When I sat down to write this blog I wanted to do a deep dive about how as an artist I am inspired to create new pieces of my work. As an artist, the evolution of design is a fascinating topic. I thought perhaps others may be curious about this subject as well. While creating pieces of art, each artist has their own personal style and unique process. In this blog article I uncover how my creativity is born and the design to development process.
"Inspiration happens when I least expect it!
How Inspiration Is Born
My design process is far from the intriguing artist at the Petite Afrique Beach sketching designs, sipping rosé overlooking the stunning French Rivera. My inspiration isn't fancy or romantic. For me the creative process evolves organically and at the least likely times. Three am can't sleep moments, in the shower, driving a car, folding laundry, in the middle of a conversation, riding my electric scooter and sometimes by a bitter sweet moment, a project disaster. Typically I don’t sketch designs on paper. I use a photograph in my mind. As ideas are churning daily I may write down the inspiring thoughts, put ideas on a to do list for exploring later or simply start creating.
Distractions have always played a key role in the evolution of my designs. As a child distractions were a constant force in my life, and were not always welcome. Distractions got in the way of focusing in school work and other areas of my life. I had difficulty concentrating on academics and my mind wandered when talking with others. Distractions were a constant frustration and embarrassment for me. I was always hopeful that some day I would be able to redirect this condition into something positive. Fortunately as I got older distractions became an advantage. Today, distractions are a place of comfort for me and are no longer a thorn in my side. As an adult and artist I use distractions as a compass for creating new pieces. I listen to those inner messages and explore deeper to understanding them.
I have discovered acquiring new skills helps to cultivate my creativity. Throughout the year I take time to learn skills which allows me create new jewelry and handbag pieces for my collection.
Another inspiring force, meeting people at shows. Talking to people about bags and jewelry all day gets ideas flowing in the mind. Customer interactions frequently inspire new creations simply by listening to their feedback. Last season I designed the crossbody bag collection with adjustable straps after hearing numerous people saying how an adjustable strap would be ideal. Customer feedback is very valuable and insightful for future designs.
Lisa featuring the 2021 Italian Leather Limited Edition Handbag Collection
The Design to Development Process
Once new designs are born, development begins. The design to development process for handbags is different than for jewelry. All year I am creating various jewelry pieces, but handbag design is a full time job three to four months out of each year. In terms of a calendar schedule, that translates to January through April. The production preparation occurs during October through December. Currently I am sourcing materials and ordering supplies. Supplies include bag hardware, leather hides and any new tools that may make the process more efficient or precise. This year I am getting a new piece of equipment I have had my eyes on for a few years, a hot foil machine made in Europe. The machine produces beautifully stamped colored embossed logos on leather, various materials such as cardboard boxes, jewelry bags and boxes. I am enthusiastic about getting started on new creations and looking at ways to improve the process.
As I near the handbag production schedule my studio requires an ultra clean space before any creating starts. The tables and floors have to be sparkling clean, avoiding damaged products from dirt or stains. Specific station areas are setup for cutting, patterns, gluing, drying and sewing. Work stations are lined with tissue paper to ensure they stay clean at all times. The last thing you want is a product getting damaged during production, because you weren’t prepared or just got sloppy. Over the years I have created work station tables and shelves on wheels, giving me a tremendous amounts of flexibility to roll things around and store away easily.
Some Pieces from the MONOLISA 2021 Handbag Collection
Before I end this article, I am including a sneak peek at my design goals for the 2022 MONOLISA collection. The handbag collection will feature colorful leather tote bags in both short and long handles, a request from customers this year. The tote colors includes soft blue, lavender, pretty pink, classic black, embossed croc pattern leathers in timeless brown and bold blue. Some of the new tote bags include fancy lock closure hardware designs. The fringe designs include an array of shimmering crystal colors in classic clear, gorgeous blues, pinks, gunmetal and purple hues. The new crossbody bag designs include different shapes, sizes and unicorn colored crystal elements.
The new jewelry collection will feature more one of a kind gemstone designed rings, timeless earrings, gold earring jackets, lavish chandelier earrings and classic style necklaces. Lots of shimmer and shine, yet ultra elegant. New pieces with gemstones in aquamarine, ruby and tanzanite will deliver unusual designs you can wear all day through the night. During the design to development process I will continue following my mission, to design beautifully handmade limited edition pieces that add a touch of elegance to any personal style.
Read The Evolution of Design - Part 2:
I take readers into my personal journey of the challenges, struggles and lack of confidence about learning my business.
"Each design is an extension of who I am. I fell in love with the creative process because of the unlimited possibilities."
This blog post is written by California handbag and jewelry designer, Lisa Ramos. Take a peak at Lisa's latest project supporting California Artists - GiftsFromArtists.com.