Tag Archives: Make it Mighty Ugly

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20 Ways To Nurture Your Creative Spirit

We are dedicating this entire summer of blog posts to creativity.  We’ll share some DIY projects, introduce you to some REALLY cool people who inspire us and tell you what we’ve learned as artists and business owners.

We are all creative in our own way.  Even if you don’t think you are creative you probably have some creative mojo tucked away. Creativity is like a muscle – the more you use it the stronger it gets.   Sometimes you make something U-G-L-Y…embrace it, keep it, have fun with it!  We still laugh about some of our ugliest and most unfortunate creations from our early jewelry making days.  Sometimes you make something beautiful and never want to give it away or sell it.  Creativity is good for the soul.

We thought it would be fun to share a list of ways that we stay creatively energized.  Hopefully some of them will inspire you.

  1. Keep lists of amazing and inspiring people we meet.
  2. Hang out with happy, interesting people.
  3. Ask for feedback from people we respect & admire.
  4. Walk away from a project that’s frustrating us.  Often time and space cures what is going wrong.
  5. We embrace our mistakes – sometimes those end up our favorite creations.  At the very least they give us a good laugh.
  6. Sleep well, eat well and play often.
  7. We do something that makes us happy every day.  Even on crazy days, even if it’s just for a minute or two.
  8. Take risks with our art or projects.  We like to dream BIG and this takes us way out of our comfort zone at times.
  9. Get outside.  Walk, ride a bike, go for a run.
  10. Make lists of all our ideas: possible and impossible.
  11. Clean up our work area.  This is a big one.
  12. Attend a creative class or better yet a conference (our absolute favorite is Craftcation in Ventura, California).  We also love online classes at Craftsy).
  13. Carry a journal or sketchbook.
  14. Go to a museum, craft fair or art show.
  15. Take a trip – even if it’s local, a change of scenery is inspiring.
  16. Join an online creative challenge (ie. #yearofmaking) or create your own challenge.
  17. Embrace quiet – take time away from social media, phones, TV, music and people in general.  Giving ourselves time to think is invaluable.  Even if it’s only for 10 minutes on busy days.
  18. We recommend posting something you’ve made on social media.  The positive feedback may surprise you and will definitely motivate you.
  19. Hand-write a letter to a friend or family member on pretty writing paper.
  20. Turn off electronics for a few hours every day.  Too much time on Facebook or Pinterest take time away from making.

If you are thinking about getting a little more creative we highly recommend the book Make it Mighty Ugly by Kim Werker.    In this fun book Kim offers exercise and advice for getting creative.  We feel very lucky to have met Kim at Craftcation.  Her energy and courage in creativity are infectious!

Now log off and do something fun and creative.  We promise that you won’t regret it!

Blogs and Books and Podcasts Oh My!

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As you can see from the photos we were definitely not in Kansas!  We just got back from our 3rd year attending the wonderful Craftcation Conference  in beautiful Ventura, California. Craftcation is an annual four-day business and makers conference featuring industry professionals leading attendees in hands-on food & craft workshops, lectures and panels on creative business.  The location, a sleepy little seaside surfing town, is so creatively inspiring.  The hosts Nicole and Delialah of Dear Handmade Life do an excellent job of creating an open, inspiring and sharing community.

We learned about paying ourselves, pricing, wholesale, social media, blogging, newsletters and book proposals.  We took creative classes where we learned to play with image transfers and make stamped clay metal pendants.

We also met and learned about leading “handmade” industry authors, bloggers and podcasters.  We’d love to share some of our favorites with you.

Blogs:

  1. While She Naps by Abby Glassenberg.  Abby’s blog is a virtual fountain of information on topics such as running your small business to sewing patterns & DIY’s.
  2. Tara Swiger is a maker, author and small business genius.  Her blog will help you get serious about the financial and marketing aspects of your business.
  3. Wise Craft by Blair Stocker.  We especially love Blair’s craft projects that involve upcycling.  She has a wide range of talents and it is so fun to follow her adventures.

Handmade Business Books:

  1. The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin.  These two books are excellent reference for people thinking of selling or currently selling their own handmade goods.
  2. Make it Mighty Ugly by Kim Werker.  This book is a funny and insightful weapon that you can use to slay your creative demons.
  3. The Brilliant Ideas Launch Pad and Make It Happen by Kari Chapin.  These inspiring workbooks help to generate and capture your best ideas & track your productivity.

Podcasts:

  1. Fresh Rag is a podcast hosted by Dave Conrey.  Dave’s energy is contagious as he lights a fire under us and shows us how to make more from our creative pursuits.
  2. Raise Your Hand.  Say Yes. hosted by Tiffany Han.  Tiffany’s podcasts involve so so many of our creative hero’s.  Listen now and every day.  She’ll change your life.
  3. Dear Handmade Life with Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell is fun, inspiring and has wonderful variety.

On a final note, CreativeLive is an excellent resource for creative souls.  They offer a wide selection of online workshops that you can watch for FREE.  Can you believe it?  Some of our favorite handmade guru’s are instructors.  Megan Anderson has an upcoming class where she’ll cover craft photography fundamentals , Megan Auman is teaching a workshop called Make a Living Selling What You Make and Nicole Stevenson‘s workshop is called Craft Show Secrets, How to Get In, Make Sales and Grow Your Business.  CreativeLive is also an excellent resource for photographers so spread the word!

All of these resources are at your fingerstips.  Check out our recommendations – we promise you won’t be disappointed.  Happy making!