Prototypes have become a key part of my creative process. Although I don’t create one for every project, I do for the more detailed and elaborate ideas. Have you had a “great idea” only to find out after you cut enough pieces for a lifetime, that it wasn’t going to work, because you didn’t make a prototype first? Sheesh. I have and lesson learned. Owning and operating a small creative business, means that I need to think about each step carefully so that I don’t cost myself more money or waste too much time. Now I create prototypes before setting up the assembly line, which allows me to play and adjust before diving in too deep.
The first step that I take to building a prototype is to sketch my idea and write out the details. This makes it much easier for me to see the big picture and what I’m working with. Do I have all of the materials, or do I need to go buy some? How long do I think this will take? This step allows me to pick the size, colors, shapes, etc., and gives me the chance to make the first set of adjustments. The second step is where I gather everything that I need and start to measure and piece it together. Here is where I can start to tell if it’s going to work or not. Once put together I can lastly make any final tweaks and determine the cost and time that went into making that piece. Then I ask myself, can I afford to make a collection of them? Can I make several in a short time or is it going to take more time than I can spare? These are all things that I need to consider.
If everything works out as planned, I’ll usually make a small collection of them and test the market. Do they sell? Do people like them? If people like them, then I can set up a small assembly line to produce batches. If they aren’t successful, that’s okay, because I only created a small collection to start with and I’m not out a whole lot.
Like I mentioned before, I don’t feel the need to create a prototype for every idea that I have, but I do for the larger and more detailed ones. Some ideas have worked and some have not, and that’s okay. A perk of having the idea written in my ideabook, is that I can look back on it later with fresh eyes, and who knows, maybe recreate it into something successful!
The past couple of weeks I’ve been creating prototypes and can’t wait to let you in on what I’ve been working on! I’ll have a shop update on Saturday Sept. 1st to kick off Fall, so I’ll keep you posted! ♥R
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