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.

teenmag

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

Finding Creativity in a Block

So you’re in a block? You’re staring at the screen, your sketchpad, a canvas, the keyboard with disgust. Why can’t your ideas spill out onto the paper as brilliantly as they did yesterday?

In having a creative job I’ve found quite a few ways of my own as well as received some useful advice which has helped me find my creativity when it seems to be lost.

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Take a Nap

Really?? I know this seems a little lazy but taking time out for a 15-30 minute break or nap can sometimes help significantly! If I find I’m stuck and getting no where on a project sometimes I’ll go lay down for a few minutes so I can start a new upon waking.

If you can’t imagine taking a nap, just take a break. Have a cup of tea or coffee and relax. Read a few pages of the current book you’re reading. When you come back you’ll be ready to tackle the project from a new angle.

Brainstorm

An absolute favorite of mine when I’m feeling uninspired. Grab a sketch pad, feel free to include one or more friends, and sit and ramble off new ideas — your great idea might just be waiting to be let out.

Music Session

Listen to music, take a walk, sing your favorite song. Sometimes getting into the rhythm can inspire you to get motivated on your project. Not only that but both music and walks are absolutely inspiring!

Sketch in an Idea Book

Grab a notebook and sketch some ideas out. If you’re a writer just start writing some text and see where it takes you. Often I have absolutely no idea where I’m going but when I start the project just happens. This is especially true when I’m crafting, it works on all levels. Don’t expect this try to be genius, just start.

Sketch any ideas you have and as you have them, paste fabrics and color palettes you find while you’re out. Check this book out later when you need new ideas.

Meditate

Again, sometimes the answer to your question is just waiting inside for you to find it. Clear your mind and think about things from a new perspective. Visualize the project and outcome. If meditation isn’t something you enjoy, try taking a long, hot bath and doing the same thing.

Don’t be too Critical

Many times if we could have worked out each of our ideas we would have learned quite a lot about the process and geared ourselves up for the next project. Don’t be too quick to say no, give it a try and see how it goes.

Minimalism vs Hoarding and Decadent Interior

If I could just… if this was.. it still doesn’t *feel* right!

I’m often finding myself stuck when designing new layouts for Miseducated — it started so collage heavy as I was using tons and tons of popular icons.. then I started seeing the collage thing EVERYWHERE and it was feeling cluttered so I obviously cut it down… :p I always feel that deconstructing and ridding of any excess is a positive thing.

Now why is this?

My room was very cluttered as a child and I hoped for a day when I would have my own modern, minimalist house.

As you can see my minimalism kind of lost the battle with whimsical nonsense and fantasy candylands. Obviously I find my *greatest* satisfaction in cuteness, well-designed, minimal yet colorful homes (Jeu de Paumes went RIGHT UP my alley, didn’t they yours? ^_~).

.. but is deleting and deconstructing making it better really? Is it just my fucked up sense of things?

I *know* hoarding isn’t healthy, it’s very hard to overcome like any addiction… so does that mean that minimalism is the goal? We simply *must* know! I’m very familiar with hoarding regarding my own life and have studied it extensively in my obsession with psychology and helping myself and those around me.

(… and while we’re at it, why do you *insist* on using asterisks *everywhere*?!

Because I often despise italics, use bold for other things and have a strange need to use the only flower on my keyboard over and over and over! As well as inserting random thoughts that have no relevance to the subject at hand –if anything this NEGATES minimalism–because of course, I am a crazy rambler. With all positives come negatives. ^_~)

Hoarding

Hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them.
Hoarding, also called compulsive hoarding and compulsive hoarding syndrome, can be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
People who hoard often don’t see it as a problem, making treatment challenging.
Mayo Clinic

Minimalism

A twentieth century art movement and style stressing the idea of reducing a work of art to the minimum number of colors, values, shapes, lines and textures. – ArtLex

Funny thing is.. minimalism is many times regarded as ‘rejective art’ and I think of it as ‘perfective’ art — it’s a very tough thing to master correctly — it can be done both very right and very wrong.

A minimal lifestyle… now that’s exactly what I admire. When applying the rules of minimalism to your life and home it helps a lot if you’re moving (I was) or organizing absolutely everything — it’s good to do yearly (*spring*cleaning)!

1. Evaluate your possessions that sit on shelves.
2. Find a place for everything.
3. Enjoy what you have.
Christian PF

Zakka

Another design movement, but in Japan. Generally means improving your environment and seeing beauty in the mundane.

When I see zakka it reminds me almost of a minimalist cuteness and innocence, it is completed with the sweet kitschy illustrations and/or designs that are *just enough* to add color and sweetness into the room. It’s very natural and inspired by country lifestyle.

Which lifestyle do you lean towards? 😉

Gallery

Merci: Landscape Online, Momoy, Christopher Coleman, Elidur, Homepic, SoSuperSam, BKK Home, Zakka Candy