I find inspiration in lots of places. A good idea from a friend. A picture in a magazine. A scene in a movie. Blogs. HGTV. Etsy. It’s everywhere, but sometimes I get too busy or too over-stimulated to notice it. Those are the times when I feel stuck in a creative rut.
Since my job is creative, being stuck in a rut is kind of a problem. But I think everyone experiences it at some point or another, no matter what you do.
Here’s what I do to help inspire myself….
– Spend the day at a bookstore.
When I have time, I will literally spend hours at the bookstore. I’ll find books, magazines, journals, postcards and spend all day looking through them, making notes, and figuring out what I like about various things I see. Some of them will be photography related, some of them not. I look at wedding photos all the time, so I like to look through fashion magazines and advertisements for things I can borrow and adapt to my clients.
I also like to find all the crafty, diy, and home decorating magazines I can. These I use for ideas of things I can do around the house. If you’ve ever owned a house, you know it’s always a work in progress. I sometimes get my mind set on my plans for something, only to find one little photo that changes everything. For example, this clock…
I need a clock for the nursery, and I found this one on etsy, and liked it. But since I’m trying to make everything myself, this could be just slightly intricate…
So, I found this one. Simpler shape to cut, more painting. But it still wasn’t quite right.
And then, I found in my blog reader, this fabric. Not the right color palette, but sometimes you have to look beyond that. (Sorry I can’t remember the blog where I saw this – I save the pictures, I should get better about noting where they’re from so I can tell you.) Since our room is blue and orange and yellow, and I have kind of an animal theme going on in there, the hippos just seemed perfect. So, I made a template for my dad, and he’s cutting out a hippo shape for me that I can use as a clock. Also, I took a trip to the Walmarts with my mom and we found a cheap clock that I could scavenge the clockworks from for about $4. Cheaper than the ones in the craft stores (at about $9-15), and all the craft store clockworks had super fancy hands. I wanted simple. Hence the $4 clock from walmart with super simple hands.
My dad is coming up tomorrow to help with stuff around the house, so I’ll take some in-progress pictures of the clock to share with you.
This site could keep me entertained for hours. I love to look at all the fabrics, different patterns, and things that people make. I think I could spend a fortune on bags and purses alone on that site. Just choose a category and then browse. So simple.
My google reader is jam packed with blogs. I do have some friends’ blogs in there that I like to read for the daily (or monthly… or yearly) life updates. But my main reason for using a reader is to keep track of all the amazingness that’s out there. I keep a “DIY, crafts, things to do” folder on my desktop and when I see something lovely or something that I think I could make myself, or something that I would like to see in my house one day (whenever I get to build a dream house…far far in the future), I drag the photo over to that folder and save it there for future reference. I do the same thing for wedding image inspiration in a separate folder.
Just a few of my favorite blogs:
A Cup of Jo – this adorable lady just had her first baby, and it’s been so fun to follow along with her experience, not being too far behind myself. She also has weekly Wednesday giveaways, and posts some super cute items – for your home, your wardrobe, and your baby. Lovely!
Design*Sponge – So many great things about this blog! Under $100 round-ups, the inspirational “living-in” series where she chooses a movie and finds cool and fashionable items that fit the theme and feel of that movie, TONS of great DIY projects with pictures and instructions. Lots of inspiration here!
Oh Joy! – Oh Joy! has lots of great features. My personal favorite? The this & that feature. She finds something amazing that you can wear and something incredible to include in your home design. Love it!
So, the question is, what do you do to get out of that rut? Is it as simple as a conversation with a friend? Or is it more like crawling and clawing your way out of a ditch? I know I’ve experienced both of them at various times.