Quilters, especially art quilters, are always looking for inspirations. But sometimes, you just do not find it around you easily. Here are some ways you can go look for inspiration when it doesn't come to you.
I never thought I would recommend meditation to anyone, ever. But I have been practicing it since the beginning of this year regularly and have found myself to be more focused and more inspired. Often we feel uninspired is because our mind is not stable. We have too much going on in our minds. We need to take a step back, slow down and get our thoughts in order. So download a guided meditation app and get started, NOW.
2. Go for a walk or a run - OUTSIDE!
Walking, or running, provides us with an opportunity to communicate with ourselves. As you settle into a rhythm, your brain is having these wonderful conversations with your mind. Sometimes they're arguing, sometimes they are reminiscing and sometimes they are just bantering. Out of these conversations, comes inspiration for your work! As with meditation, your head is cleared and you can think better and create better!
The time when you're stuck is the best time to go and play! It could be a game of bowling on your Nintendo, playing with your little one or even a jigsaw puzzle. Whatever it is that tickles your brain, do it! Playing releases pleasure hormones in our bodies. And it makes us feel adventurous and excited. Seize this elation and start working!
4. Buy something new!
Getting a new tool or some new material (fabric shopping!!!) always inspires us to use it. We get all charged up and our brain starts getting ideas to use our newest acquisition. No budget for shopping? Here's a secret tool that I use. Virtual Window Shopping. Visit your favorite online store. Set yourself a budget (lets make it realistic!) and start selecting stuff like you would if you were actually buying it. After you have finished 'shopping', go to the checkout and if the store has an option to email yourself the cart, do that. If not save the cart or just close the window. This will give you the same pleasure as actual window shopping (maybe a tad bit less) and you will be on a creative high for a long time.
This one works almost EVERY time. More often because I find a long lost WIP as I dig into my shelves and bins and get going from there. Clear your table and arrange your fabric the way you like to. Clean and organize your sewing room. Designate a place for everything in the room and put it in that place. Clean and oil your machine. Get everything ready for the moment when inspiration strikes and before you know it, it will!
6. Check your old Ideas!
Go to Pinterest and check your oldest pins! Look what you had wanted to do for a long time and see if it triggers something inside your mind. I love seeing what I was thinking years back (I joined Pinterest long back when it was an 'invitation' based platform). And often, it inspires me to do something. I also go and check my old sketchbooks. I have made so many sketches that if I were to sell every quilt that I sketched, I would be the world's richest person. But a little peep into the memory lane always inspires me when I'm down.
7. Revisit your success!
Did a quilt win you an award? Or maybe it was a huge hit when you shared it on social media? Or it is the one that makes you feel proud of yourself? Make it again, with something different! Use different techniques or material or even color! Not enough time to make it again, make smaller version of it. Or maybe use a technique to make it faster? Think of all alternatives that you can to add a twist to it!
8. Participate in a challenge or a swap.
A swap or a challenge is a perfect solution to get out of your comfort zone. It will make you play with colors that are not your first choice and look at what the other person wants or expects rather than what you want. Some of the best work that I have created has come from challenges and swaps!
9. Take a break.
If nothing else is working maybe you just need the break and you should take it. Just stay away from your work for a while. Catch up with friends or your favorite TV shows or even on your sleep! It always helps to rest your body so that when inspiration strikes at 3 am you are ready for it!
10. Just work.
Sometimes nothing works, and you just HAVE TO finish the quilt for a client. In that case, stop expecting to be creative and push yourself to just do the job. Use a coordinated fabric bundle if you have to, or even (gasp!) a pattern! Use something that does not require your creative input and push forward! We all have our down moments and that just means, the down slope is ending soon (at the lowest point - duh!) and things will be picking up!
I hope my ideas will help you get out of a creativity block and find the inspiration to make wonderful quilts - not just quilts, but any art for that matter!
Did it work for you? Do you have any ideas that you are willing to share with us here today?