I had several comments and emails about my design process after yesterdays introduction post, so I thought I would actually show you the drawings that go on behind the scenes. Sometimes I am just sketching designs that are in my head that are not necessarily connected to a specific piece, and sometimes I am actually drawing a specific design plan for a specific piece…….and then there are times where I don’t draw it out at all and just create it based on what is in my brain. I think there is a need for all of the above…..I don’t have to draw anything if I don’t want to because my brain is wired to see it without drawing it out, and spontaneity can be fabulous…..but I think creating visual aids, reminders, and guidelines is a great way to make sure that the proper time and care are given to each design.

Some of the designs pictured here have already been executed, and have found homes…..some have yet to be completed…some are half hidden because they may or may not be in the book….hee hee!…and some may get done in the next few weeks, especially the green one with the deep “V” pattern on it…….I drew that design plan last year….and I am going to make it happen……but it may not be on a chest of drawers. We shall  see!

It is super important to me, to truly create original and creative art with my furniture pieces… I choose to look at life and the everyday for my inspiration. It’s where its at.


Barb Blair


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  1. It IS a creative ‘process’ for sure! I think every artist, whatever medium, whether landscape/gardener, clothes designer, potter… has a similar method… and sometimes a gut feel works too! If I can’t sleep, I have to get up & scribble my thoughts (inspirations haha) on paper, then go back to bed! Most of all, I think you need to dare to dream and go beyond the boundaries you made for yourself …! Ya think?

    It’s very exciting to see your creative juices at work,um, ‘play’.

    • Barb Blair

      Sheepy Hollow,

      Thank you!

      You are so right about the process being the same across the board for different art forms…..I love a good landscape design…and clothing designs to me are just so pretty! ….and the gut designs truly are special as well……

      I totally agree with you on the dare to dream part too….always have to be willing to go beyond what you think you can do and that is where the really cool stuff happens!

  2. Hi Barb, Wow your first image just pops! I love colour and those images of pencils just made my heart skip a beat. Off to broswe your blog.

    • Barb Blair

      Melissa, Hi there! I love colored pencils too…they just get my blood pumping..and lure me into their colorful play……I just can’t get over the fact that no matter which clump of pencils you pick up, all of the colors always go together splendidly!

      Happy browsing! Thanks for reading! xo

  3. the creativity that happens before the execution is my favorite part. dreaming, planning, & sketching make my heart happy. executing the piece is the end result!

    • Barb Blair

      sarah, yep….so true! to me sometimes it is the most fun but also the hardest because it takes some time to really sit down and nail the design I want. I always tell my husband that the actual design part is what I spend the most time on:}….and then the painting seems like a piece of cake!

  4. AHH! I love this sneak peek into your Knack world! So awesome! I can’t wait to see the green v and the wallpaper dresser! So exciting! I reallllllyyy can’t wait get my hands on your book! I’m so excited! 🙂

    • Barb Blair

      Lindsey, thank you my friend… is a crazy world isn’t it? I hope the green one turns out like I think it might! hah! thank you so much for the book excitement! xo

  5. I love seeing the flow of your work from one sketch or idea to finished piece – it’s nice to see how others work, that it can be messy and not perfect. Although I do love that you keep organized, going back to staple to drawings in later. That might be my favorite part!

    • Barb Blair

      Kaytie, thank you! perfection does not fly around here…it’s all about being perfectly imperfect! ….you are so observant with the staples! Those were from an old sketch book that was falling apart and I wanted them to be all together! hah! love it!

  6. Barb, this post was like an epiphany to me!! I would NEVER think to sketch out a piece before I just dive in. I usually have it in my head how I want the end result to be, but sometimes I get stuck. Usually I think I am just going at such a frenzied pace that I feel like a factory! Thank goodness for summer and some slowing down. Time to get creative with the stock pile of furniture I have in my garage. Shopping list for me, sketch book and my own pencils. (my kids always steal these).

    • Barb Blair

      Karen, Awesome! I am so glad. I know you will enjoy the process of sketching out your pieces and creating design plans for them. It does not mean that you have to stick to the design plan exactly….but it at least gives you inspiration, direction, and a visual aid to follow through with :} Can’t wait to see what you come up with! xo

  7. Barb, Even your photography is gorgeous. I love re-purposed furniture. (Found you on BYW)

    • Barb Blair

      Thank you so much Merri! I am a very amateur photographer, but I love to play around with my camera and I appreciate your compliments!

      I am loving BYW and am super refreshed by all of the content!! I hope to see you in class!

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