Sometimes the creative process of stamping can be a hurdle. But…..that’s why I always have my Annual Catalog by my fingertips. It used to be called our Idea Book & Catalog and I still definitely look at it as an idea book. I also “force myself” to use a new stamp set or accessory almost as soon as it comes to my door. It’s sort of like breaking the ice. While the sample shown in the catalog with the set might not always be my favorite I can usually find a way to tweak it to be more like ‘me’.
Another place to find stimulation when you’re stuck in a creative slump is to check out Pinterest. Be sure to set your timer for an appropriate length of time–like fifteen minutes–and enter Stampin Up plus either your stamp set or event or holiday and have a look around. It’s easy to get lost there so be strict about moving away after you’ve got a few ideas. Ask me how I know??!
I also belong to a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator group called SUDSOL. Simply Unique Demonstrators Sharing On Line. If I’m stuck on a project, need someone to critique a sample I’m working on, or just need an idea I check in to the Sudsol Gallery. Most often what I find there hasn’t been all over the web so I can surprise my class participants when I present the card or 3-d item in a class.
Occasionally I like to follow a blog hop that has a holiday or birthday or color or stamp set theme. It’s fun to see what ideas people come up with. Sometimes I’ll see a great color combination or usage of a new embossing folder. And it sets my mind to mental creating.
How do I find a blog hop? When I see more than one card from the same demonstrator on Pinterest for example, I’ll sign up to receive notifications of their blog posts. Then once in a while I’ll get word that they’re participating in a blog hop. I check out their card and then click on the next person and the next and so it goes. Some ideas I like and some just aren’t my style so I move on. It’s a fun way to quickly see a bunch of styles and ideas geared around a single theme.
I keep a small drawer full of scrap paper and I use it when I’m making up a new card with various layers of card stock. Sometimes it’s hard to get just the right dimensions and I don’t mind making mistakes on scrap paper. It’s a lot less expensive than trial and error with my card stock, Designer Series Paper and ribbons. I also use this scrap paper for making ‘masks’ to add dimension to a card.
Here’s a quick example of using a mask:
Say you want to put a forest behind a bear. That’s a little absurd but graphic. Stamp the bear on a piece of card stock or……scrap paper to get an idea what it will look like. Stamp another bear on a piece of scrap paper or a sticky note and cut it out. Lay it on top of the first bear you stamped. Stamp the forest image right over the bear and the mask. Remove the mask and ……… walaa!
There are times when I’m working on creating that new masterpiece (!) when I have to just step away and maybe put all of my stamp pads away, or my Big Shot and dies or embossing folders, and just clean off my work space. And then maybe I’ll make myself a snack or a cup of coffee, do a bit of a walk about and finally come back and look at my not-quite-a-masterpiece. That ‘time out’ usually helps me see the ‘wrong color’ or ‘wrong whatever’ and I can complete what has become my pleasing masterpiece of the day.
I’m a morning person so I love going out to my stamp room early and either start a new project or card or finish up what I didn’t finish the day before. I also sometimes go to bed thinking about a certain stamp set or event. Sometimes I wake up with a brilliant idea. And sometimes I don’t.
Last July/August I totally gutted and revamped my stamping space and that gave my creativity a refreshing boost. When I finished with the renovation of fresh paint, a desk, and a new worktable everything had a place of it’s own, a place it could be put a-w-a-y. Working in this clean space is very inspiring for me. And then I clutter it up again!
One final place (probably not the real last place) that I get creative inspiration is at Stampin’ Up!’s conventions and events. There are always boards of samples, booths showing new products and how to use them, along with creative ideas, and demonstrations by Stampin’ Up! employees or Stampin’ Up! demonstrators themselves. I’ll be one of those demonstrators in November at the Local OnStage convention in Phoenix. (Yes, I’m a tad nervous but very excited.)
All this said, there are so many places to look for creative inspiration. Heck you can find color inspiration on a cereal box or a hand cream advertisement. Keep looking.