Kenley can kiss my ass

I don’t know how many of you are watching Project Runway: All-Stars, but it made me so mad during last week’s episode when Kenley was overheard saying “you can’t be a designer if you don’t sketch” in response to Mondo’s failure to sketch at the start of the challenge.

Excuse me?!  Never mind that I’m not a big Kenley fan to begin with, but who the hell does she think she is? :curses

There are no rules about that sort of thing when it comes to creativity.  Sketching a design before you begin putting a dress together is the same as plotting & writing a synopsis before you begin writing a story.  Some writers do very detailed synopses & know every little thing that’s going to happen in a story, plot-wise.  Others fly by the seat of their pants & make decisions as they go along.  But that doesn’t mean there’s a “right way” or a “wrong way” to go about it.  Everybody has to find their own process & what works best for them.

Personally, I tend to go back & forth a little bit.  For some books, I do massive plotting & very detailed synopses.  For others, I map out the general idea & all the high points, but my synopsis is a little on the anemic side & I do come up with new ideas & directions as I write.  And then, too, there have been times when I’ve had nothing more than a basic idea of characters, motivation, & storyline before I dove in & just started writing, pulling everything else out of my…well, you know.

I remember, too, when I first started writing & would attend a myriad of conferences, workshops, & writers’ meetings in an attempt to learn the craft.  And quite often advice would be given as though the way the presenter’s way was not only the “right” way, but the only way.  And that’s simply not the case.  Believe me, I tried.

Just about every piece of advice I heard or was given, I tried.  Some of it worked for me, some of it didn’t.  And even more often, what worked best for me was a mix of other writers’ processes formed into my own personal process via trial & error.  And I still do a bit of the trial-&-error thing to find what works for me today, because it seems to be ever-changing.  Which is why, when asked for advice about writing, I may tell you how I do something, but try to make it clear that’s only how I do it, & that my way may not work for everybody.

But even though it is far from “wrong,” Mondo’s way can be tricky, too.  By not sketching (a.k.a. plotting things out ahead of time or writing a detailed synopsis) one has to be prepared to be caught with their proverbial pants down.  Selling a story is going to be a little tough if you don’t have a detailed synopsis to show the editor what your plans are.  Or if your editor asks how you plan to solve a problem with your heroine when you haven’t gotten quite that far in your own head, there’s going to be a lot of mental “Uhhhhhh…” & dead air on the phone line.  Just as Mondo had to stumble through trying to convey his design plans to Nanette Lepour without a viable sketch.

That is the only caveat I would offer to finding the best steps in your own creative process, because you do want to be prepared & able to answer at least minimal questions when asked.  Aside from that, I would just say that Mondo’s designs eat Kenley’s designs for breakfast, & in case you missed it, Kenley was sent home while Mondo WON!  Take that, Little Miss Know-it-All. :moon


10 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Tammy Beck says:

    I don’t watch the show. I do agree with you that what works for one artist may not work for others. Some people may need to map out where their project but others may feel their creative energy blocked by the process. A lot of great artist let their creative juices & energy take them to the end without trying to force into a prepared box. Do what works best for you.
    :Huh I have had little sleep due sick kid. I hope I made sense. Please excuse my mistakes. :sick

    • Heidi says:

      So sorry you’ve been up with a sick kid…hope s/he feels better soon.

      And totally. They also ridicule Michael C. a lot on the show because all of this stuff is draped. He drapes everything, doesn’t pattern or sew till the end, & they mock him for not doing it “their/the right” way. But his stuff is gorgeous (most of the time) & wins a lot. So who’s to say how anybody should go about creating something, as long as the outcome works?

  2. Laura J. says:

    Everyone does things differently, but as long as you are happy with the end result (creatively..I’m not talking murder or other illegal activities here :oops ) then what does it matter how you do it.

    Everyone learns differently, but we have a culture that teaches us and embraces one teaching style to others and then they wonder why some fail.

    I’m grateful for the ones that do embrace differences and taking a different route. Not letting others words effect them.

    And YAY for Mondo showing Kenley, who the better designer is withOUT sketching.

    • Heidi says:

      Exactly! It’s the end result, really, & not what path you took to get there, because different things work for different people.

      Reminds me a little of the end of Clue. (Love that movie!) This is how it happened… Or maybe it happened this way… But this is how it *really* happened. All roads lead to the same destination, give or take. :winkwink

      Ironically, I didn’t love Mondo’s design last week as much as some of his past ones. But it definitely beat the pants off Kenley’s. She *is* talented, I just don’t always love her stuff & more often than not, I feel like she’s designing basically the same dress over & over in different fabrics.

      • Laura J. says:

        Confidence it key in that industry, but Karma is bigger than confidence and it sounds like Kenley got slapped upside the head with Karma!

        and OMG!!!! I LOVE Clue!!!!! Of course, I love Tim Curry too! So now I’m gonna have to go watch me some Clue and maybe a little Rocky Horror too!!!

        (LOVE the sidebar goodies too!)

        • Heidi says:

          Yeah, that was definitely some near-instant Karma, which I loved. Too often it doesn’t happen or you don’t see it on the show when you’re *really* hoping for it. :angry

          Glad you like the sidebar! :thumbsup

          And I love Clue, too! So funny & so many great lines! Now I’m totally in the mood for it. :twirl

  3. Kathleen O says:

    I don’t watch it, but I think everyone’s working process is different, no matter what you do..

  4. Melissa S says:

    This attitude is one of the reason why my DD did not end up at FD school:( :curses She is very talented & had a few schools looking at her! But then Chicago had to go & make her feel bad because she looked at the fabric & designed not the other wy around:( Still makes me angry! But she is now working towards being a Lawyer. BTW here are some of the things she sold before she got discouraged:

    • Heidi says:

      That’s such a shame. I can understand how “class” & “homework”-wise that might be a problem, but aside from that, as long as the results are fab, why does it matter how she gets there?

      I’m the same way sometimes…I often plot & write a story based on nothing more than a title I like. Lots of people would, think I was crazy for not having way more backbone to an idea than that before jumping in. But it works for me. :winkwink

  5. Jessica Lemmon says:

    I don’t watch, but WELL SAID! :thumbsup
    Every book I’ve written, I’ve taken a different path. I have no idea if I have one way and haven’t found it yet, or many ways and haven’t had a chance to rotate them yet. :twirl
    LOVE hearing you talk craft! :jumping

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