Inspiring Your Creative Spirit

January 8, 2008

6378creeksm.jpgDuring the holiday season we find ourselves spending most of our time following schedules and rushing to meet deadlines. This rings especially true for artists and small business owners. I often find that my most brilliant ideas come to me when I can’t possibly spend even a moment making them a reality. Talk about creative frustration! We try to cram so much into one month of joyful chaos, that when it’s over, we’re spent and a little lost.

Each Winter, most of us need to restore our artistic senses to some degree. This quiet time of year is perfect to start anew and nurture your creative spirit. When the time comes to get back to work, there are a few scenarios that as artists, we know all too well. The ideas may pour out faster than one can actually create and at other times, a little prodding to rattle the imagination is necessary. In the worst case, nothing short of committing to guerrilla warfare will do.

6389frozenleafsm.jpgHere are a few inspiration seeking tricks that may come in handy when fighting off the winter chill. I always carry a small notebook with a fat rubber band around it so I can write down my ideas and refer back to them later. Along with my doodles and lists, I stick in swatches, sticky notes, clippings, leaves, and anything else that grabs my attention. I also use my camera phone as a “notebook”. The other night I saw tissue boxes with great color combinations in the grocery store. Yes, tissue boxes! I snapped a couple pics to peek at before my next torch session.

6459berriessm.jpgWalks in the frozen woods, bundled in boots and down, armed with my camera, always seem to help. I challenge myself to find color in the sleeping landscape. This should explain my affinity for snow covered berry bushes. Taking a class to learn a new technique is a tried and true tactic. Trying out a new tool or glass, a subtle change in your studio, a new scent, or different music while you work can help jump start new ideas too. Recently I’ve also discovered the value of the “inspirational blog collective”. It’s like having an artistic work out partner to get you moving and creating. Check out Modern Savages and Creative Every Day 2008.

6396cattailssm.jpgSometimes completely walking away from my normal discipline is what becomes necessary. *refer back to the camera in the woods scenario* I’ve even been known to pull out my book binding materials when I’m really stumped. Meticulously cutting and folding paper is something I can “zen out” on. That leads me to Yoga. Yoga is my quick fix for everything. Especially an achy back. When I honestly stop thinking about it and just relax, is when the amazing stuff really happens. The best idea I’ve had in a long time came to me the other day while baking cookies and dancing around the kitchen to Maroon 5 with my 2 & 5 year old sons. We LOVE dancing in the kitchen! It’s just a matter of time before we get caught doing it.

Go forth artists! Take a walk. Take a class. Buy some glass. Do a dance. Take acoustic guitar lessons. Shake those winter blues and find the inspiration your creative spirit craves! Have an amazing, creative, and productive New Year!!!


Snow Day

December 17, 2007

Today unexpectedly turned out to be amazingly good for my soul. I found myself in the rare position of having the house and shop all to myself. The second snow storm of the week promised a peaceful and productive day. My plan for the day was to drastically shorten my “to do list” and clear my mind. I tinkered in the shop to the sweet sounds of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, then fired up my torch, and filled my kiln with holiday special orders. In the house I strung berry garlands, hung lights, and readied the Christmas tree for decorating this evening. I checked so many items off my list that I decided I deserved a relaxation reward.

I wandered off for a walk in the snow with my camera and a content heart. The world transforms under a blanket of new snow and seems full of whimsical possibility. It brings out the kid in me, presents the landscape in a fresh light, and infects me creatively. The peaceful quiet fills me up and stirs my thoughts. Walks in the beach side woods as a child, pond skating, the joy of making snow angels… memories of previous ambitions, the heat of a love past, a scent, a touch, a song, of lessons learned, and times in my life when I felt most alive, all crossed my mind. As I made my way back home across the fields, I thought optimistically of the coming new year and of all the amazing things I’ll be capable of accomplishing in it.

Feeling rejuvenated, yet chilled, I decided to sit and warm up with a glass of wine next to my newly lit Christmas tree before heading back to work. Normally I drink red wine but today I opened a bottle of a Long Island Rosé I had been saving for a “rainy day”. Thinking so much of the past and looking towards the future made me realize I should just enjoy it now. I’m not the type of person let a good thing like an extraordinary snowy day or a glass of Rosé under the Christmas tree pass me by.

Seize your joy and have a wonderful Holiday Season!

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