Five ways to be creatively inspired by others:

I get a lot of questions about creative block (something we’ll talk about more another day!) as well as “ok but HOW do I take a project I find inspiring and apply it to my own creations? Today I want to give you a five ideas.

  1. Use the design. The best way in my opinion is to either sketch or doodle what the elements are. See the design of the project. Why? If you love it so much know what you’re loving and see the elements. OR… sketch and discover you don’t love the design at all, but the specific products/photos/etc the individual used. This can save a lot of frustration “why can’t I make something like —- did?”
  2. Color me happy. Color combinations including textures and metallic hues and more often inspire me and I can often find something in the store or on Instagram that makes me go “Oh!” and off and running with colors. The inspiration will have nothing to do with what I actually make.
  3. Try a technique. Most techniques will work across a variety of projects. So the next time you think “that’s cool but I don’t make — projects” think again. Ask yourself “how can —- work for what I’m doing?” and don’t be afraid to test and try ideas.
  4. Try a new style. If it’s lots of layers or starkly minimalist, be inspired by a style not your own. It can really help you grow creatively.
  5. Go ahead, lift it.  Find a project that features product(s) that you have and replicate it. I’m a HUGE fan of this especially if you’re not confident or something is new. Why? Because you will learn what you like and don’t as well as what works for you and believe it or not – it can help to develop your own style. As you create you may think “I don’t like —- or I prefer to —-“. Make note and adjust for your own preferences next time around.

Overall whether a craft project or something you see in a shop and think “that gives me an idea…” inspiration is ever flowing! Thanks to sites like pinterest – a place by the way that produces NO content of its own, but that has served as a huge cork board of inspiration all over the web we are able to find new to us and inspiring creations by clever individuals as well.

Want to see me talking substitutions and inspirations even more? I’ve got a free class with (affiliate links used) – and you can see not only techniques but ideas and examples of the techniques in use. Maybe it’ll inspire you! Check it out and sign up free here. 

Have your own tricks and tips for being inspired by others? Do share! I’d love to hear and I’m sure others would as well.

23 thoughts on “Five ways to be creatively inspired by others:”

  1. All great ideas in this blog post. I think learning and trying a new technique and also trying to replicate a project works well for me. Also, personally I enjoy Scrapbooking “Challenges” like “Create a layout with two pictures, five pieces of patterned paper, a tag and a stamp” etc, because those challenges get me thinking in a new direction I wouldn’t have originally thought of. I usually like those completed challenge layouts more than if I had just sat down with all my supplies but no real plan.

  2. Hi May, I really loved your free class on One of my favorite things about your classes is how you always promote substitutions. That is very helpful when you are kind of new to the mixed media world.

  3. I wish I could remember who had suggested this, or even where I heard it– perhaps on a scrapbooking podcast. Someone suggested taking a scrapbook magazine and going through it cover-to-cover– and using each page (or each project) to inspire a project of your own. It could be a complete scrap-lift, or just one tiny thing on the project to spark a project of your own (a title, a color scheme, the way an embellishment was used, even the topic of the project…). I thought this was a really cool way to get the most of those beautiful magazines– even older ones could still inspire fresh, modern layouts.

  4. Thanks for sharing your tips! I’ll be sure to check out the class too~!

  5. I am a fan of scrap lifting. Love the ideas to get jumpstarted. I find putting on some good loud music helps me!

  6. when I get stuck- sometimes it’s because my work space is cluttered and I just need to clear it off. In doing so I usually run across something that stalls my cleanup and gets the creativity going. Not wanting to lose that inspiration- needless to say- my craft space rarely gets all cleaned up LOL

    If I’m in a lull- I go to Pinterest and do searches. Some of my favorite topics are landscape quilts or stained glass. Somehow the artistry of these 2 mediums really get the ideas going. Altho- like May said- that inspiration isn’t directly related to what I make. But it is what gets the gears turning.

  7. I have bouts of extreme creativity and energy followed by “what shall I do now”
    Often you tube helps get me motivated to try something, but more often it inspires me to BUY something.
    Other times, I just need a nap.

  8. i think i’ve tried all of these at some point or another….i love to look at other people’s projects…they are ALWAYS inspiring, even if i determine i won’t use any of the ideas. Creative people are amazing!

  9. Great post! In the old days I had a paper file of ideas, now I save or pin ideas and go back and look when I need inspiration. Most times it is for color or detail.I also use my own things for inspiration, it sits on my desk until I figure out what to do with it.

  10. I have tried all 5 of your ideas listed and they have been very helpful. I have also saved loads of ideas from magazines and have even taken photos of my TV on hold and put them into a notebook. What a resource for inspiration!

  11. I love your idea of SUBSTITUTIONS!!! I have a large and extensive stash to grab from, but even some of my own ideas I don’t have everything I need! LOL. I try to use what I have!

  12. I need to work hard on the substituting what I have idea. That could really be a whole new way of looking at inspiration. My pocketbook & I Thank you!

  13. I like #1 on your list – determining if you like the actual design or just the photos and products. That would save a lot of time, figuring that out first.

  14. Personally you have been a big source of inspiration for me over the years! And I always have looked forward to your classes. Will definitely check out the ones! Thank you as always!!!!

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