Creative inspiration is really all around us, we just have to be willing to take the time to look for it. There are some very obvious places to look for inspiration such as an art gallery or museum but there are also lots of other places to look for inspiration that are a little outside the box. Here is a list of some places that I came up with.
People watching at the mall. The other day while shopping I stopped for a bite to eat, since I was alone I was free to just look around me and observe. I began to notice the different features on people’s faces, the style and colors of their clothing and even their gestures as they interacted with others. It was unfortunate that my sketchbook wasn’t in my purse!
Reading or looking through children’s books. I love illustration and children’s books have some of the most beautiful illustration out there. Often when I end up in a bookstore I will head over and browse through the books in the children’s department for a dose of creative inspiration.
Go for a walk in the woods. Nature is the most innately creative force on this planet. As you walk observe the shapes and textures around you, incredible beauty and inspiration is everywhere.
Reading Poetry. Poetry is full of imagery, just reading it can spark ideas and thoughts.
Go to the zoo or a wildlife refuge center or even a pet store. Observing the diversity of creatures that inhabits this earth can be a great source of inspiration.
At the movies. Movies have the ability to move us through time and space and take us to places we could never go in real life. This gives us the opportunity to observe and be inspired by many exciting options that otherwise don’t exist.
Watch the clouds. As they move through the sky cloud shapes shift and change. One moment you might see a dragon, the next island floating in the sky and in another moment perhaps and angel. It is another great example of the creativity of nature.
Go to flea markets or antique stores. All kind of treasures and unique items can be found at flea markets. You don’t even need to buy anything and bring it home. Just check out vintage artwork or jewellery for interesting shapes and color combinations. Look at the designs of furniture, inlaid wood can be a great source for shapes and patterns.
Walking through your own neighborhood. Take some time to walk through it with fresh eyes. Really look and observe. What flowers are growing in the yard next door, what color combinations are present in the plants, flowers and trees? What birds are flying around? Looking at these things with a eye to really seeing them can spark great ideas.
These are a few of my ideas. Feel free to comment below and share some of your favorite places to find inspiration!
Our books are bound completely by hand using a fourth century method known as Coptic Binding.
Coptic Bound Journals feature an intricate and painstakingly beautiful, non-adhesive binding with exposed knotted stitching across an open spine. This ancient art is kept alive by a handful of artists and artisans around the world.
Mechanically produced books and paper are easy and cheap to mass-produce but books made with machines do not hold the character and unique qualities of a handmade book and the person behind them.
When we design and hand-bind a book, each one has just a little of us in it! A bit of our heart, our soul, our spirit, and that sharing of ourselves enriches us as well as the recipient.
Our Coptic Bound Journals carry history, heart and one of a kind quality.
The need to create runs deep within the human psyche, we all have it. I know many who say they don’t have a creative bone in their body and that always breaks my heart, but that just isn’t possible. Creativity expresses itself in so many ways it is so much more than just paint brush on canvas. Have you ever seen a beautifully planted garden and walked along its paths? Have you ever enjoyed a delicious meal out? Or have you even flipped through the pages of a fashion magazine marveling at the minds that imagined the beautiful clothes. It’s all creativity and it is all made by artists.
An artist is someone who creates with intention. I bet if you look at your own life there are many things you create with intention. Is it possible you have been ignoring your own artwork? Is it possible your soul longs for encouragement to let it’s creativity soar? What would happen if you let it? What could you create? But let’s ask one more question, what if you allowed yourself to create in an atmosphere free of judgement? I’m not talking about judgement from others, which really isn’t something you can control other than to ignore it. What I’m really talking about is your own judgement of your creations. What would happen in your life, what could possibly break loose and shake up if you allowed yourself to create without any self judgement whatsoever. It isn’t easy, I know first-hand it isn’t easy, but it’s such a worthwhile endeavor.
You see I believe that the number one purpose of humanity is to create and that everyone is creative! In tapping into our creativity we tap in the core purpose of our existence. In that space of creativity we can find our own power and deepen our connection with the divine. It’s a noble calling, what will your answer be? Will it be ARTIST!!!
Resistance, resistance…oh how I hate thee! Insidious monster that crawls out from under the furniture to claw me away from my art studio. You distract me with all things left undone, dust bunnies in the corner, laundry lying in piles on the basement floor, weeds in the yard that threaten to take over, the list goes on and on. You hide in the shadows working your evil magic doing all you can to keep me from my beloved art! Oh how I wish I could banish you to depths from which you came!
That may sound a little overly dramatic but on the artist’s journey one of the biggest challenges faced is the demon resistance. Pretty much anyone who has ever picked up a pen to write, or an instrument to learn or a brush to paint has felt resistance. That thing that just wants to keep you from getting at your craft and will throw just about any obstacle in your path.
In his book, “The War of Art”, Steven Pressfield says this about resistance, “Resistance’s goal is not to wound or disable. Resistance aims to kill…when we fight it, we are in a war to the death”. Sounds pretty scary doesn’t it? What is most frightening is that resistance isn’t the demon hiding in the shadows dragging you away from you artistic endeavors, resistance comes from within us!
Resistance is the ego it doesn’t mean to be harmful and thinks it is actually protecting you. The ego says, “what if you spend all that time writing that book and no one wants to read it, you will be devastated and look at all the wasted time. It is best just not to start.” If paint is your medium ego says, “why would you waste all that time and money on canvas you know you can’t make anything good, people will laugh at your paintings. It is best just not to start.” Logical arguments perhaps but do we have to listen? Is your first book going to be published? It probably won’t but I bet you just love to write and the more you do the better you will get. Will you paint a masterpiece on your first try, definitely not but that is how you learn. In an effort to keep us safe the ego, with its resistance tactics, can sound pretty smart but we are smarter!
So what do we do about resistance, how do we kick it to the curb? It isn’t easy and it isn’t a battle quickly won, it’s going to take you a while, but it is also the most triumphant win! Here are some tips to help you slay the dragon resistance:
Develop a consistent creative practice, daily if at all possible.
This can be challenging and some days downright impossible but the more consistent you get the less space there is for resistance. Setting aside a specific time, even just 10 minutes a day, is one of the most effective things you can do to overcome resistance. Is there really anything that can’t wait just for 10 minutes?
Avoid comparison at all costs!
This is so important!!! In the internet age we have access to so much inspiration this can be a double edged sword because while it can inspire you it can also bring up feelings of inferiority that play right into ego’s game. If you must look for inspiration but find comparison an issue I recommend looking at the works of the great masters from long ago. What could be more inspiring than looking at the work of a Michelangelo or Botticelli or perhaps the more approachable work of Van Gogh or Monet. We logically tend not to compare ourselves to them like we would a contemporary posting on Pinterest or on her blog.
Surround yourself with others who get what you are doing.
This is another benefit of the internet, there are people right at your fingertips that feel the same way you do about your art! Find others who are in the same place as you, who get what you are trying to do and who will encourage you to keep up the fight. A little moral support goes a long way! Just remember no comparison.
Resistance must be fought, never stop fighting and never give up! If resistance stands in the doorway of your art studio kick it out of the way, if resistance is the well-meaning but misguided relative or spouse thank them for their concern and tell them you are not looking for input. If resistance is hiding in your mile long to do list tell it to just give you 10 minutes. In the end, if you stay strong, resistance must give way!
To sum this all up I want to leave you with the quote below:
“Self doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it. If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are.
The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art