Gathering inspiration, momentum, and ideas.

It’s been a while since I brain dumped ideas here, mostly because Pinterest is so easy or because I’m focusing on really defining a Why for my creative life, but I’m still collecting ideas and I’d love to share.

I entered a competition with Lilla Roger’s Studio and it’s stretched me beyond anything I thought I could ever (even possibly!) accomplish, do or dream. I’ve been asked to create a playground themed journal cover as if Paperchase were a client and all of those words in one sentence have been a dwindling fight in will power and creative energy for me.

The good fight.

Yesterday I finally went from my sketch-book to watercolor and when it was all said and done I thought to myself “Well, at least I got that over with.” As in, that was exactly as awful as I was expecting it to be. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s get to it.

Here’s a few other ways to get from A to B in your current situation that seems to be stumping you or bullying you into thinking you’re never gonna get it (that bully is wrong, by the way, Get it girl). And I’ve found that the path from A to B usually involves a few subtext categories like A1, A7 and A109. But you will eventually land at B.

Go away.

Literally just go away. Leave the problem on paper, make a paper airplane if you need to and toss that sucker to a high and mighty place, with out you. You need a break. You can simply go for a drive, jump on a trampoline, take a shower, lay in a hammock, draw/doodle/color, fly a kite or pack up for a night and escape to the far yonder calling you.

I mostly drive or shower – those are the ways I subconsciously work through tangible problems that the ink on my journal can’t seem to dilute into a clear path for me.

Do something you used to do for fun.

Before we entered those years of “being a grown up” without actually knowing what that meant, at all, we had a lot of fun. Criminal amounts of copious fun. Before I was married me and the boyfriend went to Chicago almost every weekend. Adventure was only line-item on the itinerary. We snuck into hotels to swim, we climbed trees and drank expensive coffee but ate ramen noodles and donuts and somehow found balance. The pressure was off. We were allowed to have fun.

I call bull-shit. We still are. I can’t make a habit out of Chicago-bound road trips, but we have amazing beaches near-by. We own a tent. Maybe a new journal and a set of charcoals with a hike and a picnic basket of nourishing foods would feed my soul the way gas station beef jerky and skinny dipping used to. I’m willing to bet on it.

Collect something.

Memories, words, magazine clippings. I follow some amazing collectors on Instagram – and they follow Typography and Branding – but they find it in the most beautiful places. A night sky, the sidewalk, drainage grates. Trees are a language all their own to me … so I collect pieces of trees. Mostly in photos, and the sky line. Bark, nests, feathers. Grab a baseket and a friend, bring your iPhone or camera or your little adventurer with crayons and go find something that makes you look again. Keep those things, they’ll find their way into what you do before you even know it.

Watch and Read.

Nothing inspires me quite like a Ted.com video marathon, a backlog of my favorite blog’s to catch up on, or a book that was recommended to me. On the flip-side, nothing drowns me quite like these things either. If I’m standing still and all I see are the forward movements of the leaders I admire: I watch in dismay as they talk about, do, capture, work on or deliver the ideas I’ve been percolating and investing in. Problem is: I’ve been investing in the ideas quietly and alone.

You have to drive the boat. In fact, you are driving it, whether you see yourself in that seat or not. It’s awkward at first to say something you think about out loud. Especially an idea you hold passionately close to who you are. Those ideas, those conversations? Those are your movements. And if you’re not sure how? Watch and read. You’ll learn.

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