As makers, we’re constantly designing and creating products for our shops.
Often times, there seems to be no shortage of ideas. But there are also days where we feel uninspired and in a rut.
So here are 9 ways to refresh your creativity.
1 | Avoid doing #allthethings
Can you relate to late-night making and cramming every free moment working on something new?
It’s easy to get caught up with each idea, but when we try to do them all, we can quickly become overwhelmed.
Give yourself room to be creative. It’s okay (and smart) to say “no” to good ideas.
If you feel overwhelmed by your creative endeavors, try to simplify and find a focus. Choose one to three priorities, and save the rest for another time.
2 | Create thinking-space
This has been one of the best game-changers for TwigBerryStudio:
I keep a long list of ideas in my creative folder. First, I brainstorm and let ideas and thoughts flow so I can jot everything down and free up my mind. Then, I am able to forget about my ideas without the fear of losing them forever.
When I’m ready to take on something new, I just look back at my list.
This method gets rid of mind-clutter and frees up space for thinking and creativity.
3 | Try new materials + tools
Umm, yarn haul!
Are your everyday fibers feeling a little drab? Maybe you’re tired of your old hooks and needles?
Consider splurging a little on some extra special fiber or tools, and explore beyond the everyday hobby store supplies.
Working with new, dreamy yarn or special needles and hooks might be just what you need to trigger a creative boost.
Check out some fancy fibers at a local yarn shop, search online boutiques, find a fiber festival, or try a skein from that brand you’ve been admiring on Instagram.
Unique materials give your hands a new experience and a fresh perspective. And it’s sure to get your creative ideas brewing like your favorite coffee or tea.
Tip: when you buy new material, have a project in mind to be sure you follow through and complete it.
4 | Create an inspiring workspace
Where do you perform most of your creative work? For many makers, it ranges from a comfy couch to a studio area.
Wherever your workspace may be, is it inspiring?
Do you enjoy working there? Do your surroundings help put you in a creative mood?
If not, try working in a different spot, or brainstorm ways to perk up the space.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Figure out what you’d like to change about your space, and determine what drags your creativity down.
- If you’re surrounded by clutter, try tidying up.
- For a quick refresher, add inspiring prints and designs to your walls, or frame them on your desk. Try placing some plans (or something that makes you happy) on a nearby table.
When I work in an “ugly” space, it pulls my focus away from my task because I end up thinking of ways to improve the space and make it pretty.
Make the space reflect your style so you enjoy your setting. Aim to create an inspiring work area to foster ideas. You’ll be more productive when you love where you work, too.
5 | Use yourself as inspiration.
When you feel stuck, tap into your story, and use yourself as inspiration.
Do you have a unique skill set, talent, or experience that you can embrace? Is there something different about your process? Your style? Your approach? How did you first come to love crocheting or knitting? What sets you apart from other makers? What other interests do you have outside of knitwear that you can use as fresh inspiration?
Explore the unique things about you, and incorporate them into your ideas to help refresh your creativity.
6 | Take a break from your projects
Although we don’t always realize it, creativity is hard work.
If your mind is worn out from all the creative chugging, take some time to refuel, and give yourself a chance to rest.
Set your projects aside for a day or two, and find other tasks to work on.
Review your listings, and make sure your shop is in tip-top shape. Publish products you’ve been meaning to list. Take photos of items you’ve already made.
Or take a break from everything.
Once your mind has a little while to rejuvenate, it’ll be ready to bring you fresh, new ideas.
7 | Go for a walk outside + enjoy some fresh air
“Knitflix” and “crochet-all-day” are real life for us maker sometimes. But don’t forget to go outside and get a little exercise, too.
A walk and fresh air are good for our minds. Go somewhere inspiring. Get the blood pumping.
If you’re in a time crunch and can’t leave your space, try opening a window. Or if it’s too cold for a hike in the woods, how about a drive on a nice, sunny day?
Try to get a little sunlight each day to get that vitamin D. You’ll feel happier and more creative when your brain has what it needs. And you’ll come back to your project feeling refreshed and inspired.
8 | Stay motivated
When we’re working hard day after day, it’s easy to get a bit tired and worn out. We lose sight of that shiny excitement of pursuing something we love and enjoy, and our creative ideas start to drag.
Sometimes we need a little extra push to get past the not-so-fun parts of running a knitwear shop. Weaving in ends, anyone?
When the boring tasks get you down, it’s helpful to think about what makes you excited.
Try saving your favorite things for last as a reward for working past the tough parts.
You’ll be glad you did, and it’ll be easier to stay inspired without all those loose ends hanging over your head.
9 | Don’t compare
Sometimes a creative rut can come from comparing yourself someone else’s maker journey.
Instead, focus on you and your journey.
Don’t try to follow your admirers in their footsteps,
Focus on your unique maker story and path. You’ll stay inspired, feel more fulfilled, and have creative ideas you can be proud of.
What are some ways you find inspiration and avoid creative ruts? I would love to know! Comment below!