Fuel for Mainer's Creativity

A few weeks ago, I was going through a terrible bout of "creator's block"; I just couldn't get the right mojo that pointed me in the direction of making some fabulous creation.  The day was beautiful, so I thought maybe a short walk would revitalize my creative juices.  Well that didn't work, which made me start thinking about what really helped the creative process going along for me.  I realized what works for me is being able to hide myself away in my office, closing the door and turning on my iPod to shuffle my playlist usually is the kindling to start the fire.

Easter tags from A Joyful Life
Of course what works for me, doesn't work for everyone.  Having a beautiful backyard in the great state of Maine, can lend a hand in the creative process for some; so it's not suprising that there are over 400 members of the Etsy Maine Team.  Here are some other ways that Mainers get inspiration to produce some pretty awesome handmade items.

"I get a hot cup of coffee, make sure my 5 year old has a project of his own to work on, surf the internet for a while for inspiration, gather my supplies and begin," shares Carrie from A Joyful Life.  "No interruptions mean more productivity for me, so keeping my 5 year old occupied is key!"

Pottery from Mud of the Ages
 Creator at Mud of the Ages adds, "Lucky me, I sleep very well,and though I rarely remember a dream,I wake up with many new ideas. But when that doesn't work, a good walk in the woods or by the water holding a stone, lump of clay or my rosary and soon I have my new direction."

Organization is key for Rain of ReMaine Wicked.  "The first thing I do to remove crafter's block, is I write a list of all of my unfinished projects. Generally this will inspire me to finish at least one, if not more. If this doesn't do the trick, I gather up all of my 'like' fabric scraps. For example, all my t- shirt scraps or all of my wool scraps, etc. Then I sew them into basically a patch work quilt. This new fabric is the basis of lots of my projects. Once I have a large enough piece, it generally tells me what it should be. If it has no voice yet, I start on a new scrap fabric piece."

Bracelet from Coastal Maine Creation
 "I like to ask random people what the would like made special for them out of leather. I'm always surprised by the answers I get, and even if the I can't use the idea it usually leads to something else in my head," Amber from Coastal Maine Creation adds.  "I also like to use free style sketching. All of my tooled leather designs begin with a drawing, so just clearing my mind, closing my eyes, and putting a pencil to paper can be wonderfully expressive and inspiring."

Sometimes just sitting down with your medium fuels creative energy.  Joy from Joy Scott Glass shares, "My husband cuts my glass and piles the glass on my work table, I play with the colors and shapes. I have no preconceived idea what I will do until I am in the studio. My pieces tell a story of my moods."

Scrabble Magnets from Littleputland
"For me, I usually get my most creative ideas when I am super busy trying to fill a large order or stocking up for a craft fair. It seems when I am at full tilt, the ideas just keep coming," Casie from Littleput Land explains. "But, give me a day with nothing specific to get done and I am at a loss!"

Krya from Teklas Treasures has a similar style to mine.  "To get creating I sit down with supplies with music loud and put something together.  I'm always flipping through my magazines, books, and pages I've ripped from catalogs."

Earrings from Teklas Treasures

Angela from Sapphire Lily Gifts shares her secret of keeping crafter's block at a minimum.  "My creative flow can be finicky; sometimes I have more ideas than I can keep up with, other times I draw a complete blank. I have learned to carry a little notebook everywhere with me so I can write down or illustrate the ideas as they pop into my head, when I have crafters block I can refer back to my notebook to see what I have or have forgotten about." 

Valerie from Knit By Valerie likes to read lots of patterns and test knit, then donating her tests to local youth centers.  What a great idea to keep your fingers working, and the community warm!

Next time you're in a rut, maybe one of these ideas can work for you to spark your inspiration.

Check out all the great handmade items created by artisans in Maine by searching "maineteam" on your next visit to Etsy!