Behind The Scenes / From The Workroom

Becoming a Designer: ideas are important

Becoming a Designer: Ideas are important

My husband tells me that he can answer almost anything i say with “that’s a great idea!”.

I had a real giggle, but then i started thinking about what he’d said. Do i really tell him that many ideas I’ve had? And I realised I do.

Then i realised there was a lesson in our silly exchange.

Ideas are important.

Even though 90% of the ideas and grand plans i have never go anywhere I think the process of constantly brainstorming and constantly trying to come up with something new is the important part. It flexes the creativity muscle. It fosters an environment of innovation.

You can’t succeed if you never try at anything, and don’t let yourself dream big dreams.

Not many people know this, but I sketched out collections for myself every season for literally years before starting my line. Years of dreaming. Sketch books full of ideas, full of clothing, that never got made. It would be easy to think of all those ideas as waste, but I beg to differ. I think that practice was worth it. I think sometimes  you have to push yourself through trial and error before you hit the right idea.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, to the dreamers, don’t stop. Your ideas are important. Even if you don’t do them all, can’t do them all, fail a few times… just don’t stop.

Keep dreaming


Becoming a Designer series by Megan Nielsen

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Elle Croft
11 years ago

Ah, I love this post! So simple, but so true! I think sometimes it’s easy to see those unfulfilled ideas as a waste, but you’re right; it’s just a matter of training your creative ‘muscles’ to be stronger and ready for the ideas that will work! Thanks for sharing this, it’s just what I needed to hear today x

11 years ago

This post is just lovely!

11 years ago

Thank you. Just what I needed to hear.

Faye Lewis
11 years ago

Love, how inspiring.

11 years ago

So true!

11 years ago

Oh, thank you for this! I have so many sketches and dreams but I’m not quite ready/able to act on them all. But you’re right, it’s good practice, and I should embrace the whole process. :)

11 years ago

This is great to read, even for us non-designers. Especially recently I’ve been super frustrated about all my project ideas that never make it. Thank you!

Rochelle New
11 years ago

I still have fashion sketches that I drew at the age of 12. They’re pretty ridiculous to look at now (haha!), but designing my own clothes is something that I’ve been dreaming of for years and years and it’s so incredibly inspiring to see women like you actually making it happen for themselves! I love these little peeks into your life as a designer and a pattern maker. They keep me motivated and hopeful :) Thank you.

Truly Myrtle
11 years ago

I’m right there with you Megan – Mr Myrtle has always called me the “ideas man” :)
I dream of getting more of my ideas into real life …. slowly but surely. You’re a fabulous inspiration!

Tina LaChance
11 years ago

I love this post, but I think a big part of what you are missing of your conversation with your husband, is that by him saying “great idea”(every time), he is giving you the support you need to continue having these great ideas! We should thank each and every husband or partner that encourages our brainstorming and growth! So thanks again for this post, and thanks to your husband for helping!

11 years ago

Hi Meg! Thank you for such an inspiring post! It got me thinking a lot about the way I feel about my ideas, because it’s true that sometimes it’s frustrating to not to have time to execute them all. But you’re so right, that’s not always the point, sometimes the creativity itself is the important part. Anyway, I linked to your post at my blog post here to recommend it. I just thought to let you know and thanks again for giving the food for thought!

11 years ago

what a lovely post and it’s so true! I recently read a column in a book that was about the creative proces, and the writer said that ‘trying’ is something you cannot fail at. The outcome may not always be what you intended, but as soon as you start trying it succeeded. Now everytime I want to try something but am affraid it will not work, I just think of that.

11 years ago

I love this. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to be a designer. You totally hit the nail on the head with ideas. Ideas are the beginning of all design.