I just became a member of Etsy Metal, and one of the challenges that they promote is to blog about a given subject each month. This month's subject is "Create an inspirational 20 things to do to kick start creativity." So, here are my 20!
1. Keep communication lines open. Talk to creative people and bounce ideas off of them.
2. Always be on the lookout for good design. Whether it is jewelry, architecture, furniture, etc. If you like something enough, take a picture and archive it.
3.Participate in activities that challenge you to think creatively. Join a club like Etsy Metal, SNAG, Crafthaus, or something as simple as reading and writing blogs on the subject.
4. Take an "inspirational walk" get some fresh air. Get your legs and arms moving. This will help get your brain moving as well.
5. Meditate. Close your eyes and picture yourself working in your space. I do this every chance I get. It's like counting sheep for me when I can't sleep.
6. Subscribe to inspirational magazines. Metalsmith, Craft, Jewelry Artist.
7. Seek out new books. Sign up for an account with Amazon and type in books that you own. They will recommend similar publications for you to check out. BE A BOOK STALKER! Search the wish lists of artists you admire and see what they are asking for. This is a great way to find inspirational publications! (No one has to know).
8.Be a blog stalker! Find out what blogs your favorite artists are bookmarking.
9.Be an Etsy stalker! Find out what shops your favorite artists are "hearting".... you get the idea?
10.Participate in challenges. Etsy metal offers daily, weekly, monthly project challenges. Art Jeweler is always asking for sketch submissions. Participate in as much as you can.
12. Give yourself plenty of "play time" with your materials. Sometimes the best designs happen when you have no clue what you're doing. Let the materials guide your decisions.
13. Make your workspace comfortable. Take time to clean it if you can't stand clutter. Find music that offers the best working mood for you.
14. Sometimes just sitting at your bench will help kick start motivation. When you don't feel like working, force yourself to just sit in your space.
15. Remove distractions. I've learned to keep my laptop out of my studio if I need to get serious work done. Turn your phone off if you have to as well.
16.Take workshops whenever possible! I know they are expensive, but save up, and deduct the expenses!
17. Make friends with colleges and universities that offer metalsmithing and jewelry design courses. Friend them on FaceBook. Go to their art openings. See if they have guest lectures/ workshops open to the public.
19. Force yourself to learn a new technique. This opens up more design possibilities for you and will increase your knowledge and skills.
20.SKETCH! This is a big one that I need to practice more. Draw every idea that comes to mind. Even the bad ones, and never throw out a notebook! As you grow as a metalsmith, sometimes ideas from old sketches will "click" later on. A good design that was previously beyond your skill level could now be a piece of cake to produce.
If you like my ideas, check out the other participants of the blog carnival to see what they have to say!