Art Inspiration and Creative Expression in the Art and Craft Studio

Amanda Coen

Art Inspiration 

Bluebell Wood Art Card by Nuala Brett-King - Parade Handmade

Art inspiration is all around. Life never ceases to amaze and it always seems to beckon for our commentary, reaction and response. There are so many willing responders in the form of artists and creatives of all types and styles and walks of life. Artistry and creativity helps us to express how we feel and helps us to understand what happens in our world. 

People have always been inspired by nature but it seems to be a big focus at the moment. Perhaps it is because so many of us have been limited to the space we live in due to the Covid 19 restrictions. Since so many of us live in built up areas it has been vital that we inspire our lives and spaces with natural connection in the shape of trees, plants and animals in whichever ways were open to us.

Woman with a Plant and Pink Beret by Parade - Parade Handmade

Some of us have access to real nature but even imagery, inspirational writing and natural oils or candle scentts for example, have a soothing natural effect on us. We are of nature ourselves. I believe this is why. Art inspiration comes often through this connection we crave with nature and the affinity share with it. It is us and we are of nature.

 Art Space

Felted Butterfly and Shamrocks on a green felt bag by Parade - Parade Handmade

In a very busy world it is often difficult to find space to create. Physical space or mental space. It is important to allow mental space in which to create. Mental space can simply be to allow few minutes in the day to let your mind wander into dreamy space or to ponder a creative project you have in mind.

Our minds are so powerful we can't even imagine. Often it's just a case of getting out of our own way and eliminating noise and distraction to allow our creative minds some room to work. 

This art space of yours is not an expensive thing or at least it doesn't have to be. It can be totally free and even free of physical effort. On the other hand it is a soothing and inspirational exercise to create an art space in which to work. Again, this can be permanent or it can be as temporary or portable as you please. For example, if you are a stay at home parent who loves to write, paint or design etc, your art space could be available to just you just when the children are at school or in bed if you feel it would be in the way or suffer from the hurdy gurdy of family life. That all depends. For the sake of arguement and example we will assume this is the case. 

Image of a womand thinking near a synthetic plant - Parade Handmade

To create an art space for yourself is simple really. If you keep your art space simple you can erect it when you need it and put it away when it's time for other things. Try to position your table or easel or work chair near a source of natural light or a daylight lamp or both. Make it a comfortable spot with a lovely cushion and a spot to place a cuppa. Keep your art paraphernalia in a box so it can all be transported from place to place securely. Paint brushes, water jar, paper, cloths, pencils etc. Having a plant or two in the immediate viscinity helps me as do some previous favourite paintings or objects I love either by me or any other source. Post cards, colour swatches, sketches of recent ideas, style icons imagery, shells, stones, flowers, jewellery, whatever you feel is 'sparking joy' in you right now.

Two Great Things for Your Art Space

One great thing that works for me is to have inspiring dreamy or enigmatic music on in the background like. For me that's Enya, Clannad or even some kind of trans music which lifts my mind above all of the daily stresses. This can have a dramatic effect on how I feel and how I focus my thoughts.

The other great thing is having a nice scent in the art space helps to create a perfect atmosphere for creative work. So open the window, light a scented candle, spray your favourite perfume, have a diffuser nearby, burn insence etc

They say it is important to put yourself in front of your work even if you don't 'feel' particularly inspired. I believe in this though it is difficult to do on a daily basis. I know I do better work when I am inspired. So I take all the help I can get and give myself every chance of becoming inspired. Nonetheless, feeling inspired often doesn't actually result in great production. You have to roll with it. 

A Craft Studio is a Bit Different

A craft studio can be a bit different because you need more room in general. There are always exceptions to the rule and I can think of many. Some artists need lots of open space and room to move around plus the ability to leave the work out all the time. Some craft workers work in a very neat spot and have little requirement for space at all. Perhaps not even a table. 

Lets assume you do need space for your craft work. It is a similar process. You need as much natural light as possible and a craft light source could help too. A large table or flat surface is handy and crucial in some cases.

Have your surface in easy reach of plug sockets if required and ventilation too if needed. Make sure you have a few shelves for storage and organisation for your work and materials. A separate spot for your computer and other office type work is helpful too.
Decorate your space with plants for oxygen and atmosphere.

Boho Earrings by Lapanda Designs - Parade Handmade

In my craft studio space I like to keep as much off the floor as possible which is tricky in a house when you work from home. I find it difficult to keep on top of the tidying and stay creative in the process. You have to occillate between artistic and creative abandon and being a 'Marie Kondo wannabe'. I really find this element a challenge. Though I think I am improving. 
Now I had better get moving into my craft space or I run the risk of not making space for my artistic and creative ventures. Good luck with your own projects!


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