Keep your creative reserves intact with these 13 tips for nurturing your creativity.
Ever wondered how one-woman start-ups, independent makers, and small teams looking after big brands top up their creativity? We asked the shortlisted crafters and champions up for a Mollie Makes Handmade Award 2017 to share their habits for nurturing their creative self.
These curators/designers/makers have buckets of creativity – seemingly on tap. Get an insight into how they do it…
Allow yourself space to breathe creatively. Taking time to just play around with new ideas and not worrying about it going wrong, and having days off from doing any work at all, is really important for developing new ideas. – Miesje Chafer, Best Established Business Award nominee
Museums and botanical gardens are a great place to find inspiration – there is always something new to see. Be it a book cover or variety of orchid, it can spark an idea. – Jacqueline Colley, Best Illustrator Award nominee
If I feel a little overwhelmed or lacking in inspiration a quick trip to the seaside makes me feel reinvigorated. It’s almost as if seeing the sea resets something in my brain (I am sure I am not alone in that feeling.) – Kara Ford, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee
Connect with others
Every meeting I have with Liberty inspires me and makes me want to rush back to the studio and get designing. Inspiration can come from a swatch of fabric, a trip to a new location, a conversation with a friend, a story, a picture, a tear… almost anywhere. – Amy, Coco and Wolf, Best Established Business Award nominee
Quite often an idea will come from a conversation when we’re least expecting it. So the backs of envelopes and scrap paper is usually floating around the studio with half-baked designs doodled on them. – Ruth and Brendan of I Am Acrylic, Best Workshops Award nominee
Conversations with people who can’t find what they’re looking for can also help with new ideas or help me discover areas within my business I haven’t yet branched out into. – Joanne Hawker of #MarchMeetTheMaker, Handmade Champion Award nominee.
Make things up
I know it sounds silly, but genuinely, loads of my ideas come from my imagination and from sketching or doodling random shapes and patterns. – Rosa Pietsch, Best Established Business Award nominee
Seek inspiration from your heroes
Artists like Matisse, Paul Klee, Henri Rousseau are a constant inspiration, as well as designers like Paul Smith and Orla Kiely, to name a few. – Lucy Tiffney, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee.
Create for friends and family
A lot of products we make stem from thinking about what our friends or family are into and then trying to make them a funny gift related to that. These then often get developed into the items we sell. – Ruth and Brendan of I Am Acrylic, Best Workshops Award nominee
Scroll through Instagram
I find artists and makers on Instagram inspire me daily. Some of my favourite hashtags are #doitfortheprocess, #createinspireshare and #simplethingsmadebeautiful. I’ve also stared my own hashtag, #threefavoritesofthemonth. – Isabella Strambio of Two Me, Best Workshops Award nominee
Tune into inspiration everywhere
I’ll often take a lot of photos of the changing seasons: the lichen on a stone, pebbles in the sand and colours of the sky. I’ll take these home to my studio and use them as a starting point for my next potting project. – Kara Ford, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee
Open your eyes to things that you may not ordinarily notice. You can do this by taking snapshots on your phone choosing a theme every week until you’ve built up a library of images. One week you could focus on colour and the next shapes, then patterns and so on. – Lucy Tiffney, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee
Reading numerous interior magazines and blogs to research colour combinations and seeing how a space can be transformed with interior decorations really excites me. – Cath Chamberlain, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee
Let loose in a sketchbook
Keep a diary, notebook or sketchbook (or all three!) where you collect things like pressed flowers, stamps, sketches, old bus tickets, beer mats – anything! – Lucy Tiffney, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee
Usually I get new ideas from a very basic doodle I’ve scribbled in one of my many half-filled sketchbooks. If I’m ever lacking in inspiration I look back through old ideas and try developing one of them. – Miesje Chafer, Best Established Business Award nominee
Set goals to spur you on
Over a year ago my husband started working away from home in the week so suddenly I found myself with spare time in the evenings. I decided to use that time to make some of the projects I’d been saving on Pinterest. That led to starting my project of learning 12 crafts in 12 months. – Isabella Strambio of Two Me, Best Workshops Award nominee
Draw on happy memories
I grew up by the coast so my work is influenced by the textures and colours of my favourite Devon beaches. I have the happiest memories of playing in turquoise rock pools and jumping in and out of foamy waves. I choose colours and textures for my pots which reflect those memories. – Kara Ford, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee
Seize opportunities from life events
Life events are a big source for new ideas. An illness in my family sparked off my entire sympathy range and it took my best friend getting engaged for me to realise that I didn’t have any engagement cards. – Joanne Hawker of #MarchMeetTheMaker, Handmade Champion Award nominee
Invest your time carefully
I work full time so I use every valuable moment wisely; any spare time I have is dedicate to weaving. If I have a commission I make sure I have a diary set out with the stages for completion so that it is made on time. – Cath Chamberlain, Best Start-Up Business Award nominee
Have some good habits of your own that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or tell us about them using the #molliemakes hashtag.
Illustration by Becki Clark