Here's the thing about creativity: if you want the Muse to show up for work every day (and I do), sometimes you've got to give her the afternoon off. Let her sit in the back yard looking at pretty books or drawing silly things that are never intended to see the light of day. My ancestors would call it "lollygagging;" however, I've learned that if you demand daily effort from the Muse without feeding her anything or letting her rest, she eventually coughs, coughs again, and keels over.
That's why I was delighted to find Paris Flea Market: World Design by Herbert Ypma. It's full of eye candy, pretty colors, and unusual collections. Even though it was written in 1996, the homes featured in it are so unique and so quintessentially Parisian that they still look fresh and interesting today. Let's face it -- the French are way ahead of us in the style department.
I'm also having a great time with Julie Nutting's Collage Couture. The book shows you how to draw fashion figures and then create their clothing using collage techniques. There are lots of mixed-media projects to try. You know me: I'll probably learn a couple of techniques and then go off on my own and do what I want with them -- which pretty much explains in a nutshell why I got on my teachers' nerves when I was in school -- but it's a lot of fun. It's like playing with paper dolls all over again.
Photo: Rhinestone Armadillo
Another blog that always inspires me is by Elizabeth over at Hivenn. She takes photos with actual film and then converts them to a digital format for her blog, so you already know she's a lot more patient and clever than I am. Elizabeth is a lovely young woman living near London in the UK, and she always chooses the most interesting places to photograph. She also takes lots photos of herself and her friends in all kinds of great outfits and with amazing makeup effects. Her photos always inspire me to look more closely at the beauty of the world around me.
Photo: Street Art Utopia
And finally, I can always count on Street Art Utopia to provide creative inspiration along with a big dose of humor (check out the Hipster Trap). This website features photos of street art of all different styles from all over the world.
These are some of the things that help me when the Muse gets that tired, overworked feeling. What inspires you?