12 ways to inspire creativity

What fuels the creative process? I think there are as many answers to that as there are creative people. If you read this article, it maintains it is sleeping enough and eating right.  Maybe! For me, there are times when creativity just flows on its own. Other days I have to spark it, light my own creative fire.  I am going to examine both ways plus give suggestions how to inspire creativity in writing and sewing.

inspre3My most common method is to let my brain just float, not think about it and see what pops out. Unfortunately, lots of other thoughts can pop into my head when I am trying to just free my mind. I keep a pad next to my bed because my mind is the most free just as I am falling asleep or when I wake up in the night.

I saved my middle of the night notes for the last three times I've experienced creativity this way.  Last summer, I wanted to make a tablet sleeve and was trying to figure out the best way to go about it.  I literally woke up with this idea in my head. I quickly sketched it and the next day, sewed it up.inspre4

Does it look like my raw idea? To me it does but that's because I know what was in my head. Also I am giving myself some slack because I know what a bad artist I am!

I also had an idea in the middle of the night for a quilt for Zara. inspre1

My idea is on the paper and the quilt is pictured on the bench.

inspre2

So for me, I think that inspiration comes when I put all the elements into my brain and let them percolate.  Then the creative idea sortof pops out like toast from a toaster.

Those are my favorite sort of creative experiences. Other times I really have to work it. I try to sew, write and make quilt memes or ecards each day and at times, it's hard.  Here are 12 ways to inspire creativity that I use.

1. Surround myself with stimuli. I open all the cabinet doors and look at all my fabric.

2. Look at past creative works. If I am trying to write, I read past posts. If I am trying to sew, I look through my personal quilt books with pictures of all my quilts. Sometimes a bit of past creativity will spark my brain again.

3.  Flip through magazines. Sometimes a picture will just light my brain up.

4. Look at quilt books. Other people's creative moments might get my juices going.

5. Read anything. I love words and writing, they inspire me. I read blogs, newspapers, books or random things on the internet. It zaps my own brain.

6. Collect odd pictures on the internet.  I look at them and just start making memes, which are really lame, but they carry me along and I end up with some good ones. Or not!

7. Write down words I like. I open a post and just put some words I might use in it, see if I can find some interesting ones that I very often delete once I have jump started my brain.

8. Sew using a pattern. I don't always have to create my own sewing project, I can follow a pattern which sometimes makes me become more creative as I am sewing and I switch things around.

9. Look at art books. Have you ever pondered really exquisite works of art? Talk about creativity, it is embedded in there and can carry you along.

10. Look through my own photo albums. Think about funny events from the past, what makes me laugh? How would I tell that story? What does that lead to?

inspre511. Color, expose my brain to color. I have some amazing threads in gorgeous colors.

12. Sew, write or make memes anyway. Just sew something, anything. Write words, any words. The kindling sometimes starts the fire.

By this time, it's usually time for bed. inspre6 Maybe I will have an inspired dream or all this stirring the pot will create an idea like I had for this quilt back.

When it all works, creativity in words or fabric make me Sew happy!

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My blue and white vintage quilts inspire me. I wrote about it once. You can read it here!

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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at QuiltingSewingCreating@gmail.com

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