Friday, May 16, 2014

in my studio: finding creativity

 (at work on new designs in my little studio)

these past few weeks, I've begun working on designs for the Fall. While I appreciate Spring & Summer and am really enjoying a few warm weather projects (more on this later) what I truly love is Fall. My favorite things to make and design will always be scarves, cowls, and mitts. 

there are times when I feel like the ideas are coming non-stop and I just cannot make things fast enough to keep up! and then there are other times, when I don't have ANY ideas at all. 

since right now, I'm in a good place creatively, I thought I would share a peek into my creative process by sharing what I do when I'm at a serious creative block. I hope these ideas will help if you're stuck, and maybe I can even read them myself at some point in the future and take my own advice! so without any further ramblings, here's my list: 

1. create a space you love. 
I've talked about this multiple times, but I think that it helps so much to have a nurturing space to work in. 

2. look outside of your medium. 
gain inspiration from books & movies, from the change of seasons, or from the work of artists whose chosen craft is completely different than your own. or stay within your craft but try experimenting with new materials, textures and colors. 

(walking through the old part of town always inspires me!) 

3. go for a walk.
Not only does getting outside and moving help to clear my head, but it helps me to see new things. In nature, in the city, in shop windows...maybe even something someone is wearing...the possibilities are really endless. (bonus: bring your camera along to help capture inspiration)

4. keep a quote book. 
I've been doing this for years now, and often read through it when I'm feeling stuck. (you can see some of my favorite quotes here)

5. cook
this came as a surprise to me, but quite often at the end of a long day, as I'm cooking dinner for (or with!) Waldi, new ideas will come to me. Cooking is it's own creative process as well, and something about it is so inspiring to me!

(learning to crochet opened a whole new world of ideas!)

6. learn something new. 
Take a course, read a book on a subject you know nothing about, or learn a new skill in you chosen area of expertise. I know everybody says it, but getting out of your own comfort zone and thinking patterns can bring a wealth of new ideas to your work!

7. take custom orders
I've had the opportunity to design a few pieces based on the idea of a customer or friend. I love doing this! It pushes me to think outside of the boundaries of my own style and figure out how to make someone else's idea become reality. 

8. set goals for yourself
again, I feel like I'm always talking about this (here are a few examples) but challenging yourself to work towards a certain goal can really push your creativity to a new level!

(The Beachcomber's Cowl was the first pattern I designed and still inspires me!)

9. look back through your own work 
let's face it- there is a lot of noise on the internet. while blogs, instagram and (specifically) Pinterest can be wonderful sources of inspiration and learning, they can at times be overwhelming. I've found when this happens, it really helps to look back through my own blog archives or photos. It helps me see how far I come- and sometimes inspiration strikes with a new idea! 

10. take a break and walk away
when all else fails...

(related: Elizabeth Gilbert has a great Ted Talk on this subject)

I hope these ideas help! what do you do when you're stuck for new ideas and inspiration? 

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