Put yourself in the way of beauty.
The author Cheryl Strayed's mother told her this as a girl. What a perfect message to teach your child about life.
Put yourself in the way of beauty.
Do you feel like you're in a creative rut? Maybe you're feeling a bit run-down or uninspired?
If so, I've made something just for you: Awaken Your Creativity. This is the first in a series of articles, each of which explores an idea and/or practice you can adopt and incorporate into your creative life right away to get out of a creative rut and start overflowing with inspiration & ideas.
Let's start with inspiration.
Inspiration for Creative Work
I often get asked by quilters-- where do you get inspiration for your quilts?
Inspiration can be found literally everywhere, you don’t have to go far to find it.
Go on regular walks through nature, go to museums, wherever it is for you-- put yourself in the way of beauty, be open to inspiration, and you’ll never have a shortage of ideas.
For me that is in nature, while traveling, at museums, the theatre, particular movies, particular music, certain shops like antique shops or shops with gorgeous displays (like Anthropologie), walking around downtown, just going to a cool and funky coffee shop on a random Tuesday, reading certain books that cause my mind to wander…
Really sit and think about this-- when was the last time you felt expansive, lit up, and excited? Was it at church, during a fabulous meal, the last time you went on vacation, or when you were listening to the soundtrack of Hamilton while on an evening walk?
Find what lights you up, where the muse gives you little nudges and go there as often as possible.
Let Your Work be Different
When you’re putting yourself in the way of beauty-- when you’re seeking out inspiration, try to do this regularly outside of the quilt industry.
The quickest way for your quilts to look like everyone else’s quilts is to only draw inspiration from other quilts.
Don’t get me wrong-- I am constantly inspired by other quilters-- quilt exhibits and books are a huge source of inspiration for me. But all of your inspiration cannot come from the quilt world alone if you want to develop a unique style that is expressive of who you are.
You are not only a quilter. What else do you love? Follow that.
Are you a huge fan of Impressionist painters? Ask yourself, how can I incorporate that same movement and energy they have in their paintings into my quilt?
Do you love the desert? How can you incorporate a desert palette or the stark shapes into a quilt?
Are you a fabulous cook? Perhaps take a look at the gorgeous dinner you made last night and draw inspiration for a color palette.
There are quilts to be made that only you can make.
If you've been feeling a little stuck creatively, this is a perfect place to start.
Go put yourself in the way of beauty-- today. Plan it out right now-- it can be as simple as a walk through your neighborhood to look at lovely landscaping, or planning a trip this weekend to a local museum. Make a plan, and go do it!
This will start to blow out the cobwebs and set the stage for so much creativity to flow in.
This is just the first in my series: Awaken Your Creativity. Be sure you're signed up to get email updates (you can sign up for my newsletter below) so you don't miss the rest of the series. I also have a free workshop coming up that will walk you through how you can grow and develop your own unique quilt-making style. So keep an eye out!
You can get this free Lettering Pattern, here, so you can make your own words, phrases, or names into quilts!
I'd love to hear from you! What lights you up? Where do you go for inspiration? Leave a comment below!