Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Be Inspired to Collaborate

If you are feeling less than inspired, a great way to get the creative juices flowing is to collaborate with another person. The process of sharing ideas, techniques and and the process of compromising on the finished product can really improve you as both an artist and a person. Now don't get me wrong, not every collaboration will end in a masterpiece, but sometimes it's just the process we need to go through to get to a new place artistically. I tend to be a bit of a control freak about my art, so it is good for me to allow someone else's perspective in and to give up a bit of that control. I think the process of collaboration is as important as the finished piece. I find that I am able to see things a little differently, as if I took on some of their perspective by collaborating with them.

Here are some fantastic collaborations I found on Etsy. Just click on each picture to be taken directly to the items listing to learn more about the artists and their work ( or just in case you get the urge to make a purchase!):

Take a little time this week and collaborate with someone else. Think about what you would like to get out of the experience before you decide who to collaborate with. Are you looking to improve a technique or learn a new one? stretch your creative muscles or to mentor a young artist? Do you want it to be easy or a challenge? Also think about how you work creatively, the type of medium you use and the time you have available before starting a collaboration. And finally, remember that the process can teach you as much as the finished piece.

Here's a little collaboration I did with Kyle today. I gave up creative control and he painted and I outlined after he was finished. A fun and inspiring collaboration for us both! Here's a great flickr group to see more collaborations and to show off you own: Art Cooperation.

House Collaboration - Crafting 365/Day 99

Artist credits:
Handspun Yarn (Someone Said Party) - &
Dad Zine - & various artists
Fish Photo Album - &
Gust an original wood cut print- &
Collaboration Necklace - &

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Be Inspired by Winter

Well we finally got some snow last week and it was really nice to feel like winter for a while. Just a couple weeks prior, it was 70 degrees and I was fighting with the boys about wearing coats. The snow didn't last long because it quickly turned to rain and became a slushy mess, but for about 5 hours we had a beautiful snowstorm and about 5 inches of snow to play in. While walking and playing in the snowstorm, I made special note to look out for inspiring sites. The beautiful way the bare trees look covered in snow. Their branches really stood out to me against all the white. The red holy berries covered in a blanket of snow. The birds hunkered down on the electrical wires huddled together and also covered in snow. The mass of snowflakes falling all around. The foot prints we all made in the snow. The different sizes and shapes of the icicles. Inspirations was everywhere. Even though the snow storm didn't last, it left a lasting impression on me and I decided to create a treasury list in it's memory in hopes of inspiring others who may not have experienced "winter" in their neck of the woods.

The look of the stark winter trees has inspired some of my recent pieces too. I created a basic winter tree design and called it "Hibernation" and "Winter's Sleep". The names came from me thinking of the trees as sleeping through the winter. The series includes earrings, cufflinks, a pendant and a magnet set.

I think a lot of us are guilty of not paying attention to the season we are in (at least those of us who still have seasons). In winter we are always longing for spring and summer. In summer we can't wait for the fall cool down and in Fall we look forward to snow and winter. We should probably take a little time to enjoy the season we are in and what it has to offer instead of always looking ahead and wishing for something else. Take a little time this week to appreciate winter, or whatever season you are currently in. Celebrate it's unique qualities. Think about both what you love about it and what you don't like about it. Make note of the foliage and clothing changes. (I know I can't wait till the first day that I have to wear my winter coat and gloves.) Think about the activities that you do in that season. I will be thinking about winter today and hoping for the snow that is forecast for this afternoon.

If it snows where you are, make sure to take some time to catch a snowflake on your tongue, catch a few in your glove to see what they look like before they melt, have a snowball fight, make a snowman or a snow sculpture, lay down and make a snow angel and snap a few pics of winter, so that they can inspire you during any season!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Inspired by a Thesaurus?

One of my New year's resolutions was to blog more consistently and I was so proud to get 2 posts in early last week and thought I was well on track to meet my goal.... then my dh got in a car accident and flipped his truck 3 times. Thankfully he is OK, but the truck is totaled. I have been spending much of my time taking care of him, so my computer time has very much been reduced, but I'm back until the next disaster strikes (feverishly knocks on wood).

