finding, sorting, & reigning in inspiration
as a handmade artist, or someone striving to be a handmade artist, finding inspiration never proves to be a problem. a color, a phrase, the way the clouds look, a conversation... anything can spark an idea in a truly creative and receptive mind. my problem, i have found, is successfully sorting the inspiration in my brain into the correct place in my brain for future use and learning to filter what is great and useful inspiration and what is good, but not really useful inspiration.
i have found over the past year that i find really great and really useful inspiration in two specific places.
seldom will you ever find me working, painting, desiging, sanding, or anything to do with my business without pandora blaring on my computer or headphones in my ears. music soothes my soul, centers my spirit, and realigns my brain into this pattern that sees one thing at a time, instead of the web of chaos in which my brain usually operates.
another aspect of music that inspires me is the way one word might set in motion a train of thought that leads somewhere i had never explored before. an idea, a notion, a self-discovery. the power of music is amazing to me. it allows creative growth but keeps me all aligned all at the same time.
this is where the filtering comes in. sometimes (most of the time when it involves music) the idea is great and something i should really take into consideration for my business or personal growth. i jot it down in my inspiration journal. then after i'm done with what i'm doing, (thanks to cassie for this great bit of advice) i come back to it and reevaluate. does it still sound as good? is it overdone? would i buy it? is it something i'd be proud to claim as my own, be it a product, a behavior, or a blog post - it has to be something i will stand behind 120% or i just can't commit to it.
if it just an errant thought i will let it go. if it is important it will show up again in the future. i'm sure of it.
chatting with friends
the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. i find great resources and inspiration in the blog world and through some of my best blogging buddies. i cherish this resource and all the information it provides. however, the answers i find on the internet from people who are going through a similar phase in life are exactly the same thing, over and over again. they don't produce the same results for me, so why do i keep trying it that way?
when i reach this point of crazy frustration, i just need an outsider perspective.
sometimes i turn to my husband. he is always grounded and is always good at reminding me where my priorities lie, pushing me to keep my faith first. i very easily let other things slide in front of that. (do you have that problem too?) i'm always thankful for his insight and encouragement because having him on my side of the ring is SO very important to me.
a lot of the time, though, i reach out to my friend rhiann. she is not a blogger and doesn't have a handmade business. i would say she is "just" a friend, but she is definitely more than that to me. she is level-headed, money-minded (she is an accountant! :)), and always helping me to see the best in myself, even if she doesn't realize it. conversations with her usually lead to my brain finally realizing what my heart has been trying to say me all along. (see conversation above.) and boy howdy - she believes in my like no other. she will never know how much i appreciate that.
the point i am making here is that, while it is certainly helpful to be banded together with people who do know what you are going through, it is also helpful for someone to show you what it is like outside the blogger box.
these are just a couple of the many places i find inspiration daily (heck, hourly might be a better description!). but these are always places where i get GREAT inspiration - and that is the best kind to have, isn't it??