Use It Or Lose It - Inspiration Sundays

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I want to try a newish layout for my Inspiration Sundays, going with a template of sorts. Instead of a haphazard list of ten things, I'm listing inspiration sourced from various categories: inspiring music, quote, artist, movie, etc. I think this will help both narrow it down and provide a well-rounded list, so that maybe you'll find something that you connect with, something to help light that creative fire.

Disclaimer: I do not take credit for any of the photos or work I share in this post, unless otherwise noted, and photos include clickthru links back to the source.

Inspiring Quote

In other words, use it or lose it. Creativity is like a muscle, it needs to be exercised! Draw, write, journal, play, practice, explore... one of the best ways to boost your creativity is use it every day.

Inspiring Photo/Colors - Peacock

Click on the image for the source of the photo. I threw this into photoshop and used an eyedropper tool to get most of the main colors in there. It's funny, looking at that strip, those color combinations look like they'd be an eyesore, but somehow it works! Starting with this Inspiration Sunday post, I'd like to include a photo and a color palette with it. Sometimes inspiration doesn't necessarily come from the subject matter, but from the colors within.

Inspiring Music - Stellamara

I am really loving Stellamara these last two weeks. I could easily spend hours working on my felt with this music, a nice cuppa tea, a lovely candle on my desk... Being a mom to two little ones, my life gets a bit chaotic. This is my outlet, my way to relax and rejuvenate. 

Inspiring Artist (and book) - Maira Kalman

Maira's self portrait

Maira's self portrait

Maira Kalman is one of my favorite artists. Her art is raw and real, whimsical without being cutesy about it. She's an incredible storyteller, and I highly recommend picking up at least one of her books, in fact, I own The Principles of Uncertainty myself and love flipping through it from time to time. Reading her books is like getting the chance to flip through her personal (illustrated) diary, each page following her incredible train of thought, full of tangents and random anecdotes about her personal life, history, friends and strangers. It's like going on a coffee break with a friend and people watching as she tells you what's going on in her life. Her illustrations have such character to them, are so incredibly lifelike, perfect in their own way without being a perfectionist. There's no worry about perspective and getting the shape or proportions down just right, the faces aren't realistic portraits, but none of that matters. The story her illustrations tell, that's what's important. Her books remind you that you don't have to find the perfect subject - let go of your perfectionism, and draw what you know. Seriously. There's a spread with paintings of garbage cans in Paris. If you're looking to add to your collection of art books that you can pick up and flip through for creative inspiration, I recommend having at least one of Maira Kalman's books on your shelf. 

Inspiring Felt Art - Waves Grey by Marjolein Dallinga

"Waves Grey" by Marjolein Dallinga

"Waves Grey" by Marjolein Dallinga

This is an art piece by one of my artist role models, Marjolein Dallinga. She may be one of the first fine felt artists I came across when I first started felting and considering expanding my knowledge, experience and craft using this medium, and definitely someone I look up to in following in her footsteps to some extent. It was her story that really caught my attention, because it's so similar to mine. She was an artist prior to becoming a mother, but once she had children she found it difficult to find the time or space to paint. Sticking to smaller projects, she took a class in felting and started out making toys, but then found that she was able to express herself much like she did with paint. Recently she was commissioned to make costumes for Cirque du Soleil. I feel like I could be writing that same bio 10-15 years from now. This is also why I'm trying to share felting with others, especially other parents. It's such a great medium for self-expression, but far less messy, time consuming (or rather, much easier to put down when you need to step away for a moment), and does not take a lot of space. It's so easy to do around kids. Best of all, kids seem to be really drawn to felting (that's been my experience) so you can get your whole family involved.

Inspiring (Fiber) Art Project - Quilted Tea Cups

This is actually a sewing pattern that you can purchase from Laurraine Yuyama's shop (click on the image to go to her post). I found her through a google search on teacups, since I'm working on my next whimsical wool painting tutorial of a bird sitting on a teacup. Isn't this adorable? I may consider making some at some point for my daughter, and I think a set of these would be a great addition to any child's play kitchen. It's also a great source of inspiration to look outside the box and maybe recreate what seems like a simple, everyday object out of an unusual material or different medium.

Inspiring Video - Lidia Yuknavitch

Today, I shared a journal prompt on IG about being different, so I wanted to include Lidia's TED talk about being a misfit in today's Inspiration Sunday post. She has an incredible story and lesson that I think is worth watching for anyone, especially for those of us who identify as misfits ourselves, or as she put it "missed fitting in." 

"Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful," she says. "You don't know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That's your beauty."

Inspiring Movie - Mirrormask

On an art blog, there's no way I could forget to include this gem of a movie. Honestly, I can't say I've ever seen anything remotely similar to this, and if you watch the trailer above, you'll probably think the same thing. Not to mention it was written by none other than my favorite author Neil Gaiman. What would happen if you created an entire imaginary world and then found yourself stuck inside? 

Inspiring Story - Kids Build A Floating Football (soccer) Field

This is a great story of overcoming obstacles in order to fulfill your dreams. And in this case, what an obstacle! A true story of creativity (remember when I wrote that creativity is another word for the ability to think up solutions to problems?), not only did they figure out how to build their own space to practice using the resources they had on hand, they also learned what it means to put in the hard work and train to get what they wanted. I won't spoil it for you!

Inspiring Blog - HandsFreeMama

Click on the image above to be taken to the blog, in particular the post about the index card which I think is especially inspiring and teaches a great lesson. Hands Free Mama is one of my top favorite blogs to go and give myself a reality check when I find myself getting too caught up in my work and need to be reminded of the important things in life. Work-life balance is one of the hardest things to figure out, and yet here's a momtrepreneur who not only runs a successful blog, has written several books, but also has an incredible relationship with her family and friends. If you're having difficulty separating yourself from your work in order to spend time with your loved ones, I HIGHLY recommend giving this blog a read. And while you're there, pick up her books as well. I have two of them that I'm working through right now. I know I certainly have a hard time with this and need constant reminders not to forget to pay attention to one of the biggest reasons why I am doing this (my blog, my business) in the first place - my family.