Finding Inspiration to Climb Higher

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I sometimes hear I should find something to do when I’m sitting around puzzling over what’s inspiring me in that moment and which way I should move with it (which appears from the outside to be some sort of boredom or stagnation) but is actually me almost in a living/meditating state. I’m taking everything in around me, iI’m imagining and I’m stalling. I don’t usually move fast with new ideas; In fact I usually move so slow that I tire of them before I even get them finished. I also currently favor the idea that in your worst times (most depressed, most angry, most passionate) you make your greatest discoveries about yourself which in turn shells out some pretty brutally honest and amazing work. (ahem, Eminem)

Why is inspiration such a process? And how do you get inspiration? Sometimes.. I’ll admit.. I actually pull the inspiration and motivation to move ahead with ideas from dreams. I dreamt I finally went to Japan to study which let me to finally decide I would study in Japan while in college. I had to do all of the work to get there; my college didn’t really have any programs in Japan in place at the time. It happened! I couldn’t believe everything went as smoothly as it did (this seems to happen sometimes when you follow your heart — things go smooth and easy). They told me to pick several programs and apply because I might not get the one I want, I chose the one I wanted and didn’t even apply anywhere else. I got accepted.

My host family was the most rad family in the whole program because they also just started so they weren’t sure what to expect either and they had a daughter that was just a bit older than me. So that means lots of shopping, events, festivals, sake and karaoke with friends. They are so wonderful and amazing, I’m glad we’re still in touch. Eri, the daughter, and I practically became real sisters (and our bond is exactly the same after all of these years). That little push I needed to live in Japan as the Japanese do was not just a dream anymore, it was a reality.

Some well-known self-esteem experts, such as Jack Canfield, claim that a way of proving you’re on the right path in life: everything, no matter how hard it at first seems (change is often scary), seems to almost come easily and moves along smoothly. Now I’m not saying you’re likely to avoid obstacles if you follow your dreams. Because, in my experience, often times the harder something is to get, the more worth or value it carries. So whether obstacles get in the way or not, always be prepared for them. I’m only saying it feels right.. you just know it’s the way you’re supposed to go. There will likely be obstacles but not impossible ones, rather they are empowering ones.

I also dreamt (No, I do not live in a Dream Castle.) I started a store downtown (dream come true) and a magazine with friends and found happiness and fulfillment in that. I’m an artist and designer first and foremost. When I finally dropped News/Editorial from my major I felt a little remorse, but sadly not enough. Somehow writing was not something I was after anymore, it didn’t feel right anymore. So what did I do anyway? I took heed from my dream and started this mega blogazine that you’re staring at right now. I opened a connected shop and sold pendants, original artwork, prints and the most random handmade gifts. I (sort of) started working towards making that dream a reality.

If fact sometimes dreams you once had come floating back as if reminding you to keep on your journey but to perhaps try another route. Sometimes to become who you want to be you have to re-harness some of your past, favorable qualities that you let fall to the wayside. For instance recently I was obsessing over these more recent prints and images I was creating (never released) and now I’m considering listing them at the store here. They were pre-falling-down-the-rabbit-hole-again stage but became a pretty big series in my life for awhile and I actually enjoyed creating them a lot. I found again that I work well with dolls as models and I decided to mix typography in more like my web-based designs thus furthering my interest in print making once more. Finally.

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Some other ways I get inspiration are as follows:
Japanese fashion and interior magazines, vintage woman’s magazines, 20s records, having a cup of black coffee or almond tea to get re-energized, taking a bubble bath with or without a book or candles and champagne, looking through my photo albums, looking through my record collection, hanging out with family & friends, taking a walk, swinging, carrying my camera, listening to electro, writing in my journal or any nearby notebook, getting out a pencil and a blank canvas and, most importantly, love and kisses from my husband and daughter. Every time I have genuine bonding time with my daughter I get an instant dose of inspiration.. I guess that’s why I tend to stay up quite late after her bedtime to work.

So want to pump up the process of getting inspiration by reading a few tips about gaining inspiration from other artists? That’s exactly what I had in mind. Also remember I always ask our featured artists to explain where they get inspiration from.

Need Inspiration?

Four Steps To Finding Inspiration, From An Idea DJ – I especially like the idea of video art, collaging video clips with music and/or audio.
50 Ways to Find Inspiration – I’ve done a lot of these and found some of them that I’d actually like to try. There are tons of great ideas here. I really liked: 31. Ask someone you love what they consider to be the most important thing they’ve ever learned., 34. Ask your parents to tell you what you were like as a child, and remember what mattered to you then. and 40. Spend time with children and see the world through their eyes.. Very positive and inspirational.
16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re In a Slump

Thankful for Monday: Web Gratitude

Gratitude journals are an easy task to add to your day that actually improves your happiness and gratefulness overtime. You begin take notice of what’s really important when you start writing down five things per day that you are thankful for.. whether you have a lot to be thankful for or not so many things.. it should help you evaluate what’s really important in your life for your happiness.

I definately keep a gratitude journal on my iPhone, it even lets you rate the day and attach a photo — great idea for bloggers! Imagine you rating each day and attaching a photo to symbolize it. What makes your days rate 5 (1-5)?

So since gratitude is always awesome I figured I’d attach some for the web world as well. I’m very thankful for the internet — without it my career would not exist. What better way to enjoy the wonderfulness of the world wide web than to appreciate 5 extra special places of interest each week?

Want to see something here? This could be related to humor, entertainment, design, diy, self-help, health, fashion, art,events, your call! If you want to let us know about your own blog or project, be sure to email us and you just might be listed here next Friday!

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PaperCakes Finds (Cutie Girl Style post)
Chelsea is sweeter than sugar-coated gumdrops. When she told me her new finds list was inspired by me I was elated.. and then to see that the actual finds were snatched from my wildest dreams! This is exactly what I love the handcraft world because there is every kind of style, even my style, and they’re all made with the utmost care and precision of an artisan. Custom and one of a kind.

Instead of allowing someone to choose what is on the shelves we are choosing exactly what we want from the world and it makes us all a little bit more appreciative of the wonderful people making these amazing things. More empathy towards others is a huge thing to be thankful for — without it I would not have met many of the amazing people I’ve met on and offline.

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Japan L.A.
One of the absolute cutest and most adorable pop culture shops right in L.A. They promote local artists and Japanese inspiration — two things I’m very passionate about. Absolutely adorable place, when I visited I couldn’t stop finding things to drop into my basket. I even found cute and well-loved gifts for MisterEducated and my best friend while there.

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(Photo Copyright Twinkie Chan)

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Twinkie Chan
If there were a more amazing decadent, pop art food textile designer I would be shocked. She creates adorable accessories that look good enough to eat sweet! Not only is she a diy-diva but she’s also a sweetheart to boot! I guarantee you’ll be drooling after you take a look at her creations!

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Pupe Girl
A tasty little Japanese fashion site that you probably already know about but perhaps not.. you earn accessories and clothing by uploading photos of your own accessories and clothing as well as by participating in the community. It’s a cute Japanese social network based around fashion — what could be better?

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Bento Box Guide
An ‘old skool’ website I was surprised to still find up! It’s a cute little guide on bento boxes and is absolutely aimed towards the beginner, yes even you can make them! So give it a try and be proud of your adorable, healthy lunch.