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Trash To Treasure

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Never trash your ideas. Don't do it!

Trash. Litter. Garbage. Filth. Waste.. there are so many names in the English language that have been given to identify those items we wish to disregard.

In most recent years, trash and waste have come to light in the ever growing movement of climate change, and sustainability.


Right now, I'm talking about the reference of turning #TrashToTreasure and it couldn't be more true. So with that being said, never, and I mean never, trash your ideas. You're better than that, don't do it.

Many years ago when I was in my 3rd year of University and 4th year of design school, I remember chatting with another studio Instructor, who wasn't my own. Something that she always said still resonates with me: "never through out your trace paper." Now for those of you that don't know, trace paper is a #Designer and artists equivalent of toilet paper. No you don't wipe your ass with it, but you use it every day, and it becomes an everyday necessity. Fast forward to now in the #COVID-19 pandemic and you could say that horder-like tendencies may even occur.. anyways.

Trace paper. The being of design school existence. Trace paper was just that, paper you used to trace ideas on. Layer after layer, iteration after iteration, it was essential. Needless to say you could have quite a few sheets if not hundreds layered upon each other for projects and all phases of design. Once a project was completed it was easy to throw away and disregard the pieces that you felt were insignificant or inadequate towards your project objective.

But one thing I learnt in my undergraduate design education, is that #Process is everything. It's not only about the end result but it's about how you got there. I remember it seemed so silly to think of the idea of keeping old sketches, drawing and doodles for the shear sake of how much physical room they took up. Mind you, they could be rolled up and placed in protective tubes.. but for exaggerative sake you get the idea. Having moved around many times throughout and after University it was a total pain in my absolute arse to haul around all of my trace papers. It wasn't until my now fiancé and I bought our first home and I was able to create a solitary studio for creative thinking that it was time to properly purge and organize. The years of work, binders, cue cards, and trace paper that I hauled around.. and for what? If I never needed it these past 5 years... when would I ever need it? If I hadn't used it up until now.. I may as well throw it all out.. right? Wrong. Well, kind of.

I gave myself an ultimatum and I made a deal with myself. Desiree, if you want the studio, you need to reduce your 'trash' by 50%. I felt this was fair. I'll go through everything and keep the best of the best. Ladies and gentleman, this was the best thing I ever did. Because yes, pieces of paper with jargon on it that I couldn't even translate or with a few pieces of ink on it was in fact in my mind, was definite junk. But you know what wasn't? My little black book. Ah yes, the infinite little black book to go along with the infamous LBD. (If you know you know.) Here it was hidden among all my trace papers.

If it weren't for my cleaning and purging fiasco I would have never found it. My original little black book from my very first year of design school. There it was, in all it's glory. If you're a designer or creative, I guarantee you have a #Moleskin journal or book of sorts. Well, I found mine. FULL. Full of five+ years of all the best of the best goodies, ideas, questions, thoughts.. all the little things that popped in my head throughout school.

Now, this LBB is fueling me, refreshing me, and encouraging me to #KeepGoing.

The point is, Never Trash Your Ideas. Whether it be along the way or after the fact. Be kind to yourself, be open, be honest, and most importantly be forgiving. You'll never know what's around the bend of the road you're on and years later, you'd be surprised where you can find boosts of inspiration from, as I have in these recent months.

Maybe, just maybe, now is the time to act on that little idea you had those many moons ago. You never know what kind of goodies you will find!

Have an idea? Don't throw it out.

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