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Where to Get Ideas and Inspiration for Your Arts and Crafts Projects

candleTypography Candle Holder from Cheltenham Rd 0n 3B Street

Getting immersed in arts and crafts projects is, for a lot of people, a great way to express their creativity as well as a source of enjoyment and relaxation. There are others, though, who recognized the money-making potential of this hobby and seized the opportunity, establishing their very own businesses. These often revolve around selling their creations in a store with a physical location or one that operates purely online.

Whether you are looking for fresh ideas with which to boost your current arts and crafts business, or you are in the first stages of establishing your own store, you will find useful information in this article. The following paragraphs provide suggestions on where you can get inspiration and ideas for your next projects.

Take Note of the Latest Trends

Many entrepreneurs, regardless of the industry they’re in, manage to earn a lot by following trends. You can achieve the same results if you do your research on which arts and crafts creations and related services are now popular to consumers and specifically, to your target market. This information can be obtained easily by doing a general online search. You can also look at the most popular products in various online marketplaces. And to supplement your findings via the Internet, you can browse through magazines and other print media to have an inkling of what’s currently hot in the market.

Aside from joining the other entrepreneurs whose offerings are now all the rage, another way to follow this tip is to do projects that have something to do with what’s popular with consumers today. Here are some suggestions:

  • Feature popular characters in the best-selling games today.

  • Appeal to a wider audience by featuring popular and well-loved TV and movie characters.

  • Create accessories for the most popular gadgets, such as tablets and smartphones.

Opt for the Classics

If you are a risk-taker, the tip above is for you. But if you are looking for ideas that are for the long-term and will provide you with more stable income, you might want to consider classic arts and crafts projects. Businesses that follow this strategy often provide products and services that either meet human needs, or are related to activities that man has been doing for a long time.

While classic or timeless arts and crafts projects are not likely to fly off the shelves, they are a good investment for your business because they are anchored on tried-and-tested, profitable concepts. Examples of these are the following:

  • Candle-making

  • Production of home décor

  • Creation of seasonal décor (Christmas decorations included)

  • Photography services

  • Tailoring services

  • Painting services (charcoal painting, portrait painting)

  • Jewelry and accessories-making

  • Woodworking

  • Embroidery

  • Crocheting

  • Costume Rentals

Consider Your Passions and Interests

Aside from trends and timeless business concepts, you can also find inspiration for your next arts and crafts projects by looking at your passions and interests. This is an especially great tip to follow if you have yet to start your business and have just begun thinking of what types of products or services you should offer. A business that allows you to do the things you love or are genuinely interested in has a higher chance of succeeding than one that is based on current consumer trends and other concepts because you’ll be more focused and passionate about it. Also, it’s likely that you excel in a field that’s in line with your passions and interests, so you don’t have to worry about mediocrity in your creations.

Before you follow this advice, though, you should remember that mere passion won’t make your business an instant success. You need to look into the feasibility of your idea before you throw yourself into making it a reality. The perfect business concept is one that is not only profitable but is also in line with your interests. Here are some ideas that usually combine these two factors:

  • Jewelry creation

  • Painting and Drawing

  • Photography

  • Pottery

Be Nature-Inspired

Nature is also a great source of ideas and inspiration for your arts and crafts business or projects. Many successful artists and crafters look to their surroundings when they are out of ideas. A quick getaway to a mountainside inn or a weekend trip to the beach often gets their creative juices flowing, resulting in creations that are both unique and inspired. If you want to create something new, steer clear of the first three suggestions and instead follow this tip.

clarynbio

Claryn Bowell – 3B Street Marketplace Blog

I’m Claryn Bowell. I’m an artist, crafter, writer and entrepreneur. I grew up in the great state of New York which is pretty awesome. I have been blogging for five years and I love writing about crafting or anything about creativity.  My blog is the product of my love in crafting and DIY.

 

I Am Thankful

thankfulgarlandAutumn Thanksgiving Bunting from Tina Magee Sews

Last year I was working with a fab life coach (Tiffany Han), and I was in a state of absolute frenzy. I was writing an e-program at the time and chasing the same questions over and over in my mind: Would it succeed? Would it fail? If it were rejected by the general public, could I recover after an already professionally trying year?

Tiffany heard my frenzy out, and then she asked me one of her big questions:

“Reflect back on your life so far. Has anything not worked out?”

