Masterclass – Revisiting old projects

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged
to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
Nelson Mandela

Was there a time in your life when you did the same kind of creative projects over and over again? Sewing some dolls with only some minor variations? Drawing images of a common theme? And then you stopped and haven’t done them for a few years?

Then you might try to revisit these old projects and start new from scratch. It might lead to some pleasant surprises.

I noticed this a few days ago. For me, this kind of serial creative project was making calendars. During my time as a student at the university I would create a new calendar in december for the coming year. I designed the page templates once and then changed the content (there always were three quotes and one image for a day). I printed the pages myself and used a file folder to hold them. I did this for a few years and it suited me well, but then I did not have the time and stopped doing it.

Until now. After seeing Keel’s “Simple Diary” (it first looked like a nice idea, but I found it much to constraining — like a creative solution for those without creativity — and much too commercial) in a store I wanted to revisit the old projects and created a new calendar from scratch. I didn’t need to use the file folder system, given that there are book-on-demand services now. I actually began to design a calendar like I would design a book — and I think it turns out beautifully, and much, much better than I ever did them years ago.

So, I think that revisiting an old serial creative project can be very beneficial. Your perspective has changed, your tools have improved, so have your skills. You still feel at home in the area you worked in, but without attachment to prior themes or techniques you can actually start from scratch and do major changes and — in some cases — make huge improvements compared to your prior work.

And you might realize that it’s still fun to do. 🙂