Apr, 12

My Creative Process

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

Dec, 11

{creative process} with Laura

I’m always curious about other people’s {creative processes} so I decided to start asking.  I was thrilled to pieces when my friend Laura, from Blue Eyed Night Owl, agreed to share hers!  The goal behind this series is to dig deep into our creative process (in this case, Laura’s) and see what inspires us to create and how we stay motivated.  We are unique and one-of-a-kind and we don’t think like anyone else.  We know what we want and we have a particular way of getting there.

 In turn, I hope this will inspire and motivate other creatives to think about their processes.  I love how we are all uniquely creative and it’s deeper than what we actually make.  A lot goes into the process, from thinking up the idea to actually executing it.  Ready.Set.Go.

Getting to know Laura:

· Tell me about yourself.  Who are you?

Hi! I’m Laura, 20 years old and I currently still live with my mom and my cat Misty in Amsterdam. My health doesn’t allow me to work or study but I’m trying to make the most out of my little energy by creating things that make me happy from inside my home.

· What do you create?  How long have you been creating?  Where do you create?

Currently I mostly sew for the shop, take pictures and do blogposts, but I always seem to have some sort of side-project going on too, like knitting/crocheting or painting.  Crafting has been my absolute favorite thing to do for as long as I can remember. I first got introduced to felt when I was 6 or 7 I think and I’ve been hooked every since.  I make everything at home. Though I do tend to switch up the places I sit in and sew. Also, I love going outside with my camera, but other than that, everything is done from either my own, or the living room.

 · Is there anything else that you would like to share?

Perhaps that I’m generally very excited about pretty much anything. There are so many hobbies I’d like to take up, so many things I’d like to learn or do or see or read. Or collect haha, I have a very full house because of all my supplies, entertainment and collections. There’s definitely a list of things I’d like to start doing once I have more room.


Your {creative Process}:

Inspiration –

· What inspires you to create?

I suppose it’s more of a need within. Creating things is something I do daily, if I can, and I can’t imagine my life without it. Whenever I see any material I just get this itch to start making things, so I suppose that is where it often begins.

Also creating takes you to such a different place, I don’t have that with anything else. Especially when you’re not feeling well and can’t do much it’s great to find something that not only takes your mind of things but also leaves you with something tangible. When you have a lot of couch-time it’s nice to be able to look at your project and think “yeah, I made that today!”

· Do you have a muse?

Not so specific I think, but I do get inspiration from certain people or places sometimes. For instance Frida Kahlo, whenever I see her I instantly feel motivated and inspired, not only because of her stunning art but also because she’s had to overcome a lot of physical things too.

Apart from that I have a love for Japan and most things Japanese. All the art and patterns and even colors are so inspiring.

And owls of course;)

· Do you flip through magazines or browse the Internet?

Definitely! Those are both great ways to get inspired! Even if the things you see or read are something completely different from what you do yourself.

· Do you attend Art Walks?

No, to be honest, I hadn’t really heard of it before. Though I do love to visit galleries or museums. Especially the little Low Brow galleries we have in Amsterdam, they are always hidden gems full of amazing art work and run by very passionate and friendly people.

· Does the weather inspire you to create?

Different weather conditions inspire different things. When it’s dark and rainy I love to knit, when it’s dry and sunny I’d rather go out with a camera. Sewing is something I always do though, rain or shine.


How do  you capture that inspiration?

· Do you sketch or write in a sketchbook?

I have a little sketchbook with ideas, always carry around these tiny note cards, but usually I grab a bare sheet of A4 paper and start doodling with a black marker.

· Do you photograph it?

Sometimes. If I’m out and I see something inspiring I will definitely take a picture to keep for later or try to catch this certain vibe.

· Do you Blog about it?

My blog started out as something to share all my favorite things and inspirations on. I don’t think there is always a super clear link visible between what you see there and what I make, but I’m sure I wouldn’t create as much if I didn’t blog. Basically it helps keep everything flowing and moving.

· Do you keep an inspiration board?

Every now and then I love to make a collage. But a little while back I decided I wanted something bigger, easier and more permanent, so I decided to hang the entire wall above my desk with postcards, art, one collage I did a while back and just all sorts of findings that seem to fit. I really enjoy seeing it every day!



· What does your work space look like?

Well, my house is chaos but I have all my crafting stuff nicely organized. And since I mostly make small things I often move it around the house to work in different spots. Sometimes I sew at the table, sometimes on the couch, but often at my desk too.

· When you are creating, do you buckle down and get it done in a set amount of time, or do you carry it out over a certain period?

When I start I usually get so sucked in I don’t do anything else until it’s done. Sometimes I don’t manage to finish something that same day, but if I don’t I do make sure I stop at a point that makes sense. Say I’m working on a new design. I might have been drawing for a while, found what I was looking for, finish the neat version of it and then leave the rest for the next day. But I do prefer to have things finished up because it’s so easy to get distracted again by a new idea.

· What are your favorite mediums to work with?

For sewing, felt is my absolute favorite. It has everything I want, it’s flexible yet sturdy, comes in all colors you could imagine and you can cut it without having to make any seams or anything.

Other than that I love oil paint, brown and black markers, yarn and I love drawing with charcoal.

· Is there a certain time of day that you prefer to create?

I like to finish up orders in the morning or the early afternoon. But to really sit down and think of something new or start a bigger project, I usually wait until later in the afternoon. Though sometimes I’m busy at completely different times.

· Are you particular?  Do you have to have music playing while creating? Do you have to have tea on hand or another favorite drink?  Etc.

I pretty much always have a thermos and a cup of tea at hand. And the same goes for Cd’s. I like working with either very calm and magical music or something that is a bit more happy singer/songwriter. And when I’ve found my perfect CD for that moment I often have it on repeat. It’s not unusual for me to play a Matt Bauer CD four times in a row.

· Do you work on one project at a time, or several?

When I get into designing new things I tend to make a lot in a row. Sometimes lots of things that aren’t connected by any theme and sometimes it is a cohesive line. I do tend to focus on one thing though, and while I may be knitting a hat while I’m also busy with a new collection, I don’t really do more than one big project at a time.



· What motivates you between projects?

Oh, there are always so many projects floating around in my head, just knowing I can start something new again is usually enough motivation.

· How do you stay motivated even on those ‘I want to do nothing’ days?  Or do you allow yourself those days off?  What do you do when you are feeling unmotivated?

I do allow myself those days off, except when I have orders. And usually I get excited when I’m working even if I was dreading it a bit up front. Sometimes I really don’t feel like sewing but I know I need to make something and send it out, so I start and all of a sudden get inspired and continue to design and create for the rest of the day.

· Do you reward yourself after each project?

Not always, because I often feel rewarded enough when I see it all finished. But sometimes, yeah, for instance when I sold my first clickable collar I decided to spend that money on something cute from Etsy as a reward.

· Does profit motivate you?

Yes and no. I get really excited when I sell something and I do love it when I get something in my PayPal. But to be honest I haven’t even made back my investment. So profit is nice, but I’m mostly doing it because I love it.

· Does a person, place or thing motivate you?

Initially no, I’m pretty much in my own little bubble when it comes to all the things I make and think of, but as time went on I started to get a lot of motivation from the great people in the blogosphere. Of course to blog, but also to create items as it’s always great to be able to show something new and hear feedback and reactions.

· Is it just the love of it that motivates you or is it that combined with something else?

It’s both the love of creating as well as just having something to do and building some sort of “enterprise”. Before I always enjoyed just making things, but to now have collections and lines is really great.

· Is it easy for you to stay motivated, or is it difficult?

Well I can be very tough on myself and am definitely a perfectionist, so I always have plans and goals I want to achieve. Usually I have the motivation to do things, but not always the energy, so when I do feel like I can do something that day I tend to be very motivated as well. Besides creating is just so much fun and it never gets old.


Laura, thank you so much for sharing your {creative process} with us.  It was a pleasure getting to know how you make things happen and what keeps you moving forward. 

If you want to share your {creative process}, send me an email at robbielee at chickiedee dot com. ♥ RobbieLee