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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How To Find Creative Inspiration

One of the hardest things we crafty folks go through is staying in the creative mode. Sometimes we just can't find our mojo and when that happens, our whole life goes caddywhompus. Everything seems to be just slightly uneven for us. Sometimes we just need to rest and find our energy once more but other times we really have nothing that inspires us or fills us with joy. This is probably the saddest thing to go through for a creative. Not finding our center, our calling, is very upsetting. Once we acknowledge that we need to work on finding what brings the joy, that is when we need to help our muse along and do something, anything, artistic. Once we do, more thoughts come along and before you know it, there we are, right in midst of one of the busiest creative times ever!

Finding inspiration is not difficult for mosaic hobbyists whether they are just wanting to give it a try for the first time or are into their 11th year of creating them, like me, but you have to know where to look.

My favorite place to start is through books. Search online and you'll find massive amount of books at your disposal, from mosaics done in a weekend, outdoor projects and even furniture. When I taught some classes a few years back, I'd bring some of the books shown below to help the students get inspired and excited enough to take that feeling home and continue their mosaic journey. It didn't work for everyone but it always grabbed a few in each class and new enthusiasts were born.

Here are a few books in my personal library. I still refer the all of these when I'm looking for a technique or inspiration. These can be found online through Amazon. I recommend them. Each one has value. I also suggest you find any mosaic books that capture your attention while looking around websites, bookstores and the library. You never know what you'll find.

Another great source to help you along when you're in a slump is YouTube. Just type in the search area "how to make mosaics" and you'll find over 200,000 videos. Scroll through these videos and find a few that grab you. That is what inspiration does, after all. Type the same info in your browser search engine and you'll find enough to keep you busy and inspired for quite some time.

Finding people who write blogs like I do are great sources of inspiration as well. Sharing what I'm working on each week or adding to the online shops is fun for me but it could very well inspire someone to give what I do a try. That's a wonderful thing!

Someone I admire greatly is Lou Ann Weeks. I LOVE her quick "how to" videos and her blog. Her site is filled with inspiration and tutorials. Spend some time on these sites, sign up for her blog. You won't be sorry.

When I first started making mosaics I used only broken dishes. Mostly because that is why I decided to try mosaics, I broke a dish that was part of a set my Grandmother gave me. "Blue Willow". Still a very popular choice for mosaics. After a while, maybe 6 months or so, I knew I wanted to learn more and I wasn't having as much fun with dish shards as I knew I could have with stained glass. I am now very comfortable using pottery, china, glass, mirror, found objects, etc. but it took time and a lot of studying to find what spoke to me the most. My most comfortable choice is stained glass and mirror. I tend to like the colors nature uses for the ocean and the trees. Earth tones are my feel good colors and I want them near me at all times.

Really horrible photo taken in 2007 of one of my first mosaics created around 2005.
I probably took a lot of photos of these earlier mosaics using actual cameras with film but I have no idea where they are or where the mosaics are either. After I moved in 2011 it all got shuffled somewhere either into storage or at my Dad's place. This is the only photo I could find of the earliest mosaic I remember making from that time.

Some examples of better photos, using some of my favorite materials, follow.

Find what speaks to you, let your muse come out to play. Give mosaics a try! Find videos and blogs, books and people who will help you along your path toward the magic that can be found in mosaics.

Have fun!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics