Don’t Kill Your Inspiration!

Some of you may know I have face book group
“inspiration in everyday” where folks share their inspirations in relation
to art beads.  Most share jewelry, I
share beads because that is what I make most. The concept is to share what you create, but just as important, share
also what inspired you. 
Here is what I shared this month, both photo and text:
So….. I got inspired by garlic!! I’m so strange! I know! I cut the bottom end of a bulb of garlic and when I looked at it – I was curious what it would look like pressed into porcelain. On the right is the result after pressing the garlic and adding a brown stain and some hand painted designs with black. So technically it is a garlic pendant I suppose! But no – I don’t live in fear of vampires lol!! I just love pressing various textures into clay?! Inspiration is all around!!

I get a lot of enjoyment from pressing random things into
clay and learning the result, but I don’t always put the results out there for
the world to see.  What stops me?  If I’m honest, fear of rejection!  It was not so hard to share the results in
the small, humble face book group of encouraging people!  But was I planning on offering this pendant
for sale, where it could be rejected? No! I would self talk myself
into thinking no one would want to buy my artistic, but still garlic
inspired pendant, its much to odd!
Something surprising happened and made me think about how often negative self
talk must stop my artistic growth! What
happened was someone private messaged me asking if they could buy the pendant.  The very pendant I never would have listed
for sale thinking no one would want it! So it’s helped me to reflect, and
hopefully grow a little more courage next time my inspiration takes me down an
unusual path. There are others out there
that appreciate unusual things as much as I do, and I should not let fear stop
me from putting my unusual work out there! This incident has lead me to my post for today about the things that kill inspiration.
At times inspiration can start out small and often be quite
fleeting.  There are also times it can be
very loud and in your face! Some artists have referenced having to wrestle with
inspiration in order to get or keep grip of it, while some have painted a
mental picture of gently catching inspiration like you would a butterfly, treating it ever so delicately.  Others can even claim inspirations can fall
right into their lap, completely unexpectedly!! I’m sure many artists and
designers relate to one or all of the above, and have even more ways they come into inspiration!
So whether you go out and desperately search for, chase
after, forcefully wrestle, cling to, catch, or just be ready when inspiration hits
you – what you don’t want to do is KILL it!!
So let’s talk about what kills inspiration so we can learn ways
to avoid killing it!
I like the mental picture of inspiration being a tiny
sprouted plant under the care of the inspired artist/designer. This is also why
you might see me use the word cultivate – a lot!  The sew and reap concept is a very important
one to me.  Investment of time and resources
is crucial in any area we want to see growth!!

Here are 3 Things that I have come up with that will kill
inspiration, along with some thoughts on overcoming them:
1. Lies that bring forth self doubt! Lies such as, but
certainly not limited to;
-” If you cannot win, you should not play” –  Oh, how tragic! All the beauty and learning
through the process you will miss if you believe this lie!!
-“I’m not good enough, smart enough, creative
enough, skilled enough, and so on, and so on”  The never ending I’m not ________
enough!  This is negative self talk and
it’s best to just send it away as soon as it comes! It is never helpful!  Something I heard once that has stuck with me
is -” If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them!”
The truth is where you are at on your journey is a great
place as long as you are moving in the right direction.  You will get better the more you practice, so
don’t waste time worrying about what you think are your shortcomings, or comparing
yourself to others!  Here is a quote I
like – “Don’t compare your beginnings to someone else’s middle ”
Alexander K Trenfor
2. Fear of failure.  Failure
is painful, yes! The tragedy that happens
with fear of failure, is not only does it halt growth, but  it stops you from taking risks.  Risk taking is a crucial to bringing forth creative ideas!
Cultivate a growth mindset, allow failure to be part of your
process.  Choose to learn from it rather
than be stunted by it.  I have failed so
many, many, times, so you can take it from me – it gets easier the more you do
 I will share a
personal example of failure, I have lots to choose from! I make
ceramic art beads. Living in a rural Canadian area, there is little market for
ceramic art beads.  Quite a while back I
signed up to do a local craft fair.  I
thought maybe I could sell my art bead pendants by stringing them onto
necklaces of silk cording (mostly because I like silk cording). I sold some items but I did not sell a single
necklace at the craft show.  Although the
failure did not feel so nice, I chose to ask myself questions, rather than give
up and decide to never do a show again.  As
an artist, I could have taken it as personal rejection .  I could have thought my art beads were no
good.  Growth could have ended right then
and there for me! But I did not let that happen! Through a process of
questions I asked myself, I ended up learning that although I love hand dyed
silk cord, others in my area prefer chain.  I
also learned better ways to display necklaces. When I fail there is a song that comes to mind
about getting knocked down, and getting back up again!!  If you get knocked down, get back up, and learn
what to do differently next time! Grow, and consider yourself wiser!  And find something else to do with all the silk cord you bought in bulk – oh wait – that last part might just be advice for me only!
3. Perfectionism, friend or foe?  If perfectionism keeps you from perusing your
inspiration, it will stunt your growth the same way fear of failure will.  It will also keep you from taking important, necessary
to risks.  Sometimes perfectionism can be
helpful.  It can push you further and
help you get to the next level. If that is the case, use it!  If it is stopping you, or holding you back,
let it go!!
Here is something to try, that might help you if perfectionism
is what holds you back.  Ask yourself,
what will happen if I do go for it?  Then
ask yourself what will happen if I don’t? 
Answering these two questions will help you come to the realization that
perfectionism is only keeping you from moving forward! Even if things don’t turn
out perfect, the sun will continue to rise, and set. The birds will still
chirp, and life will go on, and the best part is, you allowed for growth!!
So protect that tiny sprout of inspiration and give it the best
possible chance to grow.  Don’t allow the
dangers that be, destroy it!  Nurture it
as though your creative growth depends on it!
Next month I’m away all month so I won’t be around to choose
a random winner for the “Inspiration in everyday ” monthly
prize.  So, what I am doing instead is
offering 4 of these “inspire” bead combos so that in August 4 of you
that share your inspirations over the next 2 months will win one of these sets:

So if you have not joined the group yet, you can here and
share what inspires you!  I would love to
see the things that inspire you!  Hey, I never
mentioned yet where I am going next month!  Well, I’m
pretty excited that half of the time I’m away, will be spent in Italy!!  It’s an insanely exciting opportunity and  I am looking forward to sharing some inspiring
things from my time there!! I have been there once before and found it to be
endlessly inspiring!
Take care and wishing you all – inspiration in everyday!!
Terri Del Signore


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6 Comment

  1. Katherine Thompson
    June 26, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Thank you so much for the great advice. I admire all people who put themselves out there for artistic scrutiny. This post was just what the doctor ordered!!

  2. Coffeegal61
    June 27, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Your inspiration blog came on a perfect day for me! I have been in a funk all day,
    Wanting to attempt to do something creative and just couldn't push myself to start anything. All the points you listed fit me to a tee! You have seriously given me a strong push to start in on something, anything new. Now if I could just get my workspace cleaned off to start!
    Thank YOU for your inspiration!

  3. Kathy Lindemer
    June 30, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    I love the quote by George Paton that you included. So true!
    Enjoy Italy!

  4. Mary @ MaryMorrisJewelry.etsy.com
    July 1, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks so much for the post. It reminded me that I'm not the only one who doubts. Your words were like a kick in the backside to moveforward!

  5. ChristinaMarieH
    July 1, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Thank you for this, it was the shot in the arm that I needed.

  6. Deb
    July 4, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you for the post. It's advice I often need.

Comments are closed.