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Creative Block!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by White Gardens, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I'd never thought that I could ever look at a landscape and have not a clue as to what to do, regardless how good or bad I am.

    It's happened to me twice now in the last week. I think I'll look at the photos and work through my design program to get past it.

    Has anyone had this issue before? Hopefully it's just a little phase.
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    When my father was training me in on-site landscape design he used to tell me to just do something to get started. If you just start the design with a throw away idea, you will get something going that will inspire you into the right direction. Then you simply revise the crap that you started with. It works every time.
  3. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,523

    This may not be the kind of idea you're looking for, but have you ever tried fasting? A water fast will slow or stop your digestion process depending on how long you fast. That allows more blood flow to the brain that would have otherwise been used for digestion, enabling more creative thinking and mental clarity. Might be worth a try.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I should be able to get through it that way. I love the image editor program I have just for that reason.

    No thank you. :laugh: Got to stay hydrated when working in general. As AGLA said I can work through it just by slapping a few quick designs together and revising them.

    It's just weird over-all. I've heard of creative blocks, but never really experienced one until now. Normally I look at stuff and images pop into my head and it just wasn't happening.
  5. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    I do sometimes. Some places after they tell me their budget it really blocks the design process. :) I went out to one this spring and I just couldn't put anything together.
  6. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,523

    That's fine, it's not for everybody, but I don't want you to misunderstand me. I had in mind a water fast in which that is all you take in...plenty of water/no food. I didn't mean fasting from water. I've done many short fasts up to seven days and have never become dehydrated during one, or felt so weak I couldn't work. It does boost brain power and that is why I thought it would help.

    You'll get it sorted out. It''ll likely be when you're thinking about something altogether different, an idea will come.
  7. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    I'm waiting for someone to say "smoke a coupe of bones" or "drop a hit of acid".

    Seriously, designing on an image is very limited because it is 100% from one perspective. While you work in a plan view you can still look at your site photos and also develop the third dimension as you layout the plan view.

    There can be so much more to a landscape design than how the plants play off of each other and the house. When you work in a media that only allows the manipulation of a limited amount of elements, you digress into only using those elements. There are so many other elements or tools to work with in a landscape, not to say that you have to use them all, but it is like having one hand tied behind your back.

    Part of having a creative block is because you are forced to using only those limited design elements that work in a photo. You most likely ran into a situation where just using only those limited elements was not enough to overcome the challenges of the site.
  8. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    That's why I start most of my designs on the drafting table, working on trace over a printed basemap. If I'm stumped I just start drawing lines off the house corners. It helps to start defining spaces and relationships, and it also gets my through the "oh god, a blank page!" problem.
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    That was one of the issues.

    The challenges were in the fact that they put in a hot tub, on a raised wooden platform, close to the cap for the septic tank, next to a garage where all the shallow utilities run to the house.

    The issue was that they want a wall, next to the septic tank, but not too close to the hot tub. That was going to cause some issues.

    With money in mind I went blank standing on-site looking at it. I just couldn't move anything in my head.

    I took the initiative in my initial design photo, and just moved the the hot-tub out of the way, laid out a patio, re-set the hot-tub out of the way off all the obstacles and went from there. I gave them the design photo and they loved it, but of course it was going to blow the minimal budget they are working with.

    Even from what they were asking me to do without getting elaborate, their budget wasn't going to get half of what they were initially asking.


  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    I think that you did the right thing. You showed them what they could have without being unrealistic. That either will get them to find a way to pay for it, or it forces THEM to reduce the project to make it fit their budget. More often than not, people will make the effort to get what they want. They might need to put it off for a while to save up the dough, but I think they'll move in the right direction.

    Design is a sales tool. It is a lot easier to want something enough to pay for it if you see the value in it.

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