How do you find inspiration?
That’s the question I find myself asking when I’m in a rut. I’ll want to make some cool project I saw on Pinterest, or start a painting, even a sketch. I have all this motivation! Time! Supplies! And then….blah. Nothing. Blank. Everything seems lame. No idea sounds good. I can’t get with it. What do I do now?
Well, honestly, if I can’t get it going within half an hour, then I need to walk away and come back later. I may just need to take a step back and focus on other things instead. Maybe my mind is too
stressed busy. I find that when I have something bothering me, I will just sit and stew in it for far too long. I need to refocus that energy into something productive, not negativity, which is inevitably what happens. I need to redirect.
Sometimes my ideas are so plentiful and all over the place that it can get overwhelming. I can be washing dishes and my mind will begin to wander. One minute I’m thinking about
all the other crap what else I have to get done before I can sit down for the evening, and the next minute I’m a million miles away thinking about what color to paint the front door. (It’s a bright sky blue color now!). I’ll have to stop what I’m doing so that I can write it down before I forget. This especially happens to me while I’m at work. I’m around other people, but as a general rule, I’m working by myself in my own little area. It’s quiet and sometimes lonely. I do play music, but my mind tends to wander a lot. I really have had some great ideas while working.
Other times, not so much. I just can’t think of any new ideas!
So what do you do when that happens?
- Let your mind wander! Like I said above, sometimes just by doing something else you can free your mind. I sort of covered this in my “Baking for Creativity” post. (You can check that out here.) I usually start by thinking about what it is that I’m trying to figure out. For example, recently, I wanted to start a new line drawing. I’ve been using these micron pens and really enjoying them. I had no idea what I wanted to draw. I like to draw flowers, but what kind? I just started thinking about flowers, and the fact that it’s almost spring, jumping from thought to thought and my brain decided on tulips. So what about them? I’ve got some small paintings that I did with flowers in vases that I really had fun making. ( Check them out here!) So I decided to draw some tulips in a vase!
- Look at the world around you! Go outside! There is so much going on outdoors, all you have to do is look. Bring your phone with you and take some pictures. Do you like how those clouds look? The color of a flower? The new growth getting ready for spring? The frost patterns on your car window? Take pictures of everything! When you go back through the photos you might even see something different than when you took it!
- Google Images or Pinterest! These are great resources for inspiration, in my opinion. Utilize the search feature on Pinterest. Say you know you want to draw tulips, like I had decided on for my current project. Type “tulips” into the search box in either Google or Pinterest and just look at the multitude of images that appear. From here, you can generate even more ideas by just looking at the results of your search. You can combine elements in more than one picture. Something will speak to you.
- Magazines! As a visual person, I love looking through magazines. I enjoy the ads as much as the articles. Someone spent time designing the layout of Every. Single. Page. in any one magazine. That never ceases to amaze me. Are you interested in typography? Placement of objects? Fashion? Food photography? Any number of subjects are available in magazine format. From here, all you need to do is begin flipping through the pages. I especially enjoy the DIY sections, or entire magazines on this subject. I enjoy seeing what ideas other people have, and what I can do differently with the same concept.
- Brainstorm! Did you ever write the little word bubbles that all connected to each other back in school? Same idea, with or without cute little bubbles. I wrote a post that touches on this topic a little while ago. (read it here). I couldn’t even tell you what words I actually started with, but I just started writing EVERYTHING that came into my mind on a piece of paper. Then those words would generate other words. You just build on everything that you’ve wrote down. Sometimes a word or idea that doesn’t even seem to go with your topic will pop up. Write it down. Write it all down. You may do this for an hour, a few minutes or a few days before coming up with something you decide is suitable for your current needs. Keep your notes as well! They may keep generating ideas for other projects!
- Everyday objects! This may sound like an odd suggestion, but I promise you, it’s not. Have you ever noticed the little details in those everyday items that surround you? Like the curve where your coffee mug handle meets the cup part? The fibers in your sweater, the shapes they make? The reflections and shadows household items make in the sunlight? Try to start really paying attention to these type of things, and you can find inspiration all around you!
- Doodle! Just put pen to paper and draw! It doesn’t have to be anything more than shapes, squiggles, lines, etc. to start. I used to do this exercise where I would scribble all over my paper, and it looked like a child’s messy drawing. I would then turn the paper around and around and look for shapes within the scribbles that I could turn into objects. These days I don’t do that too often, but I will start out with lines a lot. Or curves. Shapes are another good one. You could just draw what is around you. You could sketch a word, etc, etc, etc. Just so long as you are doodling. This is a good way to generate ideas. Your mind may wander while you do this (see #1!) and that’s a good thing!
I hope all of these suggestions have been helpful!
What do you do to find inspiration?
Please comment and share! Let’s talk about this!