Sunday, April 1, 2012

Where I find inspiration

My hands are itching to create.

Creativity comes in surges for me, and sometimes I go through horrible lulls. I had been going through one of these "dry" times a short while ago. Then I forced myself to complete small little nothings, doodles and sketches that wouldn't take more than 15 minutes. All of a sudden my mind started going a million miles. Today, I realized that I'm in full swing, adding more projects to my little book then I can get to.

But how to decide what to draw (or what to sew, to write, to create) at that point when you feel like you have to force yourself? Go for something easy, with no-pressure, and don't fret if you don't like the results. It's the act of doing it that will help, not the final product.

For themes, there are always prompts and challenges, like the Sketchbook Challenge, Illustration Friday, the A-Z challenge, Communal Global, and Texture Tuesday, among may others that give you the option of posting in groups and visiting other blogs participating.

But for me there's another place where I can almost always count on getting inspiration: books.

I'm a visual reader. I mean, as I read I vividly see the scenes in my mind. Stories associate themselves to images, as well as touch sensations, smells, and tastes. For example, The Turn of the Screw forever makes me feel feverish and brings up the color white to mind.

All it takes are a few lines of a poem sometimes (or a full one like this):

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you-- Nobody--too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd banish us --you know!

How dreary --to be--Somebody!
How public--like a Frog--
To tell your name--the livelong June--
To an admiring Bog!
                              Emily Dickinson

(In this age of social media and reality tv with so many people shouting for attention and fame, this poem really speaks to me)

That poem inspired this super simple (and not so good) colored pencil drawing:

Although the final image flopped, it got me doing something, putting my pencils on paper.

I'm sharing all this because I think we all go through times where our creativity and motivation seem to move to some dark corner where we can't find it no matter what. I wanted to share a couple of strategies or ideas I've used successfully to force it out of its hiding place. I hope it's helpful to some of you.

Where do you draw your inspiration?


  1. I think the drawing is lovely - much better than I could ever produce, that´s for sure! :-)

    I have no specific place for inspiration, it can be this or that. Other people´s blogs are fun though, reading them always starts a thought or idea in my head. :-)

  2. It's good that you've figured out where your motivation comes from. Music really does it for me at times. I realized that when I used to play, my mind would create stories and pictures to go along with the music

  3. Oh I like how you find your inspiration....I am very visual too so my mind is always filled with pictures. Sometimes way to many.
    Have a great new week. xoxo

  4. Reading does that for me too, as well as being out in nature and observing beauty in any corner of my world. Love that poem!
    Catherine Denton

  5. I've been in a lull too! Usually reading inspires me to write, but even that wasn't working. The A-Z challenge seems to be doing the trick. Nothing like a challenge to give encouragement and accountability!