No matter how creative you are, you will have days where you feel artistically “stuck”. When I have those days, I always defer to one (or more) of the five resources for artistic inspiration listed below! I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite, and I know that you’ll feel the same way after you explore some of these super-inspiring options.
Artistic Inspiration Resource #1: Pinterest
Whether I just can’t come up with a great blog topic or a cool wedding invitation motif, Pinterest always can lend some creative clarity. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, it’s essentially an online bulletin board where you can organize all of your interests. As you’re browsing the web, then, you can “pin” images from blogs and websites that inspire you. You can also search through the millions of “pins” that other people have on the site, which is often what I do! For example, I felt creatively stuck on card inspiration for my mother-in-law’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. I had been browsing Pinterest for five minutes or so when I came upon this “pin”:
I loved those flowers from the moment I saw them, and I wondered how I could incorporate them into some sort of mailable card concept. Those flowers caused an “aha!” moment that resulted in the Floral Letter Simple Paper Craft Tutorial.
I cannot emphasize how invaluable Pinterest can be in stirring up artistic inspiration! There have been several projects here on the TPK blog that were inspired by seeing a pin. For example, the Folded Stand Up Card Tutorial (shown below) was inspired by this pin.
… The Simple Mother’s Day Card Tutorial? This pin!
The only downside to using Pinterest is they seem to have developed a rather aggressive algorithm that tries to keep track of what you like. For example, the other day, I clicked on a pin about how to create DIY cement countertops. I felt mildly curious because my mother wants to renovate her kitchen, and she loves cement countertops. Boy, do I regret clicking on that! Pinterest has been hawking cement countertops at me ever since. However, if you use the search feature rather than hang out on the Pinterest home page, the system behaves well and will show you some beautiful art and ideas. You can see all of my boards by clicking here, but here’s a list of my favorites:
- Font Fascination – Gorgeous hand-lettering and calligraphy-focused inspiration.
- Illustrations I Love – The name says it all!
- Mailbox – Mail art inspiration.
- The Sketchbook Revival – Drawings, sketches, and doodles that make me want to pull out my sketchbook.
- The Postman’s Knock Blog – A board that organizes all of the TPK blog posts and tutorials.
Artistic Inspiration Resource #2: Books
It’s hard not to appreciate computers and the internet for their seemingly unlimited ability to deliver creativity on a silver platter. If you’re like me, though, there are some days where you can’t look at the computer screen for another minute! On those days, the four beautiful books pictured above will come in handy. I know that I have to be missing out on some wonderful books — and, if I am, please let me know in the comments — but here’s what I love:
For Hand-Lettering: Typography Sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Talarico Lita
Typography Sketchbooks is a curated collection of sketches and finished pieces by hand-lettering artists. If you’re looking for art print inspiration, ideas for fonts and lettering styles to include on mail art, or card illustration ideas, this is a great book! I got the inspiration for the Botanical Letter Tutorial from the gorgeous ampersand above.
For Dip Pen Calligraphy: Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe
Modern Calligraphy markets itself as a book that provides all the information you need to get started learning dip pen calligraphy. While the first half of the book does have quality information on that topic, the second half of the book is where author Suber Thorpe really shines! In it, she provides instructions for making several creative, calligraphy-focused projects. You’ll find yourself inspired and ready to conquer the world with your dip pen!
For Sketchbooking: Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks by Lynne Perrella and Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison
If you are considering starting a sketchbook journal — and I hope you do! — both Spilling Open and Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks will prove very inspirational. Spilling Open (pictured above) is a published sketchbook that will make you realize that the goal isn’t perfection: it’s self-expression. Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks is less personal, but it’s a wonderful source of varied curated ideas for your own sketchbook.
Artistic Inspiration Resource #3: Instagram
Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can see what users are posting! Instagram, like Pinterest, is a visual smorgasbord of artistic inspiration! You can discover new ideas and techniques by following users that you like, or you can search Instagram using hashtags. For example, if you click here, you’ll see the results of a search for “#envelopeart”. I am constantly posting things on the TPK Instagram that never show up on the blog … mainly, photos of projects I have made that I hope will inspire others. I draw a lot of inspiration from Instagram in turn! For example, my friend Phyllis Macaluso (@fpmmac) never ceases to amaze me with her beautiful calligraphy, enchanting embellishments, and card ideas. (You can see an envelope she made for me below!)
I know with certainty that I am missing out on a lot of incredible Instagram accounts. Nevertheless, here’s a modest list of artists and calligraphers that inspire me:
- Maybelle Imasa (@maybelleimasa) – Fantastic playful calligraphy and clean photography.
- Tracie Cheng (@traciecheng) – One of my life goals is to have one of Tracie’s beautiful, fluid pieces of art in my home!
- Kei Haniya (@kei.haniya) – Wonderful calligraphy videos and colorful ink experimentation.
- Drew Europeo (@calligrafikas) – Drew has an incredible eye for color; her florals, especially, are top-notch!
- Abbey Sy (@abbeysy) – Abbey’s feed always makes me reach for my watercolor palette! Her work inspired me to make the simple envelope art pictured below.
I hope that today’s list of resources has given you a few new ideas of places to look next time you’re in a creative slump! This weekend, I’ll have three more ideas for you. I ended up splitting this post into two parts because, well, turns out I have a lot of sources of inspiration! If you know of any great books, Instagram accounts, or Pinterest boards to follow, please comment. I know that there’s a lot I’m missing out on, and I’d love to discover more!
Thanks very much for reading TPK, and enjoy the rest of your day!