While you are on your way to meet your friend for dinner, an old song comes on the car radio. You immediately recognize the tune, feel very happy and can sing (almost) all the words, but what’s the name of the artist who sings that song? You run through a bunch of names, but you just can’t remember. So frustrating! Two days later, you meet another friend at the movies (you really lead a relaxing life). Although you are really enjoying the film, halfway through you scream “Rick Astley! It was Rick Astley!” How did you suddenly remember the artist’s name? You certainly weren’t concentrating on remembering – you remembered because your brain was processing this question all along. Way to go, brain!
My biology professor in college used the term Subliminal Fermentation (a term I can’t seem to find in any formal, online searches) to describe the way our brains seem to “stew” on thoughts while we aren’t thinking about them – our trusty brains are still solving puzzles while we are sleeping, while we are exercising, while we are focused on other things.
How Subliminal Fermentation Relates to Card Design
So what does this have to do with card making? Well, Subliminal Fermentation is the first step of most cards I make. I’m not very good at making a card “on the fly” – if you handed me a sketch and then stood over my shoulder to watch me make it, I’d be a disaster. I like to ponder an idea for a while and prompt my mind to do a lot of the designing work for me. 🙂 Some of my best ideas have come to me while I’m trying to sleep or just waking up from a nap or doing something mundane (like grocery shopping). When I approach a sketch challenge, I study the drawing and reference it over-and-over before heading downstairs to The Fungeon to begin creating my project.
Here are some ways that you can train your brain:
- If you want to create fresh and new cards, take some time away from your craft space to let your mind have fun for a while. Before you take a walk or before you head to bed, think about what types of projects you want to make. Give a quick thought about what products you might want to use or what style of card you might want to complete. Then let it go.
- If you are inspired by a color combination, set the ink pads together on the corner of your desk so that you can reference them frequently.
- If you are stuck on a card (you know it needs something else, but you can’t define it), walk away. Have dinner. Sweep the kitchen. When you come back, you might not have the answer, but you’ll have a fresh perspective.
Don’t get me wrong – Subliminal Fermentation doesn’t do all the work for me. Thinking and planning will never take the place of creating, but it can certainly make your design time more productive. Nothing’s final until the paper is cut and the stamps are inked – and that come sometimes be the most enjoyable part.
You don’t have to CONCENTRATE on something to THINK about something. Prompt your mind with the concepts and let it exercise a little bit.
Thanks for stopping by today!