Inspiring the Creative Mind
What Inspires Us?
Staying aware of what's around me at all times comes naturally to me. It enriches my life and is a great way to find inspiration for my own creative work. To help others consider how they might spark their own creativity, here are a few of the things I have "found" that have provided me with creative inspiration. Not all are visual, as you will see, but they have all touched me in some way and become a part of my "tool box".
As you read this, consider where you might find your inspiration.
Nature: My Biggest Inspiration
Nature - This is definitely number one for me.
Nature is, for me, one of the greatest sources of joy and inspiration. I find that being out in the woods, walking on the beach or looking at a flower is calming, nurturing, sometimes surprising and ever-fascinating. There are seemingly endless things to see, smell, hear and touch and it's all constantly changing.
Here are some of the inspiring places in nature that I truly adore.
Some of the Most Beautiful Natural Wonders I've Seen
- Arches National Park, Utah
When I entered Arches National Park and glimpsed, for the first time, the start of the many incredible, colorful rock shapes to come within, I was stunned. I sat amongst all that nature-carved, towering stone each day of my visit and just looked.
- The Painted Hills, Oregon
The Painted Hills, part of the John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon, Are giant piles of layer upon layer of colored sediment nestled into a still and quiet valley. It is a haunting kind of beauty.
- Kartchner Caverns, Arizona
Long kept a secret by those who discovered it in the 1970's, Kartchner Caverns is an active, living cave, now opened to the public with careful controls designed to preserve the beautiful formations. Because of such care, these caves are magical.
Some Writings That Have Helped Me to be my Creative Self
I met the author of this book about 15 years ago when he made a presentation at a higher education conference I attended. He inspired me then and his writings inspire me now. This is a fabulous book about creativity and the importance of allowing it to blossom. Gordon was an artist and worked for Hallmark. He created a position for himself and called it the Creative Paradox. His goal was to inspire others to be who they truly are and not hold back on their gift of creativity.
North American Cities With a Creative Spirit - Cities as inspiration
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Do you know that New Hampshire has a coastline? A small portion touches the Atlantic and my favorite town along that stretch is Portsmouth. Small, historic and artsy, it has a mysterious feel at night.
This french-speaking part of Canada definitely helps you feel like you have traveled to Europe. You see many new and different ways of doing things and it helps me to think differently about what's possible.
- San Francisco
A walkable, artistic, oceanside city with surprises around every hill, twist and turn. You all know about San Francisco. If you haven't visited yet, consider going. If you are worried about it being too touristy, just skip the fisherman's wharf area.
I refer to this book often. It reminds me that being highly sensitive (aware, intuitive, creative) is unique and valued and not something to try and hide.
Other People's Stories
Getting a glimpse into someone else's life can open your eyes and heart to consider that there are many more ways to view and experience the world around you than you may have thought.
Here are two contemporary artists whose work I very much enjoy and appreciate. They are both phenomenal! See for yourself.
- Renee Rickabaugh, painter
Renee creates whimsical, highly-detailed pieces. I love the color and texture he uses to define his subject matter. Back in the 1980's when I viewed his work for the first time, my eyes teared up with emotion at the beauty and his skill.
- Gregory Colbert, Ashes & Snow
I encourage a visit to this site for a hauntingly beautiful display of the work of photographer Gregory Colbert. It is inspiring, gorgeous and full of wonder.
Other-wordly Glass Art
- Dale Chihuly, Glass Artist
Chihuly's glass pieces are ethereal and sometimes just "off-the-wall". I love the shapes, the movement, the color, and the attention to light and placement. See if you can visit one of his garden installations. It's unique work.
Other People's Stories
This journal, written by a little girl in the early 1900's in a very unique style, chronicles the magical and rich relationship Opal Whitley had with the natural world while living in Oregon. Charming, quirky and inspiring. Her view of the trees, flowers and animals around her is very personal and almost poetic.
Cookbooks - Food as Art!
You may think it odd that I am including cookbooks, but it's another wonderful sensory experience of life and if you pay attention, in the moment, to what you are eating, smelling, even seeing in your food, it can be very inspirational.
What an interesting new way to think of food: the importance of aroma! I love looking through this book and imagining all the wonderful things I will make by adding essential oils. A new perspective on cooking and eating!
My Wish List
- Artista ~ Creative Safari's for Women
Artista is based in Carmel, California. They offer "creative safaris" which are all-inclusive workshops in painting and/or clothing design for women. Though I haven't yet participated, ever since I first read about them I have wanted to attend. They
What inspires you? Please share it with everyone by clicking here!