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Forum topic by stuffcreative15 posted 09-08-2019 08:28 PM 423 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 12 days

09-08-2019 08:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: style resource question tip purpleheart arts and crafts

I’m currently having some trouble with creativity. I think that 6 months working in this hobbie has me really engaged with. I’m trying to look for a self style and reading this article. I really got into the minimalist style but the ideas don’t come up to my mind (Well, without having account the chair from the article). How do you overcome this lack of ideas problem?

13 replies so far

View bilyo's profile


821 posts in 1583 days

#1 posted 09-08-2019 09:43 PM

My suggestion would be to build your first projects from pre-prepared plans or drawings; particularly ones that show good details of the joinery. You will learn a lot by following those plans. From there you can find photos of styles you like and try to build just from the photos putting to use what you learned from following the plans. You will soon find yourself making changes to fit your own taste and then perhaps designing your own. Try to keep it simple at first and continue reading books and articles on design. If you don’t already know how to draw, it would be useful to learn that as well. Don’t worry about using a CAD (computer) program at first. That just adds additional layers of complexity. You can always do that later if you wish.

View WoodenDreams's profile


707 posts in 391 days

#2 posted 09-08-2019 09:51 PM

+1 on bilyo… If we give you ideas, it won’t be your own self style. Creativity could be, change something enough to have your own self style. Take the ‘minimalist style’ chair and incorporate a cup holder into the arm rest, or add a holder for a walking stick/cane, or add a magazine/book rack to the side or under the chair, or add a small tray on the side of an arm for cell phone or remote, or add a high back to the chair. Creativity is like taking a ‘minimalist style’ chair and turn it into a rocking chair.. I think most of us would take a style or design and tweak it a little to our own liking or customer liking. Mix different woods into the mix. If anything, add a racing stripe.

View pottz's profile


5978 posts in 1465 days

#3 posted 09-09-2019 03:44 PM

i dont know ive never had that problem,most of what i do comes from need,all my furniture,except upholstered stuff ive made style comes from other woodworkers i admire then i tweek what they do into my list of to do’s never seems to run great source of ideas for me is pinterest or just look at the work posted here,with over a 148000 projects you should be able to find some ideas.welcome to lumber jocks.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View therealSteveN's profile


3629 posts in 1055 days

#4 posted 09-10-2019 09:04 AM

Age old problem between designing something, and just making a copy of something that you either need, want, or are asked to make.

Copy is fairly easy, as someone has blazed that trail before you.

Design is like writing books, sometimes you get stuck.

I’m very happy to be one that takes the road already traveled, and maybe tweak it a little. I think most woodworkers are like me. That other bunch, if they are pretty good they either die and people talk about their work, or NOT. I much prefer having people smile and tell me, thanks, this is perfect. Plus I didn’t have to croak to get feedback.

-- Think safe, be safe

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


184 posts in 28 days

#5 posted 09-10-2019 09:18 AM

+1 on all previous comments.

Steal! Then make it your own. I agree with Pottz, pinterest is invaluable as a site for looting, and most of the great stuff posted here on LJ can be viewed on pinterest- thats how I discovered this awesome forum. Always push your limits, without cutting off parts of yourself! On some projects I spend more time making jigs to do things safely, than I do actually building. The current build I have going now is so complicated Ive really had to think on how I can make jigs to get it done.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View anthm27's profile


1351 posts in 1591 days

#6 posted 09-10-2019 10:02 AM

Very vey interesting question and topic, I’d like to spend some time and energy in weighing in here, I am however reluctant to do so in view of the fact that you’ve been a member for two days only and haven’t given too much of yourself away.

Please let us see what you’ve achieved in the 6 months you’ve been at it. Post your finished works as new projects with a few pics, if possible tell of the methods you’ve used. It’s very easy and a lot can be learned from the experienced comments I am sure you will receive from other members here.

I said to my Lovie the other day, “Now days I way more enjoy the design and original ideas rather than the execution of the woodwork. I love it when the ideas come. For me The woodwork executions have become way way easier than the ideas and the design. My designs are however driven by types of tools I like and own and space available.

Please post some projects and I am sure you’ll receive more help, get it out there, the answers will come.

Kind Regards
Anthony (Hong Kong)

-- To be a true artist one must stick to their own thought process

View Robert's profile


3516 posts in 1961 days

#7 posted 09-10-2019 02:30 PM

I’m with you, Anthony. I enjoy the time at my drafting table the most. It also is very helpful for me to figure out construction/joinery details. I know its old school, I’ve fiddled around with Sketchup and by the time I learn it, I can draw 5 project!

I try to do either full size or 1/2 size drawings.

And I’m not that original. I start every project by looking at other people’s work, figuring what I like and don’t like.

I also always leave myself some creative ideas to do on the fly. For example, the inlay on the lid of this tool chest was a last minute idea that came to me.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View controlfreak's profile


144 posts in 82 days

#8 posted 09-10-2019 02:52 PM

I am just trying to focus on my skills as a beginner and using my need for shop storage to hone them. I am almost finished with my Moxon vise which has proven to be a fun project but I never had any plans. I started with some pictures and decided to go the cheap Gold’s Gym dumbbell route. I also changed my built / design every time I went a step further.

I am starting to look for some ideas for some Christmas gifts for family. Something fun fairly easy to build and ship.

View LesB's profile


2169 posts in 3924 days

#9 posted 09-10-2019 04:20 PM

“I am starting to look for some ideas for some Christmas gifts for family. Something fun fairly easy to build and ship”

Cutting boards is a good start for gifts. Small storage boxes. If you have a lathe the list is innumerable.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Madmark2's profile


485 posts in 1069 days

#10 posted 09-10-2019 05:19 PM

Find a problem and fix it. The more things that get done the better. Door stops, fixes for the door knob dent in the wall, shelving in the bath / kitchen / garage, mobile tool carts, etc, etc, etc. You’ll get evolve your own style by doing. One of my style elements is a single bead around box bases, table aprons and the like. Keep a thick spiral notepad to sketch your designs on. Be sure to date, title and sign (or initial) each sketch page.
Don’t overthink things and the ideas will flow.

View Newbie1518's profile


5 posts in 13 days

#11 posted 09-10-2019 09:23 PM

If my mind has a lapse in creativity, I try researching and look up images of what other people have done to get inspired by it. Maybe find a furniture catalog or just start jotting down ideas of what to build or research more about minimalist.

-- ~Kaitlyn~

View Lazyman's profile


3877 posts in 1868 days

#12 posted 09-11-2019 12:39 AM

I am not the most creative person so most of my projects are shameless imitations inspired but what I consider really creative people. When something inspires me, what really gets me going is figuring out how to make it myself. I am sure that I often do it differently than the masters I imitate but that is how I sort of make it my own.

+1 on using plans to first learn the techniques and craft involved. Once get the making down, the design and creativity will follow … or it won’t and you can simply learn like I do to adapt or extend the art of those who inspire you. Besides, there are few new ideas these days. Even the minimalist movement built upon, borrowed, adapted and in some cases just flat out copied ideas from others.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Aj2's profile


2430 posts in 2278 days

#13 posted 09-11-2019 03:32 AM

To build creativity try not to be influenced by what others do and look to the wood for guidance.
Lots of extra spending money helps. :)

Good Luck

-- Aj

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