Dec 28, 2008

Finding Inspiration...

I'm in a bit of a panic here at the end of the year. I'm trying to make sure I start 2009 the right way. As someone who likes to create things, I'm worried that I'm in a rut and I need to reset my "creative self" in order to do my best work in the new year.

It's no wonder with that kind of thinking that I have hit a creative brick wall! As I pondered the problem I realized that a lot of you might be in the same place right now. I thought I'd take a few moments to share some things I do to get the creative juices flowing in the hope it might inspire us all:

1. Self Exploration - Think about your past projects, current thoughts, goals, successes and failures. Create a dedicated notebook or sketchpad where you can write down thoughts and ideas as they come to you and then go back later to expand on those ideas in more depth. I get a lot of creative sparks just flipping through my notebook and day dreaming.

2. Explore Other Artists - When I'm in a creative rut, I go online and look at art I love. I also search out art I DON'T love to see subjects from different sides. Kill some time browsing FLICKR, Drawn!, Humor Blogs, even places like The American Creativity Assn for ideas and inspiration. Go to your favorite Artist chat rooms (ETSY would be one of mine) and talk to other artists. They are often eager to give you ideas and suggestions for taking your art in other directions.

3. Collaborate - Work on a piece of art with someone else. Even working together in the same room on different pieces of art gives you a chance to share and expand your creativity.

4. Take A Class - In your area of expertise or another area completely. Never assume that you know everything there is to know about your art and the materials you use.

5. Experiment - Just because you CAN and DO sell some of the pieces you create does not mean everything you do has to be marketable. I get irritated with myself sometimes because I know what will SELL -vs- what I would LIKE TO CREATE and I gravitate toward the marketable projects. Give yourself permission to do something fun and different and be willing to throw it in the trash when you're done. Great things can come from that kind of freedom. You will ALWAYS learn something from this type of project and creative disasters also make great blog posts!

6. Do Something Every Day - It does not have to always be in your area of expertise. Paint, sculpt, draw, dance, sing - just make creativity part of your day - EVERY DAY.

So, what do YOU do to get the creative juices flowing?

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4 COMMENTS - Click here to leave YOURS!:

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I do a lot of the same things you do - and as a beader one thing I often do is simply start looking through my bead boxes :) Or one of my beading mags...

Wags said...

Well, I don't think I can say... :-)

PurrPrints said...

Thanks for the reminder/support that it's not just slacking to do creative things that aren't related to what you sell--I've been spending a lot of time knitting and crocheting lately, mostly for the fun of it, in part to make gifts, but none of it would match my shop and thus I'd been feeling guilty--but I suspect the reason i'm doing it is to recharge my creative juices because I'd begun to become a bit "burned out" on my all-kitties--all-the-time approach. Your post has helped me feel a bit less guilty about all that ;)

Ragtree said...

Hi Robin! I found the best way for me to get inspired is to forget about art for a while and visit the bookstore. Something about the atmosphere spurs me on.

I can't imagine you hitting a brick wall... you're imagination makes me GREEN with envy!

Renee :)

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