It’s a wonderful feeling when inspiration, time and resources all align, our creative juices flow and a new concept or product emerges. While we hope that this happens as a steady stream, realistically the routine tasks of producing existing lines, processing orders and staying on top of all the other daily mundane tasks of running a craft business can squeeze our natural creativity to a slow trickle. In order to nurture it we need to both be aware of its source and give ourselves space to allow it to flourish. Broadly speaking, we can categorise these as inspiration and time. Below are ten tips which can help you to look after your creativity.
- We still start at the beginning…how we approach our day makes a difference as to how we deal with the challenges we face throughout it. Mornings can be a busy whirl of juggling for many, but it is well worth getting up a few minutes earlier than the rest of the household and so allowing yourself a time of quiet before the rush begins. This is a time to lay down any of the anxieties about the day ahead and to fill your own reserves. For some this might be going for a run or workout and for others a quiet cup of tea with an inspirational reading and time of reflection. This is the time to tap into the source of our creativity for the day ahead. For those with a faith, it is time to pray and read your holy book, others may find contemplation and poetry a source of inspiration.
- Nurture your own soul. In the same way that a teacup needs to be refilled so it can offer us that refreshing cup of tea, so our souls need to be filled and nurtured in order to keep giving out. If we are going to produce beautiful products we need to put ourselves in the place of beauty. This will mean different things for each of us, but some suggestions are; visit an art gallery or a craft exhibition, read books which stimulate your mind, try out a new recipe and enjoy it with friends, go to a concert or listen to a variety of good music at home. Find out what inspires you and do a little more of it.
- Spend time gaining ideas and inspiration from other crafters. You will probably have discovered the wonderful world of craft fairs and if so will know what a great source of inspiration and connection they can be. If you are selling at one, do remember to ensure you have your handmade craft insurance in place. However, visiting fairs occasionally not as an exhibitor but just to browse, can be a great springboard for new ideas of your own.
- Nature itself is a great source of inspiration. Spend time looking closely at a flower, a leaf or a small bug. Despite their size, they are intricately designed; many engineering solutions are based around design found in the natural world.
- Take time to walk; whether this is in a park in the middle of a busy city, or a ramble in the countryside, the combination of walking and being in a green space is good on so many levels. Look up at the sky, watch the clouds, breathe deeply and then slow down. The combination of green and blue are so restful for the eyes. (Imagine if the sky were purple and grass was red!). Allow the beauty and amazing design of our natural world to seep into your spirit.
- Many people find journaling a helpful way of processing thoughts, concerns and ideas. There are a plethora of blogs written with suggestions on how to journal, so we will not go into detail here. Suffice to say, using bullet points to jot down things you are anxious about can be helpful. Once down on paper, it may be easier to find solutions for some of them. For example, peace of mind about your business footing can be gained by ensuring you have handmade craft insurance in place. Once you have expressed the concerns topmost in your mind, you are then free to allow your thoughts to ramble as you express ideas, concepts and daily happenings. Out of this, creativity flows!
- Ring fence time to experiment with new ideas, lines and techniques. This comes back to your basic admin. Ensure that the foundations of your business are secure, including having handmade craft insurance in place, setting time for processing orders, communicating with customers and marketing your product. This will then free you up to have specific time to experiment and work on new ideas.
- It may sound strange, but boredom is actually good, or even essential for creativity to flow. In our super charged world, where we are not only permanently busy but also have a steady flow of information coming thorough our ears, we have to resolve to have times of quiet. If you commute to a place of work, or as you go to the shops, try travelling without the radio, podcast or music. As you spend time doing daily chores, be mindful of sometimes doing them in silence. Our brains need space in order to create and we need to allow them to have this.
- We are all completely unique individuals and so will all be inspired and restored in different ways. For some, time alone curled up with a book and a cup of tea is life giving, for others vigorous exercise will leave them feeling fresh and ready to take on the world, for yet others a cup of coffee and chat with friends or a night out leaves them buzzing with ideas. Work out what tops you up and so puts you in a good place to be creative.
- Finally, we come to rest. We are not designed to work flat out seven days a week, and something will give eventually if we do. Make rest and fun part of your weekly rhythm. This will pay dividends as you feel refreshed and your creativity flourishes.
Maybe pick a couple of these suggestions and start to put them into practice. And remember, our creativity flourishes when we aren’t carrying excess anxiety. So, if you’ve not done it yet, give us a call and put your hand made craft insurance in place. Then, go and get creating!