Kaizen = continual improvement.
I love this concept . . . when you take something that is good and change it to make it even better. This works for creative projects, relationships, financial health, physical health and all aspects of life. It's a great concept and it was a Kaizen week for me!
I received an inquiry from a children's museum in the USA who wanted sock raccoons that could withstand daily 'play' and the washer and dryer. I responded that my sock animals probably were not strong enough. They countered with an offer to send me new material so I could try a different method in order to make them museum-children-playing worthy!
I was intrigued by their persistence and honoured that they liked my design enough to push me to try to improve it for their benefit and mine. It was a win-win!
So I spent some time at the fabric store and asked the experts for advice. I came home with a bundle of arctic fleece samples and redesigned the raccoon by replacing the felt material (eyes, nose and tail) with fleece. Then I tossed him in the washer and dryer, took before and after pictures and he turned out great! I sent the photo evidence to the museum and they doubled their order and I've got a few weeks to complete and send!
I appreciate the opportunity to consider improving the design. I could have said "no" and left things as they were but as the concept of Kaizen suggests, take what is already good and change it! In fact, this experience has inspired me to book a regular time each month to consider what else is good and could be changed to be better!
Continuous change can be exhausting and contentment is a virtue, so I'm not taking the Kaizen approach to every minute of every day . . . there are times to relax and celebrate and enjoy things as they are!
But I love the idea that creativity doesn't have to stop once something is made or designed! I like my new raccoon design and using new material has opened up other ideas too. A good Kaizen week!