Creative people are not just born with hundreds of ideas in their head that must come out. For most of us, creativity comes through practice and often times being observant of things around us and wondering if we can duplicate something similar or make something new out of an object. It takes practice to look at things differently and to think outside of the box. Just as a writer must write often and be dedicated to getting better, a creative person, whether in art, fashion, home decor, or crafts, must constantly be looking for new creative inspiration. I find creative inspiration through some of my favorite sources.
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5 Ways I Find Creative Inspiration For My Next Project
I am a creative person, but I have to work at it.
Ironically, I am also a natural left-brained person who thinks logically and in straight lines and rules – hence my former career in computer programming. This often means, I thrive on repetition and order and exact form and perfection (okay just call me OCD) and sometimes that part of my brain gets in the way of my creativity.
The perfect interior design for a new project just doesn’t fall in to my mind like divine intervention. Most of the time I take the cues from the architecture design of the house itself and then turn to some of my favorite sources of creative inspiration to get my mind focused on solutions for a style or look.
For example, I am currently trying to update the decor in my master bathroom. I sort of “know” what look and feel I want for the room, but I need to mentally work out the details through some of my go to sources of creative inspiration.
So what are my most used sources for creative inspiration?
First up, Magazines!
Does anyone else love home decor and DIY magazines as much as I do?
Even though they are available online, I still look forward each month to the array of monthly magazine subscriptions to arrive in my mailbox. I refuse to give them up. I look through them and read the articles at least twice before they are stored in the magazine basket for a year.
At the first of each year, I painstakingly and patiently go through every monthly issue again to tear out pages for inspiration. I then put those pages in sheet protectors and store then in my fabric covered inspiration binders. I add post it notes and ideas notes to the pages for future reference.
With almost every new project I start in my home, I browse through my inspiration binders to collect those notes and pages. If I am definitely using an idea page, or it is the inspiration for my own twist on an idea, then those pages get but in the binder for the new project. See my Design Notebook posts here.
One of my most favorite sources of creative inspiration is Pinterest!
What did we ever do before Pinterest? I use Pinterest so much these days for not only inspiration for home improvement projects, but also for recipes, crafts, inspirational quotes, bible studies and of course blogging. It is often my first go to source when I am trying to figure something out for a craft project or just to learn more about a particular subject like SEO and blogging traffic.
Pinterest keeps me inspired, keeps me informed, and provides a source of constant inspiration.
Linkups and blog parties.
As a blogger, I am a co-host of a weekly linkup party at Home Matters Linky Party. Through this weekly party I have created lasting online friendships but also get to visit so many other talented bloggers in the recipe, home improvement, and craft industries.
However, I also participate in many other weekly linkup parties and visit lots of other bloggers. I enjoy their stories, fill my Pinterest and Tailwind feed with their ideas, and have tried so many new recipes that my husband often asks if a new recipe I have prepared that night is from a blog.
For me, linkups and blog parties are not just a way to get my own posts seen. Every week, I try hard to find other creative posts for inspiration. It is also a time to encourage another blogger on their journey by visiting their post or make a comment.
Thrift stores and antique stores.
I can spend hours in a good thrift store.
Just walking through the isles and finding potential new projects or treasures that bring up memories of my childhood is one of my happy places. It’s about finding something that needs just a little bit of tender loving care, or a complete makeover, that then becomes a unique conversation piece in my home decor.
Something that can’t be found in a mass produced home decor store.
But don’t get me wrong, I visit those stores too. They are a great source of new trends and fun styles on the market and that is why they are also on my list for creative inspiration.
Specialty gift store and shops.
While I love thrift stores and antique stores the most for inspiration, I will never turn my back on new and trendy gift shops and home decor stores. Online stores are even better!
They can be a great source for display inspiration, current trends, and new color choices.
It is like keeping your pulse on the main stream design trends but learning how to use them for your own personal style instead of buying them because they are the current trend only.
Current trends in home decor are important to pay attention to, but never fully follow.
If you can appreciate the latest decor style in pillows for your sofa and fabric colors for chairs, but at the same time know that you don’t see that in your home. That is okay.
Trends will always come and go. Pick what you know will have a longer shelf life in your home than the next trend that will arrive in three months.
Magazines, thrift stores, Pinterest, gifts shops and other bloggers are the best sources of creative inspiration.
This brings me back full circle to magazines. Magazines and home decor stores kind of go hand in hand. They are great sources of styles and trends and what styles are popular at this moment and can inspire your new living room design.
And notice I said inspire – not dictate.
All of the sources I use for creative inspiration are just that – inspiration. They get my creative thoughts flowing and open my mind to new ideas that I can work with to make my own.
Through these 5 sources, and others that I come across along the way, I am continuously nurturing my need for creative inspiration and learning so many new things at the same time.
Never stop learning and find your own sources of creative inspiration.
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24: 3-4