WHEN INSPIRATION DOESN'T STRIKE

When inspiration is just not forthcoming, try turning to the journaling and writing world for some right brain exercises. Here are 5 ideas to try. Who knows, these may just help you find the ideas and inspiration you are looking for. And these are not just for art, but for any issue you are looking to get some insight into. Happy to say I've used all of these methods. If one doesn't work for a specific issue, try another. 
  1. Hand-write a few sentences with pen or pencil about the problem you are trying to solve, outlining what you need inspiration for or need help with. Then switch your pen to your non-dominant hand, and sit ready to write down a response. You may be surprised at the answers that come. The non-dominant hand acts as a direct link to your true self.
  2. Write a list of 50 possible solutions in 30 minutes. Write them down no matter how absurd they seem. This exercise is not about pre-judging but about coming up with ideas. The first several ideas will be easy yet also common solutions, the next set will start tapping into the imagination, the final set will be the most creative. 50 seems like a lot, but these last dozen or so are the most innovative ideas  If you get stuck before you reach 50, put the list aside until the next day, then come back to it.
  3. Try stream of consciousness writing. If you've read Julia Cameron's book The Artists' Way, then you're familiar with this already. The idea is to write 2-3 pages early in the day and to just allow the writing to happen. Don't plan it out, and you certainly don't need to show your writing to anyone else. It's not about spelling or grammar either, but just letting your thoughts flow and purging thoughts that may be bogging you down. We know how active our minds are; just let those thoughts flow onto paper. This is most effective when writing pages every day over a couple of weeks.
  4. Create a mind map. Write a word or two in the centre of your page and draw a circle
    around it - this is like the nucleus. Now begin to write other words that come to you in
    relation to your circled word - actions, ideas, feelings, people, places, whatever may surface. Draw circles around these and add lines from your centre to these new thoughts. Keep adding ideas as they arise, after a few minutes you will realize that you have shifted to thoughts coming from your unconsciousness.
  5. Create a narrative timeline of a period of your life. This is a snapshot or map of any part of your life, and can get pretty detailed as you dig further. Memories may surface which can give you some inspiration for ideas. The standard way to create the timeline is by a straight line horizontally or vertically, but it's really much more creative to draw a road or river or tree and use that as the basis for your own narrative.



MAKING ART BY SEWING PAPER, AND BOOKBINDING MADE EASY

As fibre artists, we tend to work with fabrics, occasionally adding alternative materials to our creations. But the past couple of weeks I&#...