It’s been a while since I wrote anything. I’ve been quite busy with thinking. Ah, thinking; the pass time I’ve been trying to banish. Everyone needs a break from thinking.
I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration and where it comes from. Like anyone else, I go through long bouts where I can’t come up with anything new. It’s frustrating; I sit at my desk and pull at my hair because just yesterday I was brimming with ideas, and today I have nothing. The ebb and flow of creativity is natural, but when creativity is your job (self-inflicted or not) it’s important to be able to conjure some form of inspiration, even when you feel uninspired.
The above photo is the main way I do this. Wait – what? On the left is a blog post by A Flower for Athena – it just happened to be on the screen when I took the photo (you should check her blog out – it’s lovely) and on the right is a photoshoot I’m nearly done editing. My main source of inspiration at my desk is the tiny print of a detail of a painting by Maria Pace Wynters that has sat there for the past couple of years. I love this painting. I came across it one day in a free monthly that I picked up on my way out of yoga and I wanted it, and went to her Etsy store and bought this tiny print and framed it and here it has stayed for years now. Every time I look at it, I smile. I completely fell for this specific piece because it reminds me of my daughter. When I look at it, I am reminded of the things I love about her – her creativity, her energy, her stubbornness (yep, I love that), her ability to see the beauty in things that I miss (I’m thinking ice cubes here).
I stop. I try not to think. I concentrate on this beautiful picture of this happy, free little girl. And I come back to the place where I began, and mostly it leads to, if not a whole new stream of creativity, at least the peace of mind to begin to let new ideas in. This small reminder means a lot to me.
My company is called Concrete Oyster, the logo containing an anchor. It’s all very nautical. I live in the prairies. I have to take a plane to get to the nearest ocean. It’s all very backward. I wish I could just walk to the beach and stick my toes in the water and be inspired. But I can’t. So when I need that nautical inspiration, I go back to my wedding and honeymoon photos, I put myself back into the place that I was.
But sometimes, inspiration just needs a whole new direction. Allow me to share with you the things I’ve been working on recently:
I got into cross stitching when I was quite little, and have done it on and off ever since. Back about 6 or 7 years ago I discovered software that allowed me to design my own patterns from photos. I did one of Marilyn Monroe (no idea where it is any more) and another of my husband’s face (can’t find that one either). I habitually will dive into a project that’s far too big, and never finish it, so instead of doing that again, I decided to start small. I’ll post more photos as this comes along (I need to get out and buy more embroidery floss).
I’m working on this infinity scarf for my friend Lisa. I’m a bit jealous, because I made one for myself without thinking at all about how scratchy the wool is. Hers is nice and soft. She’s going to be very comfy, whenever I finish it. Things are slow moving lately.
Off to find more inspiration – Sleeping Beauty is playing in my livingroom right now. Maybe I will find it there.
– Jen McLeod, Concrete Oyster