Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Keeping yourself inspired in your craft...

Inspiration comes in waves for me. What about you? Sometimes I can be clipping along, jotting down sketches of pieces I want to make, and creating custom orders, but this summer -- no custom orders, so creativity, I was in a genuine slump.

I have a few different techniques that work when I encounter this roadblock to progress. how do you handle it? Here's just a sampling, and then I'll share another technique that's revolutionized my outlook and revitalized my business.

1) Keep a sketchbook handy. Doodles can become masterpieces. Just look at Leonardo da Vinci! You don't have to be an artist to sketch out pieces or crafts you want to create -- your minds-eye will do the rest. But, you DO have to start somewhere. Try sketching shapes that strike you, or textures. Or grab some colored pencils and try some color combos. Try to visualize a focal piece or area, and go from there. Or, make lists. And doodle images of your list points.

2) Set aside time, or a regular period of the day, when you know you're most creative. Hire someone to come do your laundry, or trade housework duties with a friend. Lightening your load may clear your brain.
3) Find music that inspires you. My mood swings back and forth (no, not PMS) between quiet worshipful music, New Age, and classical. I need calming music to clear my mind and let the juices flow. Maybe you need energy and rhythm in your music. Whatever your muse, find it and place the player (or go to Pandora.com and create your own station) in your creating space.

4) Reorganize that mess! If you could see my work space, you'd gasp. Really. It's terrible. I have a photo of my work space about a month ago in my Facebook fan page album. It's hard to create when you can't find your materials, or that ONE thing you bought that came in last week... Now, mind you, it's greatly improved from THAT, but it's a constant battle.

5) Try a new technique. Even if you have to pay for and take a class, this can give you a big shot in the arm. Places like Fusionbeads.com have tutorials. Or your local bead store, which could probably use a boost during this recession, would probably love to show you a few new things.

6) Browse sites with other artists like
yourself. Or pick up some trade magazines when you're out.

AND, the new technique that's really revolutionized my creative flow, join a group that will PUSH you to create. The muse I'm currently JAMMING with is a Facebook group known as CCC Color Combo group. Every week the members vote on a color palette that everyone will use to create a project in their craft. Some choose jewelry, some paint, everybody has the same colors. The photos in this post are the results of recent challenges, and my inspiration from them. Join us, if you'd like!! Such a wonderful group of creative people, and we support each other in our craft. Some of us sell our creations, some do not. Either way, we're having a blast!!