Running our craft/creative businesses—Crave for Crafts and Make It Like Mine—require us to look after all the usual things every small business owner has to do (accounting, marketing, promotion, sourcing material, finding customers, etc), but we also have to come up with new ideas, new collaborations and workshops, be innovative, spot new trends, try different materials.
Nothing new under the sun
Some days it feels like everything has been done before. Material is difficult to source—Instagram, Pinterest, the World Wide Web are too big, too overwhelming. There is so much out there, that it can add more clutter, more fogginess, lack of clarity to our brains.
I am sure you have experienced that after browsing for hours on any of these apps, you feel overwhelmed.
Turn off your phone. Yes, turn off the phone.
We have collated a list of things we do when we want to feel more inspired or motivated. They help us come back on track and are pretty inexpensive, but highly effective. Hopefully they will help you too.
- Do some sort of craft without any expectations.
Knit a few rows, crochet, hand-sew something, make pom poms. Describe what you are seeing, feeling, smelling right now.
- Browse pretty crafty magazines.
We keep a stack of old issues from our favourite magazines from Australia and New Zealand—we love Peppermint, Frankie and Extracurricular.
And from other countries: Mollie Makes (UK): devoted to all things crafty. You can find heaps of cool projects to make at home.
Flow (Netherlands): is dedicated to all paper lovers; each issue is an explosion of colour and pattern. There are special issues that address other topics like mindfulness, DIY, etc. It is a bit hard to find in news agencies, but they ship to Australia.
Uppercase (Canada): each issue is dedicated to a particular medium and it features crafters, makers from around the world. Also ships to Australia.
- Draw some Zentangles!
Ok, now you can turn on your phone. You just need some paper and a pen. On your phone, Google some zentangle patterns and start replicating them or doodling. Easy and effective—your brain will enter a meditational, stress free zone and you will find new ideas floating.
- Listen to podcasts
Now that your phone is turned on, you can also listen to podcasts like “The Accidental creative”, “The Good life project” or old episodes from “After the jump”. Super inspirational.
If all of the above fails, we strongly recommend doing some easy meditation, because at this stage you probably have too much clutter in your head.
Find the method that best suits you. Focus on your breath for a few minutes, use a free guided meditation, and visualise yourself happy, in flow, making something beautiful.
Or repeat some affirmations or mantras that boost creativity. For example, use Louise Hay’s “Ideas come to me easily and effortlessly”.
- Get out
Finally get out! Do some handstands and if you can, jump. Shake yourself up! Or have a glass of wine.
Tell us if the above worked for you or what tips you can share with us and the readers.
Ana Garcia del Barrio is one half of the Crave for Crafts team who established a crafting business in 2014 with Imogen Holt as a way of making craft workshops accessible across Brisbane and surrounds. Crave for Crafts has successfully undertaken many workshops, both independently and in collaboration with other makers and institutions, including the State Library of Queensland Distant Lines exhibition. Crave for Crafts also offers private events organisations and crafty parties.
Ana has a background in Law and Financial Services and Imogen has a background in Nursing and Health Science. Their love for crafts and pretty handmade things is what has brought them together. They desire to share their passion with as many people as possible, and make new friends along the way.