That question! My goodness, it produced an instant eruption of gratitude so powerful that it seized my entire body. I took a moment to weep, right there in the middle of our call.

Just look at how this Life has worked out for me. Take a moment to consider all of the wondrous ways it’s worked out for you.

I’m grateful that people like you make heartfelt creations every single day. Because you’ve tapped into your passion and purpose, you improve the energy of everything that you touch. Thank you.

Sending you and your family love, wishes, gratitude, and prayers. Happy Thanksgiving!

lisawashi

Lisa Jacobs — Marketing Creativity

Lisa Jacobs writes Marketing Creativity for fellow creative spirits who aim to build a career with their own two hands. She leads group webinar programs and offers one-on-one coaching designed to help you get paid to be … you.

Step Two to Unsticking Your Creativity

“There aren’t creative people and non-creative people. There are only people who use it and people who don’t.”

—Brené Brown

Doodleimage

Drawing.

What comes to mind when you see that word?

For many, it conjures an image of Picasso or Renoir. The eccentric girl sitting at the coffee shop huddled over her drawing pad furiously sketching all day.

For people who don’t, drawing = artist.

Drawing isn’t a magical skill that is bestowed on only a select few. Drawing is human. It’s an act that is part of our identity as homo sapiens.

Do you ever write? Letters are just symbols that represent sound. Writing is drawing symbols (see where I’m going with this?). Any kind of mark-making is a form of drawing. Drawing itself isn’t “art.”

Drawing is simply expression.

We all do it.

Recently I went to a lunch lecture (with Kerry!) and I learned some interesting things about drawing:

  • done regularly it benefits every other task you do.

  • it improves your memory.

  • drawing rewires your brain.

What is drawing?

It’s mark making.

Nothing more, nothing less.

How do I do it?

You start.

Chatting on the phone with a friend? Pick up a writing instrument and doodle.

Sitting in a meeting? Doodle in the margins of your notes. It will help you remember what was discussed.

And as an added bonus, the more you do it, the better you will be at it.

Just make marks. It doesn’t have to be anything.

Why should I do it?

The act of drawing is a form of meditation. Doing it opens your brain up to new thoughts and ideas.

The more you draw, the more you can draw.

Did you read that part about rewiring your brain? Creating widens your brains super-highway and improves your problem-solving skills.

You just need to follow a couple simple rules

  • don’t judge. These marks are not representative of you or your worth.

  • remember that it’s not art. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad. It’s expression.

To help you get started, I’ve created a doodle sheet for you to download, print, and get to doodling. These doodles are an exercise to get your brain flowing. Keep it handy and start making marks. It’s ready to be colored too!

This is just for you, but if you’d like to share, be sure to post them with the hashtag #gettingunstuck. You can find me on Instagram here http://instagram.com/deannamullican#.

Happy doodling!

deannawashi

Deanna Mullican – Spark Retreat

Deanna Mullican is an artist and designer and is co-founder of Spark Retreat (and if you register before Nov. 15 you’ll reserve your free spot in our May 2014 online group coaching program!), which is for creative women who are looking to reignite their soul’s fire. This year at Spark, she’ll be leading a workshop called “Free Your Creativity Through Visual Journaling,” which will expand on some of the techniques in this series — helping you find your personal brand of creativity by Living More Orange. You can find Deanna at applesandorange.com.

Step One to Unsticking Your Creativity

Getting-Unstuck

We all get stuck, right? One day you realize you’re just not in the Flow anymore.

Don’t worry, it’s just temporary. It’s pretty easy to get back on track.

Because getting unstuck comes from doing, this is the first of four exercises I am sharing with you to help you find your mojo again.

Busy lives can distract us and it’s easy to push creating-for-ourselves to the bottom of the list. But creating for the sake of it is so vital to us as human beings, it’s important to make time for it. Even if it’s only a few precious minutes.

So as a jumping off point to begin to get you unstuck—or, if you’re not stuck, to get you seeing your day in a new way—I created a worksheet of sorts for you to download, print out and cut up.

This is a form of journaling that uses simple observations as you go about your day-to-day.

You can use them throughout the day or save up your thoughts for the end of the day and use them as a form of reflection. They’re small enough to fit in your pocket and are easy to get to when you have a thought so you can jot it down. You can keep all of these in an envelope, or fold them up and put them in a jar. Or, if you’d like, pick up a little notebook to keep all your daily musings in one place. Or every-other-day musings. Whatever works.

