We are living in some weird times, my loves. The first quarter of this year isn’t even over, and I’m ready to ball up 2020 and throw it in the trash. All of this uncertainty can be stressful, especially on makers and artists. If you’re feeling the strain, here are 10 things you can do to reignite your creative fire.
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1// Try a kit. Craft kits are seeing a resurgence lately. Niche companies gather all the supplies you need for a popular craft and deliver them right to your door. Trying a kit for a craft you haven’t done in a while or have yet to try can help get your creative juices flowing. Check out some of these:
- Knitcrate – a mystery yarn box that comes with exclusive yarn, one knit and one crochet pattern, plus a fun little add-in. Save on your first Knitcrate with code “TLYARN20”. Click here.
- Lion Brand – a staple in the yarn arts world, Lion Brand offers new knit and crochet kits weekly featuring work from independent artists from around the world. Click here.
- The Crafters Box – each month, TCB partners with a talented maker to curate a full creative experience. Subscribe for a monthly project or pick your favorites from their extensive marketplace. Click here.
- We Are Knitters – they really mean it when they say “All the Happiness in a Kit”. WAK is a contemporary knit and crochet business offering kits for beginners and more experienced makers. Explore their beautiful yarns, helpful videos, and eye-catching collections. Click here.
2// Finish Those WIPs. Admit it – you probably have at least one long-forgotten project collecting dust in your home. Pull out those WIPs (works in progress) and make some actual progress. This process might get your mind going on what you’d like to make next. Just don’t leave that WIP for too long!
3// Clean Your Craft Room. Sometimes the main reason you can’t access your creativity is because you have to wade through piles of supplies in your craft room or maker space. Clear the clutter and literally make space for creativity. Working in a tidy space that smells nice and gets great light can help lift your mood and prepare you for your next masterpiece.
4// Make a Friend or Discover New Makers. As artists, it’s easy to get lost in your own head and to unintentionally isolate from the community around you. What better way to get fresh inspiration than seeing what others in (and outside of) your niche are doing! Scroll the discovery page on Instagram for new accounts to follow and trends to try. Join some new-to-you Facebook groups. Get lost on Pinterest or YouTube and you’re sure to find a unique perspective (or, at least a funny cat video).
5// Stash Bust. Before you drop some major coin on creative retail therapy, check your own craft closet. Do you have a skein of yarn that you forgot about? Or a sticker book that goes well with a current project? Think about it – your craft storage space is full of all of your favorite things already. Why not challenge yourself to start (or continue) a project with items you already have? Sometimes we have all the inspiration we need right at home! If you’re a crocheter, check out these FREE PATTERNS on my blog that are perfect for stash busting.
6// Learn a New Skill. When I get overwhelmed with crochet stuff and can’t think about my next pattern, I know it’s time for a break. But I can’t turn off my creativity. Instead, I channel that energy into learning something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try pressed florals, weaving, or watercolor. There’s no time like the present! Drop into your local library for a how-to book or try a website like Skillshare or Brit + Co for topic-focused online classes.
7// Support Local Makers. We artists are social beings, but it may not always be the right time to commune together. Instead, try to surround yourself with experiences and items that spark your creativity while supporting your local arts scene. Many consignment and gift shops offer shipping on hundreds of artisan goods as well as gift cards. You can even narrow your Etsy search to a particular city or state. Just the other day, I treated myself to coffee roasted less than 20 miles from my house and a hand-thrown ceramic mug. How can you support makers in your local market?
8// Join an Online Challenge. There’s nothing quite like joining thousands of other makers in an online challenge to get you pumped about crafting again. Evens like #MarchMeetTheMaker, crochet alongs, and photo-a-day prompts inspire you to create on a regular basis and share that progress with others doing the same thing. Who knows – you may even inspire someone else!
9// Virtual Maker Night. If you can’t get to a local event at a craft store or yarn shop, take your events digital! I love going LIVE on my Instagram account to see what others are making and doing. Host or join an online gathering through social media like Facebook or Instagram, or host even larger groups using programs like Skype or Zoom. These resources give you an outlet to engage with your maker community without even leaving the house.
10// Get Your Family Involved. Look, I already know what you’re going to say. Much of the maker process is solitary, but trying out your favorite craft with loved ones is a great way to see that beloved skill from an entirely different perspective. Try teaching your children how to knit, or paint the same subject as your partner and see how different the final product turns out. Taking just a few moments to invite others into your creative space might be just the boost you need.
Losing your maker mojo happens to the best of us. With a little time, effort, and patience, it’s bound to come back. As the late, great Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Do you have any other tips on reigniting your creativity? Drop them in the comments. And don’t forget to pin this post to share it with friends!