Nurturing and sustaining inspiration

Don’t you love the feeling of being in the flow? When I’m in the flow, ideas for writing and rug design coming easily, I’m able to make decisions in life and business and I feel active and engaged in my life. It feels like being inspired.

I was asked recently how do I get inspired? What inspires me?

For the most part I’m always thinking about writing or design.

As a journal writer and fibre artist, my inspiration for phrases or images comes from a whole lot of places. I am inspired by other artists. Monet is one of my favourite artists.

I am inspired by looking at the world around me – a flower, a bird, or a section of a car tail-light. I love to look at things with an artist’s eye, to look for shape, colour and positive and negative spaces

I am inspired by other writers and thought leaders such as Brene Brown, Tara Mohr and Natalie Goldberg. I’m reading the book Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. I love the chapter called Declare Nothing But Your Genius, where the writer is inspired by another artist to paint watercolour letters on her travels.

Now that I have published my first two books I read with an extra lens, looking at how the work is constructed, how the book is organized, how it flows. It’s very exciting and wonderful and has added a whole new dimension to my enjoyment of reading. It inspires me to write and to work on my craft of writing.

Anything made from fibres inspires me – clothing, weaving, tapestry, yarns – and my impulse is always to touch. As an artist one of the criteria I have for choosing materials is it has to feel good to work with.

When I’m under intense stress (such as when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer) ideas don’t flow as easily. I can feel what I call suspended. When I am in that state of suspension it can be difficult to feel in the flow.

If I am having difficulty making a decision or finalizing a design or a paragraph I often choose to do something that brings me joy. I try to engage in something with no expectations, no pressure to perform. My recent mat Wild Woman Dancing was that type of project. I quickly sketched a woman dancing and tried to put the feeling of freely dancing into the mat. I hooked her body in the seven chakra colours. My plan was just to enjoy hooking this mat. If I didn’t like it I could put it away in the cupboard. As often happens when I approach a creative exercise with no expectations, Wild Woman Dancing has turned out to be a beautiful mat.

Another thing I do to get inspired is to move my body. I love to turn up the volume on the radio and dance for a few minutes. It is surprisingly uplifting and helps me to get out of my head for a short time. Often after dancing I find I can sit down and apply myself to the writing or design task that was giving me trouble earlier.

Walking on a beach, anywhere and in any weather inspires me.  I love to look for sea creatures, listen to the waves and if it is warm enough to feel my bare feet on the sand.

How do you find inspiration? What do you do to nurture your creativity? Send me an email and let me know!