I got the following very exciting email on January 16 from the Design Director for the Craft Department at Simplicity:
“Hi Abby- Happy New Year! Hope all is well with you. I’ve been seeing several versions of stuffed animal heads mounted on plaques, a funny take on trophy heads, and wondered whether you would be interested in creating a pattern for us on the topic? I would probably want a deer, but other choices up to you, maybe even some silly ones or even a one-eyed monster! Let me know if you are interested. I’m thinking of it for our Holiday 2014 issue where samples will be due by April 22nd.”
My response? Absolutely! I immediately started a faux taxidermy Pinterest board and my goodness are there a lot of plush mounted heads out there, especially in nurseries right over the crib.
I’m just about halfway through the assignment and wanted to share my unicorn and deer. I’m not totally sure which animals will come next, but they might be from the jungle.
It’s always a push and pull for me when I accept a design commission like this. I value my creative freedom and never feel like I’m out of ideas. It’s the opposite, really. I have so many ideas for toys I’d like to design it’s like an overflowing fountain. Every day I feel like, “If only I had more time!”
And yet, sometimes I do sit at my desk in a sort of creative paralysis. What should I work on now?
An assignment provides the answer to that question. Work on this now. It’s due in a few weeks and there’s a paycheck at the end. Awesome! Now I know how to spend my time. But then I find myself wishing I could just do what I want. All those other neat ideas have to wait because I have to finish this first.
I go back and forth.
Either way, I’m enjoying taking these weeks to make four taxidermy heads, something I may never have done if I hadn’t been asked. I will release these patterns as PDFs at the end of next week, so look out for them then.
Everyone needs a unicorn over their bed.
Do you work best with an assignment or would you rather be left to come up with your next project entirely on your own?