I find inspiration from many sources: images from our travels, books of quilting and fiber art, books of inspiration and support (e.g. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Artists Way by Julia Cameron), a walk in the woods, classrooms and workshops, and of course the artists, quilters, writers and bloggers I hear, read about and search out. There are many tools these artists use to ‘stay loose’, stay inspired, and keep active with their media such as art journals, doodling, creativity journals, tiny projects, etc. You can see in my projects page an entry called ‘Weeklies‘ in which I challenged myself to start and finish a small piece within a week throughout the year 2014. It was a great way to try new methods and media, keep the juices flowing and stay inspired in-between ‘bigger’ projects.
One tool that I’ve used over the years is my ‘Inspiration Book’. I know this is not unique to me but a common tool used among artists, designers and crafters. Mine is a 8”x10″ blank-paged journal that I bought in the bargain table of Barnes and Noble. I take it out periodically to draw ideas; paste in postcards or photo’s I love; document ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics; doodles, etc. I might take my photo of moss from a walk; or a pic someone posted on facebook of nature and print it and paste it. Collages made from magazine cutouts are one of my favorite activities – these are fun to make and help me play with ideas for color and texture. Contrasting colors, architecture, birds, metal bathtubs, fur – they are all food for dreams.
You might roll your eyes and mutter “When does anyone have time for this??” I was the same way – but you’d be surprised when an hour here or there presents itself! If I am in the middle of a project that I need to step away from this is often a good day to add to my book or peruse old magazines for possible images for a collage. Other times?….watching the Olympics; listening to a book on tape; dinners in the oven and cooking; or having a cup of tea.
I recommend starting an Inspiration Book – having your ideas/dreams/color-play in one place makes it easy to reach for and I HAVE used it for inspiration in my projects (see my projects page “Felted Wool Skirt“).
In the spirit of continuing to ‘pull back the curtains’, I’ve pasted pics of some pages from my Inspiration Book. I hope you are inspired to start one of your own!
Related Blog: Pulling Back the Curtain