Last night I was chatting with a fellow craft entrepreneur and she asked me, “Where do you get all your ideas to make stuff?”
I’ve heard this question before and the purpose of this blog is to share some of those secrets. What do you do when you’re stumped for ideas? Here are my top 3 strategies:
- Look at something pretty
If a picture of a beautiful sunset or a striking photo shows me an interesting color or texture combination, I’ll be able to whip something together in no time. And I don’t limit myself to photographs. Consumer design and packaging is going through an extraordinary period right now. I’ve used all sorts of things from Champagne bottles to Coffee mugs as inspiration points.
- Use other works as inspiration, but don't plagiarize
I’ve subscribe to magazines like Instyle Magazine for years and I’ll occasionally buy a women’s fashion magazine like Voque or Marie Claire off the newsstand. I’ll probably post on plagiarism, fashion and intellectual property sometime, but my point is these magazines regularly publish great pictures, advertisements and editorials that can provide great inspiration. I’ve got a 3 ring binder full of cut-outs and samples from all over and best of all, they publish regularly and try to anticipate trends. My magazine habit is research! But I do try to be aware and respectful of other artistic works. I avoid copying something too closely by select materials in a different color pallette or using a different technique when constructing a piece of jewelry. Sometimes you'd never know that a creation of mine was inspired by another artist's work, even when viewed side by side. I'm not the best artist in the world, by a long shot. But I've been inspired by other's work and I hope to inspire as well, which is one of the reasons this blog exists.
- Make something ugly
Sometimes it’s tough, we’ve all been there. The ideas aren’t flowing and for the life of you, you can’t figure out what to make next. My way to get over the hump – make something, anything. Repair something. What matters is the act of creation. You might tear it up later for parts, but by generating something or repairing a broken piece, you get the creative juices flowing. Most of the time, after I assemble a simple shape, I can take a mental step back and think about how I can improve it, and then I’m back in action.
Tell me what you do to get over a creative slump. Please leave your comments below!
One of the best bloggers on the internet, Jason Kottke (kottke.org), just linked to this article on Overcoming Creative Block originally posted on the blog of Scott Hansen
I can't wait to read the process other creative professionals go through to get their ideas flowing!