If you sell handmade then you have probably dealt with "creative rut" at some point in time. Thankfully at the moment for me, this is not one of those times! However, when my brain fails me (usually at the least convenient time) there are a few things I have up my sleeve to muddle towards the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm sure a few of these things can help you too!
|To design. Dragonfly Summer Necklace|
|A page from my inspiration journal|
Stockpile. This goes hand in hand with what I said above. When you are in a creative mood and thoughts and ideas are flying through your head, take note of each and every one even if you don't have a complete thought nor the time to build upon them. These are the seeds that can be grown later. I always have several half drawn (or failed) jewelry and painting ideas in my sketchbook from one of my mad brainstorming moments and they have saved me more than once when I had little motivation to think of new ideas. If you do have the time to make your thoughts come to life then create, create, create! I almost always have more items on hand than I actually have listed in my Etsy shop. Why don't I list all them at once? For starters, I don't like flooding my shop with 10 new items all at once and then have to spend God knows how long promoting each and every one of them without appearing spammy. I keep all new items as draft listings in my shop and I'll publish 2-3 a week and this gives me enough to work with and keep things fresh for about a month without me having to work my butt off to keep up. If a new item falls out of season before I get to list or I create a a summer item in the winter, then I just wait till that season comes up and I list it then.
|I don't see a bee on a flower. I see an awesome color combo of orange, yellow and olive|
Look around you. Pay attention to everything. I draw most of my inspiration from nature and I'm a highly visual artist, so I see the world in terms of color, texture and form rather than an object in its entirety. I take photos of everything, which annoys my husband when we're trying to take a walk (he no longer waits for me). I've also been known to stash away ridiculous amounts of paint chips from the paint store when there was no painting project in the works. Those paint chips are wicked awesome for planning a color theme for a new design. However, I've found an even better alternative (that won't annoy the paint mixing clerk, who acts like you're taking from his personal paint chip stash) with a site called Design Seeds with ready made palettes for you to download. Hi, my name is Heather and I'm a Design Seeds addict. I'm beyond help I'm sure.
|Spring Blossom, colors picked from a Design Seeds palette|
Ask and you shall receive. Another way to get ideas is to simply ask for them. Ask your fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter what they'd like to see more of from you or if they'd like to see different colors in a particular design, etc. Your fans and followers are the people who have made your business possible, so give them an opportunity to become part of your design process.
Are there any other tips or tricks you use for your creative process?