I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump lately. So today I decided that, no matter what, I was going to devote my day to something creative. Little did I know I would learn an important lesson.
I decided I would first do a quick little design on my Silhouette Cameo 4. I’ve been wanting to make a cute tip jar to take along to my face painting and balloon twisting events. Things started going wrong right from the beginning.
First, I chose to decorate a glass block as my new tip jar. You know the kind – you can use them for banks, cute little lights, or to create a wall in your bathroom. Heavy. Glass. I work around children. But my creative brain was totally engaged so no red flags went off.
Next, I chose a design that looked pretty simple, added some verbiage I thought would be cute, and cut it out on removable vinyl (thinking it would make it easy to change down the road). The design was impossible to weed and after spending thirty minutes cursing it, I finally tore it in a way that was not possible to fix and had to trash the whole piece.
OK. Maybe a permanent vinyl would be thicker and easier to cut. I chose a pretty sheet of holographic vinyl. I changed my settings and made the cut a little deeper. But I forgot to fix the little points to overcut. This design had a LOT of points. After I cut it out, I had to cut each of the corners by hand as I weeded. Holographic vinyl leaves little ugly marks every time you have to touch it. It took me two hours. It was a little ragged – but it was weeded. In my zeal to get this done, I didn’t measure my surface. Just eyeballed it. Creative brain.
Looking at the design, I thought it would be much easier to apply my transfer tape if I first cut off the excess areas that did not have any design. So I started cutting. “Wow!” I thought. “This stuff is hard to cut!” And then I realized I was cutting THROUGH my carrier mat. Ruined it. Big breath.
Opened up a new mat package. Cut the old one I had just destroyed down to a size that would allow me to use it for small items, and forged ahead. Stuck my trimmed design on the mat, put down my transfer tape, and it promptly stuck like cement to the FRESH new cutting mat. I pulled it off, desperate to keep my design intact, and moved the design onto a more suitable surface.
As I started to move it over to the glass block, I realized that one section was too wide for the surface and just as I thought to myself, “I better not stick this down” it stuck to the surface and there was no way I was going to remove it without damaging the design. So I went with it. It overlaps. It’s on a glass block that I can never use as a tip jar around children (or adults who might not be steady on their feet).
I sat down for a few minutes to stop myself from pounding my head into the wall. I was mourning over wasting my whole day on something that was really not going to be of any use – and now I have to read up on how to remove the permanent vinyl to salvage this block for another purpose. And then it dawned on me. Today’s creative journey was ALL about learning what NOT to do. I didn’t like it. I don’t want to spend a lot of days that way. But I learned a LOT. I wasted some vinyl and made a mess – but I also gained a whole lot of future-valuable creative knowledge.
Have you ever had a creative experience that was more about learning than ending up with a successful end project? Would love to hear about your adventure!