I have to start working on my entry for the PCAGOE February "Love" Challenge, so that coupled with almost losing my dh last week has had me thinking and brainstorming about love. I already created some fun things for Valentines Day, so I may incorporate my XOXO design in my piece. I have something in mind, but will I have the time to get it done?

A fellow PCAGOE member, pollyhyper, turned me on to a fun site, Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus that can help you brainstorm visually with words. Just type in a word and the thesaurus will give you some related words that can really help inspire some ideas. Love is a pretty broad word and can be used in several ways and can inspire any number of ideas, but if you are like me, you get too many ideas all at once and need some help narrowing it down. I found the visual "spiderweb" helpful in getting me to narrow my focus. Here is what you get when you when you type in "Love"
Click one of the red dots and you will get a whole new chart. Here is what I got when I selected emotion:

From this chart, the word heartstrings caught my eye and made me think of the phrase "pulling at my heartstrings" and now I have a visual in my head of something I would like to create. I don't know if it I will enter it into the challenge, but either way, this little exercise has helped inspire me to create, which is what I hope it does for you too! So take a little time this week to explore the online thesaurus and see what words inspire you. Create something inspired by the words you choose or find a way to actually incorporate them into your art.

Here are some items I found on Etsy that use words (just click on the picture to be taken to the artists site). I wonder if they used a thesaurus to pick them? A dictionary? Well, no matter where they got their inspiration, their use of words have inspired me:

PS : My new XOXO rings (sort of a word, right?) are featured on Cuteable today. Stop by and leave a comment! This design will also be coming soon to the shop as magnets, cufflinks, hair pins and pendants. So check back often!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Through My Eyes - Art Supplies

Well with the passing holiday season and a little artist in house, we have a lot of new fun art supplies and have created some fun new art. I thought I would share some inspiring pics I took of our new goodies. I recommend taking a little field trip around your studio (or your kids' like I did). Look at your supplies less as supplies and more as inspiration. Take in the colors, the shapes, the patterns and textures. Take a few pics like I did and see if inspiration strikes. I already have a few ideas from the ones I took.

31 Colors of Glitter Glue = Bliss

The handmade crayons are by and they are very well made and perfect for little hands. The red and green acrylic rods are from Not only do they work great, but they look good too!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Be Inspired by a New Year's Resolution

I'm finally back from a short holiday hiatus. I had planned on taking the week off between Christmas and New Year's, but my whole family got sick, so I had to move it back a bit. Being a nurse is definitely not a vacation. So I took a few more days in January, but now I am back and ready to get inspired!

It's that time of year again, when we all look back and think about what we would like to change for the new year. The New Year's resolution has become quite cliched and most people don't even make it through the first month of the year. This year do things a little differently. This year use your New Year's resolutions as inspiration. You may not be able to keep them, but you can make art that will represent the changes you would like to make and perhaps it can be a reminder to help keep you on track to actually reach your resolution goal.

The PCAGOE is finishing up it's January monthly challenge and the theme was New Year's Resolutions. Each member did what I suggested everyone do above by turning their resolution into art. You can vote for your favorite at I really recommend clicking on the links at the bottom of the post to read the actual resolutions and explanations behind each piece. They really make you think and bring a whole new meaning to each piece. You know I love to know the inspiration and background of art pieces. To me it is like looking into the mind of the artist.

One of my resolutions was to play a little more and take things a little less seriously. It is great to work hard, but you should also make time to play hard. I always love the pure joy my kids feel doing a simple thing like blowing bubbles and this year I plan to capture a bit of that joy for myself! This pendant is what I created from my resolution. The circles obviously represent the bubbles and are a reminder to see the joy in life.

Blow More Bubbles Necklace - 365/74

Take a little time this week to turn your New year's resolution into something tangible. Use it as a reminder to keep your resolution, or use it to inspire others. Think about why you chose that resolution and think about change and progression (the things behind the idea of a resolution). Think about the things you will need to do to fulfill your resolution and perhaps what might happen if you don't. All of these things can be great inspiration for creating. So dig deep, make a resolution, make a change and make art! I'm off to go blow some bubbles!

Blowin Bubbles


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