Resources on the Design Process

SAQA Seminar (Article)

How do you begin a new artwork? Make drawings, use a sketchbook, improvise on the design wall? Do you have it all thought out before you start or just start and see where the design wants to take you? Our interviews and resource links in this unit of SAQA Seminar: Visual Design all focus on the many possible ways to design. Find what works for you and fine tune it!

Resources and other inspiring links

The creative process visualized? Take a look at this or this or this.

Three more witty graphic interpretations of the creative process.

Faith Ringgold discusses the process she used to create her Tar Beach quilt.

Beth Carney shares how she "dances into design" in this SAQA Journal article.

In this interview with, Cas Holmes talks about her methods of incorporating images that she’s developed through observation of the world around her.

Fiber artist Daphne Taylor tells about her use of sketchbooks in the process of creating her work.

Jane Sassaman takes us through all the decisions she makes as she collages a new piece. The finished piece will be shown at Quilt Festival Houston so watch for more photos in November!

An E-book from Textile on how fiber artists design using Sketchbooks. They all have unique ways of drawing, painting or collecting images that they use to make their work.

Linda Kemshall offers ideas for coming up with an original design in a recent blog post.

Paula Kovarik uses her imagination and intuition to draw lines into little symbols. Her sketchbook and sewing machine is her way into her process.

Brilliant, inspiring (and short!) video by Daniel Sax using Ira Glass's description of what to do when you feel like your work is not that good.

Lisa Congdon did a beautiful job lettering this quote from Sister Corita Scott Kent about making art.

Want to get digital with your design tools? Find out the best iPhone apps for artists (and even more here). Or, some for your iPad. There's also some for Android too.


Book recommendations

Art Quilt Collage: A Creative Journey in Fabric, Paint and Stitch
by Deborah Boschert*

This comprehensive book covers everything from choosing fabrics to creating original surface design patterns to adding texture and design with hand and machine stitching. Plus, it includes a "design checklist" with several questions artists can ask themselves throughout the creative process to determine what is working and what needs attention --- and how problem areas might be fixed.

Sketchbook Explorations: Mixed Media Approaches for Textile Artists  
by Shelley Rhodes  

A brand-new book geared just for textile artists. Find out how a sketchbook can help you with your design process - and you may learn some new techniques!


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life  
by Anne Lamott 

Though the title says this book is about writing, it is full of amazing ideas and insights for all kinds of artists.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life  
by Twyla Tharp

Get the secrets for developing and honing your creative talent. All it takes to make creativity a part of your life is the willingness to make it a habit.