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July 10, 2012

Creative Inspiration: Where does yours come from?

Today started like any other work day.  I vow to get as much done as possible and stay focused.  But then the conference calls start...and I get a little antsy.  After all, I know what I think we're going to do for this project - it's just a matter of getting everyone else on board and letting the process work it's way through.  During the conference call, I am sorting the findings from the Boss Bead Bag I purchased from FMG.  It's a mindless job - and no one knows what I'm doing since we're all on the phone.

From Disappointment to Delight

At first, I was a little disappointed with my purchase of the grab bag of jewelry goodies .  It was interesting, but not exciting. My daughter had already sorted it for me into categories (beads, gold findings, silver findings, gemstones).  Now, I am doing a second sort - bead caps, beads, clasps, charms etc. And I start getting excited at finding things that I've never seen before, things that I would never usually buy - even things that I'm not sure what they are.  And cool finishes that I've never used before - like gunmetal.  And so, the creative juices start flowing and the internet searching begins.

From Mult-Tasking to All-Out Procrastination

Three conference calls later - it's 'me' time.  I'm done sorting and I need to indulge myself in some of my interests.  I start posting on my personal facebook page - reading inspiration from my friends on my jewelry facebook page and clicking links.  Somehow I find myself on the American Craft Council  website reading an article on creativity titled Nothing Comes From Nowhere.  It is a very interesting article and I recommend you read it.  

From here - I wanted more information on the author and his ideas on creativity.  I found his book...

Being Creative: Steal Like An Artist

The book Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative sounded like it was for me - until I read the reviews on Amazon (my favorite part of Amazon - aside from their 'look inside this book' feature).  The reviews are mixed (really good and not so great) - but since I hate to buy books that I only read for one hour - I decided it wasn't for me.

But I was still interested his ideas on creativity, so I went on a hunt for the original blog post that is referred to in the American Craft Council article.  I was really enjoying reading it until... BAM! it was cut off and I was left with marketing for the book.  Like all good things - why give it away for free, when you can make a few bucks on the idea.

Darn - that left me with a bad taste and I was no longer loving Austin Kleon.  But - I really wanted more on his ideas.  Because everything I read was resonating with me.

For example, I'm not against the idea of stealing creative ideas.  I think we all do it - whether we admit to it or not.  I do have an issue with the outright copying of ideas, however.  The artistic knack (or gift) is for finding what speaks to you in someone else's work (or in nature, etc)  - and making it part of your inspiration.

Speaking about being creative

Next, I found this video of Austin Kleon on YouTube and I fell in love again.  I love a good speaker - even though I normally hate watching videos on the computer.  So much of what I read and was seeing is resonating with me.  After all, right at this moment, I am procrastinating doing my 'real' work to research doing what I love - creating.  (yeah - I read that idea somewhere along this search - but can't remember where, but the idea that things that you do while you procrastinate are the things you really love to do was stolen from Austin Kleon).  The video is eleven minutes long - but I think it was worth it.  (You can fold the laundry while you watch if you need to multi-task).

After the video, I still want more information, so I search - and I eventually end up at the Steal Like An Artist Blogger Kit.  It's great when someone realizes they can build a fan base when they provide information that you can use to promote them.

Read the ten tips to creativity and let me know what you  think

And we are almost at the end of my creativity ramble and procrastination.  I hope these creativity tips resonate with you.  And if they do, indulge in reading one more poster on the difference between good theft vs. bad theft.

Steal Like An Artist - Promotional Poster

Good Theft vs. Bad Theft

Steal Like An Artist - Good theft vs. Bad Theft Poster

And now - I really need to get back to work!!


  1. I've thought a lot about this, especially since I've been thinking of creating video tutorials. There are many tutorials on wire wrapping, and there are different ways to wrap a loop, for example. But how the information is presented is the key to success. I may present the exact same information as someone else, but my style is unique and will resonate with some more than others.

    It's the same thing with jewelry. You can have a single strand, double strand, or triple strand necklace, a wire-wrapped bracelet, whatever. The techniques are all the same; it's how you present them. Your choice of beads. Your arrangement. Your color palette.

  2. Lisa, I do respect Austin Kleon's work on this issue. He brings an accessible lightness to a serious subject and hurdle that all artists must overcome - making their work uniquely their own.

    Personally, I think he made a mistake when he used the word 'steal'. He used it for shock value - but didn't realize that some people will twist and use any rationalization they can get to continue to just keep indulging in questionable and sometimes damaging behavior toward artists.
    You and I know he doesn't actually mean that people should take things wholesale so that the artist 'stolen from' is violated - which is, of course what 'steal'and 'theft' mean. (Honor vs. Degrade)
    His intent was obviously to instruct younger artists in how to assimilate what they have learned and so begin to grow and create their own unique art. Note: the word 'younger' here has nothing to do with chronological age.
    From so many of the posts I've read, I know that many, many people are simply using his concepts as an excuse and rationalization. They don't see the subtle, yet crucial differences in the list you posted above. BTW - my fave 'Theft' comparison is the 'Study vs. Skim'. For me, that may be the one that is easiest to explain so that people 'get it.'
    Thanks so much for posting this - I appreciate it!