Creating a Collection vs. Just Creating

So, today I wanted to talk about what I learned whilst creating my most recent illustration collection. I have mentioned in previous blog posts that this collection was the very first time I had created a 'collection'. I realised whilst I was making it that I felt much happier and confident in this way of creating, so I wanted to share my experience of both ways of creating - a collection vs. 'just creating'.

I had a purpose This was a big one for me - I was feeling a bit of 'creative block' until I decided it was time to just start fresh and try designing for a collection. I brainstormed themes, played with colour palettes and sketched out ideas for ages until I had a solid idea of what kind of products I needed, and what kind of colour palette I would be working from. It helped a lot in spurring my imagination and challenging me, instead of staring blankly at a sketchpad, hoping for brilliance to strike me.

Everything is cohesive It's not a complete necessity, but it's nice to have everything look beautifully coherent laid out flat, and it helped to give my market stall a visible 'theme'. It creates the feeling of a 'range' and gives it a little more of a sense of luxury and credibility. Prior to that, I was creating whenever inspiration struck, which whilst perfectly acceptable, didn't satisfy my desire for a sleek, smooth, 'branded' look.

I made more Envisioning my collection first gave me enough time to know exactly what I was making, which gave me a lot of time to actually create my designs and then order my prints/notebooks/etc. Prior to this, for markets, etc, I had found myself just looking through the illustrations I had already made and scanned, and creating prints of them to bulk out my stall, rather than bringing a streamlined collection with me.

I hasten to add that there are lots of creatives that don't follow the 'collection' way of creating that are very successful - much more successful than me! However, I have found that this way of working feeds my creativity a lot more and gives me purpose. Please feel free to add your tips in the comments or share your own ideas about creating.