We all have been there! A creative slump. You sit in front off all your craft supplies and just don't know what to make. This is a post about how I find creative inspiration when I am completely stumped and just don't know what to make!
I feel like this post applies great to all creative people but especially those small, handmade business owners who find themselves in a creative block every now and then.
1. Become One with Nature
I know this sounds very new age or even like a cliche, but Holy Smokes it works!
I find that going for a nature walk clears my mind from everything going on around me. I turn my phone on airplane mode (no distractions!) and find some good tunes (because I LOVE music!) but you can just listen to nature around you.
I find that new scenery helps. If you usually walk through your neighbourhood, try walking along the beach. If you usually walk along the river try walk through a forest.
Open your mind to the natural elements around you. What do you see? What colors stand out to you? Perhaps you can use those colour hues in your next scarf you knit. What is on the mountains around you? Snow? Trees? Perhaps you can make a card or painting based on what you see.
Catch my drift? There are sooooooo many different parts of nature you can be inspired by! Take photos or write notes in your phone when an idea pops up!
Some photos from my nature inspirations walks...
2. Search the World Wide Web
The internet is FILLED with creative people sharing their creative ideas. I know this can also be overwhelming but I find that when I'm in a slump, I can find inspiration from other's work.
No, I'm NOT talking about copying other peoples work! I'm talking about find a piece of art you love and taking inspiration from it. Do you like the colors, the textures, the materials used? By taking elements from things you love and are inspired by you can make your own something something from it!
For instance I saw this beautiful purse on this site that I frequent. It was made out of a gorgeous floral pattern and that's what I loved about it. For one, I don't make purses but I thought it would look great in a skirt that I make. Second, the post was from a while ago and the fabric was discontinued but I knew I wanted something so similar so I looked around until I found the best next thing and made a super cute skirt! (see the photo for yourself!)
3. Ask Around and Get Solid Answers
So, If you have a small business, you can ask your current or past customers for their advice (this is where Newsletter Forms and building your list come in handy). If you don't have a small business, you just like crafting for yourself don't worry! You can ask your close friends or family.
What are we going to ask them? Here's some ideas...
1. It's your birthday, name 5 gifts you would like to receive (you can give them a price range too)
2. During your down time, what do you enjoy doing?
3. What are three items in your house you can't live without?
4. What product would you create to make your life easier?
5. List 2 of your short time (within the next year) goals.
You can make these questions a bit more specific to what you craft of course! From any of the answers you get, see if you can find inspiration to make something!
I find a lot of the items I make come from customer requests and suggestions. Now some of the answers you get you'll say (inside your head of course) are you freakin kidding me? You want me to make what? Obviously you don't need to make everything, see what works for you!
4. Clean the Clutter Around You
What does your craft room look like? Obviously not everyone will be in the same boat, but I know that I have LOTS of boxes and in some of the unlabelled ones there is random junk or projects I've started and never finished. But I find whenever I go through all those boxes and the rest of my studio that I find inspiration. Wether it's a brand new idea from something I found at a garage sale or it's a project I started and just need to tweak a little to complete it.
Try decluttering and organizing various items around you to find your inspiration! On a side note, this actually works in other rooms of your house too or even the garage!
Personal Story: This is actually how I transitioned by company, Blink Kids, to clothing and accessories. I used to make a lot of baby items and random kids' things and I was getting super bored of it. Then when I was cleaning one of my random boxes (lol) I found all these sketches I have made YEARS before that of fashion styles and remembered how much I wanted to design clothes. So that's what I started doing and absolutely love it!!
5. Broaden Your Horizons
I find that attending classes or workshops helps broaden your horizons! Even if you make cards for your craft, trying taking a pottery class. I know it sounds funny but honestly trying other crafts puts you into a totally different creative zone then you're use to and you can draw inspiration from it. I'm not saying switch from selling cards to selling pottery because you're stuck, just open your mind to different crafts and techniques.
Never stop learning! Even if it's within your craft there are always new things to learn! Find ideas in books, pinterest or youtube!
I hope this post helps! Let me know if you try any of these ideas or if you have a new idea you want to share with our readers of how you find inspiration! Add it to the comments below!
Know anyone that might find themselves in a Creative Block? Feel free to send them this post!
I'm Amanda -a wife, mom of two and small business owner- living on the West Coast and sharing my love of crafting with you! Here you'll find DIY projects, tutorials, crafting tips and so much more!