Where does inspiration come from?

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.

deskThe 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:

cross stitch

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).

poaching eggMmm breakfast. Poaching eggs – the best project ever.

Knitted infinity scarfI’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

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3 Responses to Where does inspiration come from?

  1. jainblu says:

    Just so you know, one of your links doesn’t work… The one that says A Flower For Athena.

    Also, I liked this post 😊

  2. Pingback: Loads of tiny X’s | Concrete Oyster

  3. Inspiration is a funny thing. (I love that it means to breathe in…) I’ve just gone through a very introspective period and haven’t wanted to blog much. But last summer, I was brimming with ideas. I guess it’s one of those things we have to accept and just let the tides turn as they will.

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