Sunday, October 4, 2015

Constructing a Game Plan

Constructing a Game Plan.  What is this theme all about?  Note to self: ask Pat to explain her theme to me.  Brainstorm.  Stream of consciousness.  Thoughts…ideas…images?  Nothing.  Wait a minute.  A map—different routing—ala Mapquest.  Is that a game plan?  Is there a technique I can build my spread around?

Aargh!  What activities do I engage in that require a plan?  Well, when I used to go to garage sales, I would grab the listings and pick the ones I wanted to hit based on the neighborhoods with the good stuff, the description of sale items, etc.  Of those I wanted to go to, I had to map out the order in which to hit them.  Factors to consider:  start time (hit the best sales early!), group them according to general geographic location, traffic considerations.  Get out the map book (yes, this was in the days before Google Maps and GPS).  Could I illustrate this idea in an AB spread?  Maybe, but how?  OK, put it aside for now.  Let the idea marinate a bit.  Any other options to explore?

Tick tock, tick tock.  I think about how challenging it can be to schedule a playdate.  Pick a project.  (I recently hosted a gelli plate playdate).  Check the calendar for possible dates.  Send an email out to see which dates work best for most.  Wait for feedback.  Not everyone can make those dates.  Consider alternative dates.  Check if more people can make the alternative dates.  Make an executive decision to select the date.  Send a confirming email.  Remind players what materials to bring (gelli plate, papers, acrylic paints, mark making tools).  In the days leading up to the playdate, I start gathering my materials, clean up the work space, set up a work table.  Wait.  Hold it.  This idea is NOT working for me.  I don’t like it.  Go on.  Abandon it.  Move on.  Start over again.  OMG, are you kidding me?  
Time is wasting.  I really need to start honing in on an idea and sharpening the thought I want to express if I’m ever going to get these pages done in time.  What idea?  What thought?  I am feeling the time constraints.  How many weekends do I have left until the next AB meeting?  Not many.  Wouldn’t be so bad if I only had an idea!!  Stress!!

Then I had this idea to create “The Anatomy of an AB Spread.”  You know, the process we all go through from inception to completion of an AB spread--a peek into the crazed mind of an altered book artist--with a looming deadline.  I feel things starting to take shape but the manifestation is still fuzzy.  Funny how the lack of a clear idea and and those pesky time constraints can really zap the creative energy out of you!! 
OK.  Breathe.  Running out of time.  Grander, more ambitious ideas will take more time to execute properly.  Reality is setting in.  Time to adapt, simplify.  Just start.  Do something!!   Back to my original idea.  Really??  Consider a mock up to help my ideas to gel.  What will translate visually?  I keep hearing Su’s words to me “If your thoughts are clear, your art will follow.”  Well my thoughts AREN’T clear hence, there is no art to follow!  Yikes!  Help!  What to do?  More stress!!

Then it hit me.  The vision that popped into my head as I honed in on this idea was actually an adaptation of the Mapquest idea.  I realized that there was a multitude of ways to get from Point A to Point B.  Sort of like a subway map.  Sort of like creating an AB spread.  I'm picturing colorful lines depicting different routes that will eventually lead you from Point A to Point B.  So many different permutations, detours, options...Sort of like creating an AB spread!

The vision is coming into focus.  It’s part map AND part anatomy of an AB spread.  Brilliant!!  Exciting how it’s all starting to come together.  Yes!  Of course!  All of what I’ve been doing--the brainstorming, going back and forth between ideas, exploring possibilities, starting down one path then abandoning it, adapting and starting anew— this IS a visual representation of how I construct a game plan, how I create an AB spread!  Whew!!  I did it!!  And I even have a week to spare!