This exercise will help you notice all that is going on around you. It can help you learn to recognize when you’re bored or uninspired. You can use them to set a small goal for tomorrow.

It is not meant to create guilt or to become a “have-to” (because, let’s face it, we all have plenty of those!). Seeing your day in a different way will help tear down the block that has finagled it’s way into your life.

Download and print as many as you want. Put them in your purse and your pocket. Put them on your nightstand. Teach yourself to see your day with new eyes. Set one simple goal for the next. Before you know it, you’ll be in the Flow again.

If you’re feeling especially daring, take a photo of something you notice with new eyes. Instagram is a great app for visual journaling. I enjoy snapping a quick photo of things that make me happy, inspire me, or just make me feel good (I take a lot of photos of my puppies and food) If you want to journal in this way, post to Instagram (follow me here!) or Twitter. Use the hashtag #gettingunstuck.

I’d love to hear (and see) the things you notice and the small goals you achieve!

And as a little hint for what’s coming I want to share that the fourth exercise will be a block-carving tutorial. I’m telling you this now in case you want to give it a try and have a chance to get a couple supplies beforehand. You can get a simple starter kit here or at your local art supply store. It comes with black ink but if you’re going to print on paper, you can also use acrylic paint.

Deanna-Spark-square-150

Deanna Mullican – Spark Retreat

Deanna Mullican is an artist and designer and is co-founder of Spark Retreat (registration is open now!), which is for creative women who are looking to reignite their soul’s fire. This year at Spark, she’ll be leading a workshop called “Free Your Creativity Through Visual Journaling,” which will expand on some of the techniques in this series — helping you find your personal brand of creativity by Living More Orange. You can find Deanna at applesandorange.com.

Unlimited Creativity

for_the_love_of_photography_by_eyeforbeauty-d3cjxzh_largeimage from Olivia Foulkes Photography

Tapping into your creative spirit does not have to be only reserved for studio time or Wednesday night craft nights. Being creative is a way of life, fostering new ways of thinking and problem solving. You don’t run out of creative ideas. You may need to take a break occasionally and rejuvenate and rest but creativity still lives within.

Find ways to stay open to creativity energy. If you feel stuck emotionally or mentally, make a small change in your routine. If your evening walks or workouts are not cutting it, try a brisk walk in the morning instead. Change your scenery. Work from a different room in your house. Change the color of your studio walls. Be open to change as this is where creativity likes to live.

As an artist, I like to engage in different mediums to spice things up. I recently took up crocheting again and bought the materials to start some embroidery projects. Writing (which I never thought I enjoyed) has become one of my favorite ways of expressing myself. I have grown in ways I never thought I would by guest writing on other’s blogs. Has my photography gotten better from this cross training? I think so! Just as it benefits an athlete’s form, cross training our creative muscle improves our skills, prevents burn out and rejuvenates and relaxes the mind.

Call on creativity the next time you are approached with a problem. Create a new solution for an old dilemma. One of my favorite past co-workers and managers, Becky, taught us to call on the skills of others when dealing with a difficult customer. What would Jesse, our oh so patient and easy going coworker, do in this situation? Look to others for inspiration when dealing with things that are not so easy for you and channel their energy. We grow creatively and spiritually when we let others inspire and enhance us.

Conceptualize yourself as always being full of creativity. Don’t let a small burn out get your down. Give yourself a break when you need it. Make a promise to yourself that you will let your creative spirit be free and in turn it will truly be unlimited.

shellybiowashi

Shelly Kerry — Creating Space, Mindful Living

Shelly Kerry is the founder of the program Creating Space, Mindful Living – motivating and inspiring people to run their businesses more efficiently. She helps others look at their personal and professional lives and explore what is and isn’t working. As a jewelry designer she has spent many years testing and honing the skills and discipline needed to run your own creative business while still having time for friends, family and fun. She puts her wealth of experience to use in the Creating Space service – healthy living advice to help keep you motivated and make the most out of your already busy schedule. She will help you find both the physical and emotional space so you can pursue your dreams and she’ll always insist there’s time for yourself.

Shelly writes guest posts on living your best life on well-known blogs such as Kanelstrand, Handmade Success and Awfully Grand and is pursuing a Core Strengths coaching certificate through San Francisco State University.

You can now find Creating Space on Facebook.