Back by popular demand is a post I featured last year. . .
Without a doubt, one of the most popular questions I am frequently being asked as an artist is, "where do you find your inspiration?" I hear stories from people who feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. They just keep buying and buying and buying, because they see a sample of something they like, but then, once they get it home, they're not sure what to do with it. Don't worry, we have all been there!
I have found that inspiration is all around you, if you simply know where to look.
I hope that today I can help inspire you.
Inspiration Idea #1: The Stampin' UP! catalog
Huh, would you look at that? "Find Your Inspiration" is literally written on the cover of the 2016 Annual Stampin' UP! catalog! What a perfect segway. . . Whether it is Stampin' UP!, or another great stamp company such as A Muse Studio or Fun Stamper's Journey, publications such as these are an invaluable resource. Most of these catalogs provide sample projects using the exact items they are trying to sell. Yes, it is perfectly okay to "copy" these creations, so long as you don't try to sell them or promote them as your own original idea. In the papercrafting world, it's called to "CASE" or "CASE-ing" which means to Copy And Share Everything, or Copy And Selectively Edit. You can say, "I CASED this idea from _______." You can copy the idea exactly, or, simply change out the color, the sentiment, or the stamp they used (which you might not own) with another stamp set you do have.
Inspiration Idea #2: Pinterest
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a free website that requires registration to use. Users can upload, save, sort, and manage images—known as pins—and other media content (e.g., videos) through collections known as pinboards. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann summarized the company as a "catalog of ideas," rather than as a social network, that inspires users to "go out and do or make things."
I LOVE (love, love, love, love, love) Pinterest. I can honestly say that Pinterest is probably my #1 source of inspiration. Yes, even over the Stampin' UP! catalog! Pinterest is the heroin of the crafter's world. Pinterest makes me want to do things I never have the time, nor money, to do! Card making question? Pinterest has the answer. Pinterest is inspiration overboard. . . if such a thing were to exist. (P.S. - it doesn't.)
Inspiration Idea #3: Splitcoaststampers
Yes, it's all one word. Splitcoaststampers. Splitcoaststampers is a web-based community for paper crafters, mostly rubberstamping and card making, but you’ll find scrapbooking there too. Splitcoast started in late 2002 by Daven and Tracy Nolta. Tracy was looking for a better way to support her group of Stampin’ Up! sales consultants. She had chosen ‘Split Coast Stampers’ as her SU! group name, representing her family of demonstrators around the country, so she then later named the website Splitcoaststampers. Here you will find detailed technique or tool tutorials, discussion forums that include for sale or trade items, organization tools and one of the largest online card galleries.
Inspiration Idea #4: Fellow Bloggers
As my readers follow me for inspiration, I follow other bloggers for their inspiration. Here is a small list of some of the bloggers I follow, though in no particular order. Perhaps you already have a list of your own that you follow regularly too.
Ginny Maxam Maxam Made Studio
Donna Garafalo Papyrus Amuse
Justin Krieger JK Cards Online
Brian King Stamp With Brian
Patty Bennett Patty Stamps
Becky Roberts Inking Idaho
Sandy Mathis Stamp with Sandy
Dawn Olchefske Do Stamping with Dawn
Erica Cerwin Pink Buckaroo Designs
Shelli Gardner So Shelli (Co-Founder of Stampin' UP!)
Additionally, each year Stampin' UP! selects 16-20 amazing demonstrators from all over the world as part of its Artisan Design Team. This year's talent is very amazing and you can follow their work below:
Allison Okamitsu - Canada
Aurélie Fabre - France
Cathy Caines - Canada
Dani Dziama - United States
Holly Stene - United States
Jennifer Sootkoos - United States
Jessica Winter - Austria
Katy Harrison - United Kingdom
Kimberly Van Diepen - United States
Louise Sharp - Australia
Maike Ulbrich - Germany
Martha Inchley - Canada
Mercedes Weber - United States
Mindy Bingamon-Backes - United States
Miriam van Eyden - Netherlands
Paula Dobson - New Zealand
Rochelle Blok - Australia
Shannon Lane - Canada
Sylwia Schreck - Germany
Tanya Boser - United States
Many bloggers participate in "blog hops" and these are an additional source of inspiration as you follow the entire hop through to view all of the participants creativity. Check out my "Blogging Friends Blog Hop" February hop HERE.
Inspiration Idea #5: Card Challenges
Aside from simply reading other bloggers or viewing online galleries (via Pinterest or Splitcoaststampers) actually participating in card challenges is another excellent source of inspiration. A "card challenge" is pretty much what it sounds like. There are websites that feature designated color challenges (using ONLY the colors they list) or a sketch challenge (a given layout) or a designated theme (birthdays or Christmas cards for example). Certain challenges have specific criteria (like using only Stampin' Up! products, etc) and usually weekly deadlines that must be met, if you want your card to be included in the voting process. Though voting is purely helpful if you are looking for some feedback on your creations.
I have found that by participating in card challenges I have broken many barriers in my own personal crafting "comfort zone." I have combined colors or shapes I NEVER would have put together in a bazillion years to create cards. I have been inspired by themes I might not normally consider making a card for. (Groundhog's Day, anyone!?) You can share your cards online via Facebook, Instagram on your own blog, or, you can simply participate at home and not share your card at all. As a bonus, some challenges offer small prizes (free stamps, accessories, gift cards, etc), but most are purely for the inspiration and experience.
Here is a sample spreadsheet I update weekly with some of the card challenges I participate in. Use an idea like this, or use my spreadsheet example to help create one of your own!
In conclusion of today's rather lengthy post, I hope you will consider some of these resources for inspiration when you are crafting. By no means is this a complete list and I certainly welcome hearing from you if you have found something additional that inspires your inner artiste. Please share with fellow readers in the comments section below.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you have a wonderfully creative (and inspirational) day!
*This article was originally posted on 8/8/2016.
I am Crystal Komara, aka "Super Stamp Girl," an independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator from Western Mass, and I am solely responsible for this blog. Stampin' Up! does not endorse the use of this blog or it's contents. All Images © 1990-2017 Stampin' Up!® (unless otherwise noted.) All items on this site including text, photographs, concept design, works of original artwork and content shared on this blog are for your personal use, inspiration and enjoyment only and may not be copied for publication or contest submission.