While waiting for a shipment of studio supplies to arrive, I got cozy with a few copies of The English Home and started thinking about how our front yard might look once we banish the overgrown juniper bushes, planted by the neighborhood designer in the 70s without forethought, back to Hades.
What started as a casual brainstorming session spiraled outward into an entire home makeover vision session, complete with sketches of the living room, a deep dive into Leonardo da Vinci drawings for the dining room, and about fifty browser tabs of advice on "how to decorate beige walls."
Over an hour later I closed the tabs, shut the magazines, and stared off into space. I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, and dissatisfied with my life in general. Not good; not productive.
Big picture brainstorming is vital, fun, and tricky business. It's so easy for the brain to bolt in different directions, chasing after all the pretty pictures of What Might Be. It's vital for artistic inspiration; it's counterproductive without basic guidelines. So, I made my own.
1) Pick one vision. If it's time to brainstorm landscaping ideas, dining room decorations can wait. Easier to run far and wide in just one area.
2) Set a time allotment. Better to collect inspiring visuals for a solid 30 minutes, then curate later with a fresh eye.
3) Organize the results. Review everything, toss anything that's not exciting, and tidy up the rest so it's easy to review in the future.
4) Reevaluate. Is it time to move on to another project, or would another thirty minutes be helpful? Roll with what feels best for maximum efficiency.
Solid advice, self. No excuse not to apply it next time.
And now, cats!