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  1. Definitely a late-night ramble here, in keeping with the subject. I'm curious about other potters here with more experience and perhaps better systems for staying organized in their heads and workshops, and recording your ideas and processes, assuming you do that. You can skip the rest, it's mostly fluff . Just saying, I have no shortage of ideas and the issue is sorting out which ones are worth anything, but, when I get an idea if I don't write it down it may or may not be lost forever. As a result, a couple cheap paper notebooks are kicking around my digs within easy reach at all times. If the computer is on then I'll usually have the discipline to jot it down on a wordpad document quickly, and transfer it later to a more organized openoffice document. I've got a tv tray next to my computer desk with a 2" high pile of pages torn out of these paper notebooks. Every so often I grab about twenty of these off the bottom of the stack and enter the scribbled ideas into openoffice documents as mentioned, with titles that attempt, with varying success, to tackle the subject of the ideas. So far I have docs like "Ceramic Jewelry Ideas 1, 2, and 3, because I collect images off the net which I paste into them (after reducing in pixel and 'physical' size in paint and making them all JPEG files), and regardless the file soon gets so large it takes about 30 seconds to save, whence I start yet another file. There are at least a half-dozen other files of this type with titles like "Sculpture_free standing_wall mounted", "Vessels, 1 and 2" and "Ceramic Utilitarian_Misc" -etc. Also I photo my own work of course and upload it into my pc, what there is of it at this point. Bit of a measly file by comparison, as yet. As far as the images, just so you know, I save them for inspiration, never to steal. Under the photos I type in notes about whatever ideas it spins off for my own stuff. These image/text files have given me a better idea of artistic styles that I really love (Mid-century modernism, Brutalist, Minimalist, "Boho", Post-atomic, among others) and have often helped me get a better idea of what does and doesn't work visually on a ceramic subject as far as form and decoration. Seeing what other artists are up to makes me wonder how they did this or that thing I didn't know was possible and sparks questions in my brain as to how this or that glaze technique was achieved, and the like. Cruising sites like Etsy and Pinterest gives me some general idea of what I could realistically make in my limited home studio and put up for sale with some potential for it selling, for reasonable fees or otherwise. Although this is partly guesswork, and fads in home decor and wearable art come and go, at least I'm not blindly poking around and wasting effort making things that will end up having no audience. I'm not always the best judge of whether my work is appealing to others. If it pays off down the road, only time will tell I suppose.
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