eight ways to find creative inspiration

I am often asked how I come up with the various projects on this site, and how I manage to stay inspired with all that I do. The fall is an especially busy time, and for whatever reason, it’s the time of year I find myself most inspired. I laughed last week when talking with a friend about how I’ve got a jam packed calendar of projects lined up through the end of the year, and every night a new one seems to pop into my head.

Incase you were wondering, or looking to be inspired yourself this season, here are eight no-fail activities I often do for a quick dose of inspiration.

1. Do something different

I always seem to find new inspiration when I break up my current routine. Read a new genre, go to a new event, eat at a new restaurant, explore a new craft, or go to a new park with the kids. Enliven your senses to new experiences, and you will pick up inspiration as you go. Routine is the enemy of creativity.

2. Walk (or bike) a new neighborhood

This tip could easily be translated as: travel. Experiencing new cultures is the single most inspiring thing a creative person can do. However, with toddlers, a business, and everyday life, it is not always possible for us to jet set around the world (although Italy 2013 is coming soon!). In the meantime, I have found exploring a new neighborhood in my own town to be quite inspiring.

3. Read international magazines

I try to make time once every couple weeks to catch up on the latest issues of my favorite international magazines. I find the realm of exposure is higher there, since many American magazines take their stories from the same sites I read daily. When reading them, go beyond the explicit and write down inspiring photographers, stylists, and products to research later. Many of my conceptual ideas, pins, and links come from exploring this world of media.

4. Expose yourself to art

Museums are great – a trip to one this spring inspired the accordion hats. Concerts, dance, sculpture: anywhere you can find art around you- soak it up and jot down what you love for later.

5. Shop vintage

One of my favorite activities to do when looking for inspiration is to shop vintage stores. Walking around dreaming about repurposing items and seeing the designs of the past have a way of really jogging my current creative side. Never skip the book section! Home design pre-1980 is crazy fun to read and always inspires a new project or two for me.

6. Drink coffee and lay in bed until 3am

This one happens more often by mistake when I forget that caffeine after 2pm is grounds for insomnia. My most creative ideas come when my body is at rest and my mind is racing, like hanging cakes in the trees or making milk hearts. Next time you are up past midnight try thinking about an upcoming project. Just be sure to erase the 40% of crazy when you awake the next morning.

7. Go for a drive

Driving has a very cathartic effect on my mind. It redirects the left side of my brain and allows the right (creative side) to go crazy. On the show 30 Rock, Jack Donaghy calls it the shower principle. Take a very long drive if you need a burst of creative genius.

8. Get to work

The ever unpopular answer, but it is always true! If you want to work on being more creative then get to work. Start making something and you will be instantly inspired and motivated in the process. Turn off Pinterest and turn on your glue gun to see real inspiration take place.

This post is the start of a new series I’ll be sharing glimpses of my life/business and tips I’ve learned about freelance and blogging. Hope you like it. xoxo

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Posted September 07, 2012
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9 Responses to “eight ways to find creative inspiration”

  1. Hope says:

    I love it Victoria! Thank you for taking the time to share. I especially find the “do something different” effective when my mind is a hamster wheel of one subject. So happy for you guys re: Italy too :)

    One more: meet a friend for coffee (I always end up grabbing my notebook).

    • Victoria says:

      Hope, yes of course! Metting a friend for coffee is a wonderful addition to this list. I definitely need to make more time for doing that this fall:)

  2. Alison says:

    Thank you so much for the tips! I agree, the majority of my ideas come when I am trying to go to sleep…then when I come up with the ideas I am too excited which makes me stay up until like 2am!

    xo
    Alison

    http://heartofgoldandluxury.blogspot.com

  3. Thank you for sharing it with us! Very inspiring and true specially number 6: Drink coffee and lay in bed until 3am :D

  4. Thank you so much for your ideas! I will sometimes listen to classical music too, it also helps get things rolling.

  5. I always get creative ideas when I’m in a mindless, routine activity like dish washing or waiting to fall asleep. Thanks for all these tips!

  6. I love these, thank you! I agree–routine is a creativity killer. And insomnia often provides great ideas :)

  7. how2home says:

    This is such a great list…..my bf and I we love to browse around to gather inspirations for our home and for event planning/ Such a great way to open your eyes to a whole new world thats out there. Great list!

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