Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Finding Inspiration

I find inspiration in everyday places.

Whether it’s walking into a material shop stocked to the hilt with beautiful fabrics, or brainstorming about what new thing I can make for my sweet niece or handsome nephew for Christmas, small slices of inspiration can be found hiding in every nook and cranny. You just have to know how to hunt it down, and how to recognise it when it’s finally found.

To help my inspiration process along, I collect things – beautiful buttons, ribbon, material, or interesting knick-knacks that I come across. I’ve often found that having these little bits around can spark an idea, remind me of something precious from my childhood, or just give me the nudge to try out a new idea.

And something I’ve always loved – drawing and sketching – also plays a big part in my creative process. My house is filled with bursting journals and random scraps of paper covered with little images, which may (or may not) become the beginnings of something in the future. I’ve often found that the practice of sketching can lead down a path which may not have been planned, but which sees the creation of something you may not quite have imagined yet.

Sometimes plucking an idea out of the ether seems like a total impossibility. And sometimes creativity gets… stuck. When all things fail, I always try to look for a need (which somehow relates to your area of skill), and attempt to fill it in a different way. Like, for example, I noticed that when I started making our Quill & Ink dolls, that there were only a few options on the market for dolls for boys – real boysy cuddling companions (who like getting dirty, climbing trees and making mud pies almost as much as their owners do). And after a little thought, finding some old fashioned names, and sourcing the perfect fabric, it was a lot easier to take the leap to make Charlie.

Charlie, Spencer, Luca & Thaddeus
My two-cents worth of advice?

1. Enjoy the process! Creativity, imagination and making something new are amazing things.

2. Take notes while you’re experimenting and making, so that when you’re happy with the final product, you can re-create it.

3. Don’t worry if things go awry; few things ever go smoothly first time around, but you’ll learn lots of valuable lessons, and what not to do for next time in the process.

How do you find inspiration?


1 comment:

deux chiens et un garcon said...

I have a similar approach. Daily building and churning things over in my mind. Looking at nature, how the light falls on an object, how opposites interact especially colur and texture. Sometimes just starting something and seeing where it ends up can be such a mind opening experience.

I really love these little boy dolls. There is not much out there for boys.