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Slow-motion Multitasking

This is one of the many days that I start with a cluttered mind. In the light of my blogging goal, what would be a better idea than getting some of that clutter out in writing?

The last couple of weeks I have spent a lot of time working on the first prototype for a new project. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may recognize this image, a sneak peek of the design in an early stage:

 
 
 
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Unlike the designs I have published so far, this design is made mostly in the peyote technique. My relative inexperience designing in this technique makes it quite the challenge. But I am up for it!

At this point I have spent multiple days in a row working on it and I am close to completing it. So far, I have noticed in my design process that when the finish line is in sight, I get a laser focus. The only thing I want to do is finish the design as quickly as possible. At some moment I stop enjoying the process of making the piece. When I come across obstacles, I get frustrated more easily, feeling less inspired and less motivated to find solutions.

That is a shame, right? Well I might have found a way of dealing with this state of mind. A little over a week ago I stumbled upon a TED talk by Tim Harford about ‘slow-motion multitasking. He suggests that in order to become more creative, you should work at multiple projects at once and switch back and forth between them. Tim gives examples from famous slow-motion multitaskers, like Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, and Micheal Crichton (screenwriter for Jurassic Park). Doing so he mentions three reasons for working like this:

  1. Creativity often comes when you take an idea from its original context and you move it somewhere else. It is easier to think outside the box if you spend your time climbing from one box into another.
  2. Learning to do one thing well can often help you do something else.
  3. It can provide assistance when we are stuck. If we have another project we are excited about, being stuck on one project is just an opportunity to work on something else.

I think that this way of working may provide another advantage: enjoying your work more. Instead of forcing myself to work on a project until it is done regardless of obstacles, mood or other circumstances and getting grumpy in the process, switching to another project may preserve my momentum and keep me inspired. So that is what I am doing now, writing this blog post and enjoying it!

Now I feel all refreshed to continue working on the mentioned prototype. Although my initial vision is almost completed, I have several more ideas to try out. One has to do with embellishment. Although I am not sure the piece will look better with it, I just have to try it out to get it out of my system. The second idea is about wearability. The piece I am making would be a nice decorative object on its own, but I would like to be able to carry it around and be able to play with it whenever I feel like it. I hope to show you more soon! Are you curious yet? 😉

If you want to know more about slow-motion multitasking, here is the video of the TED talk:

So, about blogging...

As you may have noticed, I have not been blogging frequently. In fact, since I aired this website last April I have only written two blog posts! That was definitely not my intention when I started out. I wanted to regularly show my work, to give you a peek behind the scenes, a peek into my lab.

Instead the only posts I have written have been about work I finished. What happened? Well, it turns out I find showing my work, especially the process, very hard! Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an introverted person. I generally don’t open up easily to people I don’t know well. I ‘watch the cat from the tree’ as we say in Dutch. (Ha! That sounds so wrong in English! What I mean to say is that I usually see which way the wind blows before I open up.) Also, I am not very adept at small talk. I like to talk, but mostly when I think I have something important to say.

That leads me to excuse number two: I often assume I have nothing worth sharing. When I scrutinize this thought I think I may not always know whether something is worth sharing until I do. After all, one of the reasons I do want to share is to hopefully get some reactions from you and use those as input for my work. So if you read this, please let me know your thoughts about what I share. They are very much appreciated!

Which leads me to excuse number three: sharing more of my process makes me feel vulnerable. Think of all the opinions people will have! However, as stated above, I also want those opinions to grow in my work. I guess there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Finally, excuse number four: I tend to make things difficult for myself. When I started this website I decided I wanted to publish everything is English and Dutch, which of course means a lot more work than when I just write in one language. So, starting today I will only write the blog posts in English. This should make it easier to regularly write something.

Please say hello in the comments to let me know you are out there!

The story behind: Mágico

Yes, you read it correctly, I am writing another background story. You know what that means, right? Another experiment succeeded! From that experiment a new design is born: Mágico.

 

I was inspired for Mágico after I started again with a hobby of mine; kizomba dancing. This spring I picked it up again after a break of a few months. I have been enjoying it to the fullest since then. During a dance party I remembered why I am so fascinated by dancing.

Part of it is the connection between dance partners. Connection is about communication. Not only sending signals, but especially listening to each other’s signals. By being receptive to and focusing on the leader’s signals the follower knows which movements the leader wants them to make. Vice versa, good leaders pay attention to how the follower reacts to their signals and adjust their communication accordingly. The better the leader and follower are attuned to each other, the better they can move as one. Because every leader communicates in a slightly different way and every follower reacts differently, building a good connection in every dance stays interesting. The video below gives an impression of what I am talking about. These dancers have great connection:

 

 

Connection is beautiful, but a dance really shines when both dancers listen carefully to the music and move to its subtleties and the emotions that are expressed in it, in such a way that they embody the music. What I mean with that? I think the video of the dancers below shows that clearly.

 

 

When two dancers move as one with the music, it feels like magic is happening…

Mágico represents exactly this feeling. On a night a while ago I experienced a little bit of this magic again. The next morning, I was able to turn this experience into a sketch for a piece of jewellery. After a lot of trial and error (read: a lot of frogging) I have managed to turn this image into a beaded version.

Do you also want to create a bit of magic?

In that case you will need to practice your patience for a while… I am working on the pattern now, but it can take a while before it is also tested and ready for use. This should be worth it though, as I want to create the best experience I can for you.

In the meantime...

You do not have to know how to dance to appreciate kizomba. The music is great to just listen to. Have I made you curious? Try this Spotify playlist. It is currently my favorite kizomba playlist. I listen to it at home or in the car on my way to a dance party. 

Would you like to stay up to date on the new developments within Eveliens Lab, like new blog posts or patterns? Please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of this page. You can also follow me on Facebook or Instagram.

The story behind: Compass

May I introduce you to my new design, ‘Compass’?

 

 

The idea behind ‘Compass’ originated in a period in which I was searching for a new direction in my life. While I was developing this design I have been reflecting a lot on this, so the symbolism of ‘Compass’ was very fitting!

 

 

The work is also inspired by pirates. I have always been attracted by pirate movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. A compass is off course essential to pirates. It helps them find treasure or their way back to their favourite port (Tortuga!) to indulge in life’s pleasures (read: booze and female company). In the Pirates of the Caribbean movies Jack Sparrow’s compass even plays a special role: it points the keeper of the compass to what they most desire…

By the time my first prototype was finished I was about to go to a fantasy fair. Of course I had to go in style, dressed in pirate outfit ánd compass!

 

 

Could you use some direction in your life?

Make your own Compass! The pattern with 24 pages of extensive instructions, a lot of illustrations and pictures is now for sale in my webshop

 

Would you like to stay up to date on the new developments within Eveliens Lab, like new blog posts or patterns? Please subscribe to my newsletter on the bottom of this page. You can also follow me on Facebook of Instagram.