Today I thought it would be fun to share my creative process with you. Who knows, it just might inspire you! Over the years, parts of my creative process have changed slightly, and rightfully so. As I grow and evolve, so does everything around me. For the most part, though, the major things have stayed the same. These key elements are what make up my creative process and keep me moving forward.
Sketchbook + Idea Book
My sketchbook + idea book are the most important parts of my overall creative process. Why you ask? Well, because that’s where all of my ideas, blog posts, thoughts, sketches, projects, dreams and goals live. Without a place to store all of this info, I would probably go crazy. Could you imagine, it’s like having a million and three to-do lists mixed with ideas and projects all stored in your head!!! I don’t like the feeling of having to remember all sorts of important things, it stresses me. So these allow me to get everything out of my head for the time being, so I can continue working on my current project. Then, when I’m ready, I simply flip through them and start the next project.
Each of these books serve a very similar purpose, they just live in different places. My sketchbook stays at home (or sometimes travels on long trips) and allows me to really go into depth on an idea or project. It’s larger and easier to layout all of my thoughts. Whereas, my idea book goes everywhere with me! It’s a mini Moleskine journal that fits snugly in my bag and is readily available when I’m out and about and an idea pops into my head. If I don’t write it down right away, I can lose that idea for good. It’s happened before and I’ve kicked myself for not taking the time to jot it down. By having my idea book along with my sketchbook, it has really helped me maintain my creative process. It keeps me focused, inspired and motivated to keep doing what I love.
So, these two books are usually the first step in anything that I do creatively… other than thinking it up, I suppose! ha!
Being A Perfectionist
I am indeed a perfectionist in everything that I do. That probably explains why it takes me a bit longer to execute ideas. In school (especially in college) I would actually scrap an ENTIRE project if it didn’t feel right!!! Crazy, I know. In fact, that wasn’t normally like me. I’m the type of person who will save everything, just in case. So why did I scrap it all in a few instances? Your guess is as good as mine. I truly believe it was because I felt even more pressure than ever to be perfect. I no longer do this (thank goodness!), but I still struggle with the idea of creating the “perfect” this or that. I’m trying to learn when to just let it be and call it done. Being a perfectionist can really hinder a creative person, because it holds you back from what your natural talents are. They clash! Sometimes I feel like my best work comes out when I don’t over think it. Why can’t it always be this way?
I’ve come to realize that being a perfectionist is a part of me. It has it’s fair share of good, too, because I feel like I’m constantly pushing myself to learn new things or to try new things (and perfect them to the best of my ability). So, overall, yes, it can hold me back… if I let it, but if I keep tight reins on it, things will continue to move forward.
Staying Motivated + Inspired
Staying inspired is very easy for me because almost everything can inspire me in one way or another. I’m inspired by other creatives, bloggers, family, color, art, design, typography, food, nature, etc. Really, the list goes on. I can read blogs and browse Pinterest all day long and leave feeling very creative. The weather also plays into this. If it’s gloomy and rainy outside, all I want to do is sit inside and craft! It’s my absolute favorite.
Staying motivated is a bit more of a challenge at times. I can gather all sorts of inspiration, but then when it comes to sitting down and actually doing whatever it is that I want to do… I can go off and play with the dogs or cat or whatever. I feel motivated when it’s not forced. If I’m sitting down at the computer and have to write a post, nothing will get done. Or if I am inspired to create, but don’t have a plan, then it won’t get done. I have to have the exact details worked out before I start. Once I do, it’s motivation city!
Since motivation comes in waves, I have to make sure that I stay on track when it’s low. To do this, I brainstorm and plan, but not in a forced way. I usually go off and read an inspiring story, let it soak in and then I can regain that feeling of being motivated. I can’t just sit down and “get to work,” if you will.
Creating itself, is naturally part of my creative process… heeheehee. When I get to this point, after all of the inspiration, sketching, and motivation to do it, it’s on! I get so into it and I can’t stop until I’m done. A huge mess usually follows this step, but it’s worth it. With that said, I’m a clean freak in certain areas of my life. So, I don’t mean a mess, as in paint spattered on my clothes or fabric on the floor (heavens no!). I mean when I pull things out to “create,” I pull out everything that might be needed! …and it usually stays out until I’m forced to put it back away. I like to keep it out until the project’s finished.
Whether it’s sewing or painting or designing, I fully submerge myself into it and make it happen. This of course is the best part of my creative process, because I get to see the final product. It’s a beautiful thing to see an idea on paper grow into something real. Just wonderful.
How about you?! What’s your creative process? What keeps you inspired and motivated to keep moving forward? Do share! I hope you had fun reading, ♥RobbieLee