1.) Work in a series to finalize a design. In the series above, I had a basic design I wanted to use, featuring Decorative Paper (Washi) Tape. But I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to put the sentiment and place the embellishments. So I planned to make more than one- in multiple color ways– so I could choose the one I like best to send out. Of course, I’ll have a few “on-hand” for just-in-case.
2) Work in a series to explore a theme. Sometimes an image or quote just won’t get out of your head. By working in a seriers, you get a chance to really explore what that quote/theme/image means to you.
3) Work in a series to master a technique. Like the polymer-clay buttons above, making a BUNCH helps you master your technique and refine your craft. Doing it MORE = doing it better. And improving your workmanship should always be a goal of every crafter at any level!
4) Work in a series to maximize your time. Sure, you only need to make ONE bracelet, or pair of earrings, or card. But since you’ve already got all your supplies out, why not make another- or three? Your mojo is flowing, your crafts are out, so it makes sense to crank a few more out. And who knows, the FOURTH one you make may be your favorite! In addition, you are more likely to actually USE UP your supplies rather than just stashing them aways if you work in a series.
5) Work in a series to become FEARLESS! When all of your hopes and dreams rest on ONE product- one card, one piece of jewelry- you are more likely to deliberate, second-guess, and worry about whether or not you got it “right.” By working in a series, you can let go, let yourself play, and make the mistakes you need to make to grow as an artist and a crafter. Fear is a creativity-killer- so be brave and make MORE!
So… what might you do with the extra things you make? Here are a few ideas:
- Keep extras on hand for gift-giving occasions and random acts of kindness.
- Donate greeting cards to Operation Write Home or a local nursing home for residents to send to their families.
- Sell some of your goods on Etsy or Ebay- make some cash to buy more supplies!
- Sell some of your goods at a local craft fair, store, etc…and donate the proceeds to your favorite local charity.
- Get on Swapbot and swap, baby, swap! You’ll enjoy getting some art in return.
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